Residents endorse project for county's new headquarters

Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa. [File, Standard]

Kakamega residents have endorsed the county government’s new multi-million shilling county headquarters on the outskirts of Kakamega town.

Governor Fernandes Barasa’s administration plans to relocate county's main offices from the central business district to Mudiri estate, which is about four kilometers away.

Residents said the proposed county headquarters will ensure services are centralised and make it easier for people to be attended to faster.

Construction works will begin immediately after MCAs approve the project that will occupy a 5-acre piece of land earlier earmarked for former Governor Wycliffe Oparanya’s affordable housing project.

The new county headquarters will house the governor's office and all departmental offices.

Speaking during a public participation forum that took place at Kakamega County Social Hall yesterday, the residents said that the plan was long overdue since the county government has been forced to operate from rental offices for the past ten years.

Locals said the project will help the county save money that goes into paying rent every month. They also indicated that residents will not waste time and money trying to locate some of the county offices.

“The project is good because it will house all departments and will ease the burden of residents visiting different offices in different locations. It will also speed up the process of getting services and therefore we support the project fully and we hope it will be completed within the stipulated time,” said Ali Omari, a resident.

“Most of the rented county offices are far away from the county headquarters and are not cost-effective because they have just one department or two and gobble taxpayers' money."

Stanley Atito, representative of People Living With Disability in Shirere Ward welcomed the project but challenged the county government to ensure the building has structures and equipment that will enable the disabled to have easy access.

“As disabled people, we have accepted the project and we want the county government and the contractor to ensure people with disability do not struggle to enter the offices.

"We want the building to have a lift so we can access services easily,” said Atito.

The current facility serving as the county headquarters belonged to the Kakamega Municipal Council. It was built 50 years ago.

Lawrence Omuhaka, the Executive Committee Member for public service said that they invited residents to give their views on the suitable place to construct county headquarters since they are directly affected by the plan which involves public funds.