The fate of a major affordable housing project in Kakamega County hangs in the balance after failing to take off as earlier planned.
Former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya launched the Sh8 billion project in July 2022 at Mudiri estate on the outskirts of Kakamega town where the current county administration intends to construct the new county headquarters.
The ambitious housing project was to be implemented by the county government in partnership with a private construction company, Pinnie Agency Ltd. At least 3,000 housing units were to be constructed in Kakamega and Mumias towns.
The houses were to be sold to public servants at the county and national levels at affordable prices, while some would be sold to members of the public.
The County Public Service and Administration Executive Committee Lawrence Omuhaka during public participation held at Kakamega County Social Hall on the proposed construction of county headquarters disclosed that the new project will be constructed on 5.2 acres at Mudiri estate.
He confirmed that Mudiri was among estates in Kakamega town where the affordable housing units were supposed to be built but the initiative delayed due to issues he was reluctant to mention.
Mr Omuhaka said they were now focused on constructing the county headquarters office at Mudiri instead of leaving the estate to continue lying idle.
According to him, the county will identify another piece of land for the housing project if need be.
"I cannot share the details of what befell the housing project but what I can say is that the project has taken long and the county offices project cannot wait and will be set up at the site where the housing units were supposed to be built," said Omuhaka.
"There is more public land where other projects will be established by the county administration because as a government we cannot let any project stall and fail to kick off completely," he said.
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Omuhaka said the housing project will remain on the county government’s development plan because it is one of the key projects meant to elevate Kakamega into a city.
During the launch of the housing project last year, the developer signed a joint venture agreement with Kakamega County Investment and Development Agency (KCIDA), paving the way for the implementation of the project.
KCIDA was established by an Act of the County Assembly of Kakamega in 2018 and mandated to identify development partners to promote investment across the county.
The project was to be implemented in three phases.
Chairman of the Public Service and Administration Committee in Kakamega County Assembly Willis Opuka urged both county and national governments to complete mega projects they initiate for the benefit of residents.
"We are going to ensure every programme initiated by the county government is completed," said Opuka.