Once described as a the dusty border town of Naivasha, Mai Mahiu trading centre has now turned into a business hub thanks to the recently gazetted Special Economic Zone.
From once hosting truck drivers and sex workers, the town, located 30kms from Naivasha town is now home to Inland Container Depot, SGR terminus and the multi-billion-shilling industrial park.
All these are located within 1,000 acres of Kedong ranch off the Maai Mahiu-Narok road with the Inland Depot Container already complete.
Support new hub
With completion of the depot, attention is now shifting to businesses that will support the new hub with all cargo to Uganda and beyond set to be collected from the town.
While launching operations around the Sh6.9 billion facility earlier in the week, James Macharia, the CS for Transport, said thousands of jobs would be created in the coming months.
The CS defended the cost of transportation noting that shippers would save up to 450 dollars through the modern railway, with four cargo trains expected daily at the depot.
“Under SGR, we have reduced the distance from Mombasa to Malaba by 600 kilometres while it will take 10 hours from 48 hours for cargo to arrive at the ICD in Maai Mahiu,” he said.
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui said the county was keen to address supporting infrastructure like hospitals and planned trading centres that would accommodate travellers.
To this end, he announced the suspension of land sub-division between Maai Mahiu and Naivasha towns in order to stop the mushrooming of informal settlements in and around the town.
“We have suspended the sub-division of land between Maai Mahiu and Naivasha town until we have a master-plan that will control the construction of structures,” he said.
And before the dust settles, Danish Brewing Company EA which brews Tuborg, Carlsberg, Holsten, and Kronenbourg, as well as Somersby Cider brands is set to put up a Sh4.5 billion plant at the industrial park.