By KEPHER OTIENO
Several buildings have been earmarked for demolition in Kisumu town, as the municipal council embarks on a major facelift of the town.
The Government has released Sh15 million for the beautification of the lakeside city ahead of the opening of Kisumu International Airport in May.
Environment PS Ali Mohammed, who toured the town, said Sh15 million had been set a side to improve the city’s physical outlook.
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"The cash is to be spent on greening project and we expect the authority to plant more trees to beautify the town," said Mohammed.
He spoke as the municipal council continued to mark more buildings that are underutilised or condemned as inhabitable for demolition.
Already, more than 42, such buildings have been identified and owners given a 90-day notice to rebuild them or they be pulled down.
12 more targeted
On Tuesday, the town’s structural engineer Adrian Ouma confirmed that 12 more dilapidated buildings in Kisumu’s Central Business District would have to come down.
By last weekend, the authority had identified 30 buildings. They took the buildings’ pictures for justification.
"This is a serious exercise, which will have to be implemented to the latter," said Mr Ouma.
The facelift plan also includes repossession of idle plots that have taken ages before being developed as well as idle commercial enterprises.
Ouma told The Standard during an inspection of the buildings in the CBD they had also issued notices to landlords to paint their premises.
"We want to give Kisumu city a new face and it’s our sheer determination. With good co-operation from locals we shall achieve our target," he said.
They also want all business premises with old paint to be repainted white. "We want a uniform white colour because of the town’s hot temperatures, so that we can have a cooling effect. All window panes should also be tainted blue and we recommend sliding window panes," said Ouma.
The engineer said they had already held discussions with a number of businessmen who had started to comply with the council’s notice to avoid being penalised.
Kisumu mayor Sam Okello said the ultimate aim of the project was to facelift the business hub of East Africa. Okello appealed to owners of buildings affected to move fast and comply with the municipal council’s demolition and repair notices.
He spoke as Ouma said the authority was ready to approve the new building plans within a week to facilitate fresh buildings.