Konza city dream takes shape as utility agencies hit the ground

Konza Techno City acting CEO Catherine Adeya and Dr Sammy Musyoka of the University of Nairobi School of Engineering at one of the beacons unveiled on Thursday. [PHOTO: TABITHA OTWORI/STANDARD]

Kenya’s journey to a regional technology hub is beginning to take shape with utility companies starting to lay infrastructure at the site of the proposed Konza technology city.

The Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) on Thursday said utility firms and roads authority have started putting in place infrastructure. The move could boost investor confidence in the proposed city. In the recent past, there have been reports of alleged corruption in the acquisition of the land as well as border disputes between Machakos and Makueni county governments over whose jurisdiction the city would fall once in place.

Kenya Power has started laying electricity transmission lines while the Kenya Urban Roads Authority is also commencing building roads within the city.

Catherine Adeya the acting chief executive officer of KoTDA said the Authority has engaged contractors to put up preliminary infrastructure works, such as equipping of boreholes, power supply and road construction to ease and facilitate development of the technopolis.

The Authority also unveiled a digital map of Konza with demarcations that will make it easy for investors to pinpoint land for development. This is expected to make it easier for investors to identify sites without the services of the conventional surveyors. All these will be possible through the use of a phone application.

According to Adeya, the application, which was developed by a team from University of Nairobi, will be used for pointing out boundaries, inspection, ground truthing and field checks.

Attract investors
It will be available for downloading into any ordinary smartphone linking it direct to servers with Konza city land marks and plots. Adeya said the new technology will help investors make substantial savings and provide greater efficiency in their investment choices.

“As an authority we have decided to employ the latest technology for this world class project, our investors will be able to monitor available parcels of land available for development from anywhere in the world just by using their mobile phones. This will save them money, time and lock out potential land fraudsters,” said Adeya.

She was speaking at the Commissioning of the Cadastral Survey of the proposed Konza city project in Konza.

She added that the Cadastral survey was carried out in line with the recommendation of the Master Delivery Planner, a consortium of international and local firms engaged by the International Finance Corporation and KoTDA’s parent Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology to prepare the master plan alongside a business plan.

Konza city has been earmarked by the government as a pioneer city for technology development in the region. It is expected to provide thousands of employment opportunities when it eventually becomes a reality. Although the project has been beset with hiccups in recent months, this latest efforts to attract investors will be crucial in underlining the project’s importance as a priority area among various stakeholders.

According to Adeya, the completion of the survey will give the multi-billion vision 2030 flagship project a basis on which to start work on project planning, design, construction and operation. “We shall now use the outcome of the survey and its technological satellite support to guide work on the infrastructure necessary to make Phase 1 a reality,” she said.