Elections 2017

Lifeline for Sh4.5 billion KUP as financier appoints new management team

There is light at the end of the tunnel for the Sh4.5 billion Kisumu Urban Project after financiers appointed a new management team.

The technical advisory team which is set to begin work tomorrow will be tasked with overseeing the completion of the project which had stalled.

Major projects which have failed to kick off in the programme include the Sh800 million sanitary landfill, and Sh770 million Kibuye, Jubilee and Otonglo markets.

The delays have been occasioned by discussions between stakeholders on the modalities of implementing the markets and identifying a landfill site.

Yesterday, County Director of Communication Aloice Ager said the project's timeline will have one-year extension.

“The previous team had its term expire, but they had done most of the work which includes designing of the projects and awarding of contracts. The new team will mainly validate the designs and contracts, and authorise financiers for no-objection, and fast-track the implementation,” said Ager.

The project funded by the French government through a loan advanced to Kenya by the French Development Agency commenced over 10 years ago.

The county government, through Kisumu City Management, has been the implementing partner of the project, which had more than 26 projects initiated, from hospitals, roads, social halls, schools, and lighting.

Since conceptualisation in 2006, the project has faced teething challenges.

Last year, the project’s bank accounts were frozen after the Director of Criminal Investigations launched investigations into suspected fraud following reports that some money had been wired through a wrong account.

Also, traders at Kibuye and Otonglo had declined to move to pave way for the modernisation of the market.

The landfill project has also hit a dead end twice after the Civil Aviation Authority and the National Environmental Management Authority rejected proposed sites in Muhoroni saying they were on the flight path.