Residents upbeat as Ruto opens cement factory in West Pokot

President William Ruto presides over the commissioning of Cemtech Limited Clinker Plant in Sebit, West Pokot County. [PCS]

President William Ruto presided over the inauguration of Sebit Cement factory on Monday, a landmark project that is expected to stimulate economic transformation in West Pokot county.

Cemtech Sebit Clinkerization plant is set to open opportunities for residents in the county perceived to have been marginalised for years.

Residents are optimistic their fortunes will change through the project.

President Ruto led top government officials, local leaders and the residents during the commissioning of the cement factory.

Commissioning of the factory symbolized a significant leap towards harnessing the region's abundant natural resources.

Nestled in the picturesque landscapes of West Pokot County, the Sebit Cement factory stands as a testament to progress and development.

With its cutting-edge infrastructure and advanced technology, the factory promises to revolutionise Kenya's construction sector, offering employment opportunities and driving socio-economic development in the North Rift and beyond.

President Ruto hailed the commissioning of the factory as a pivotal moment for Kenya's industrial landscape.

"Devki's investment of Sh150 billion over five years demonstrates a commitment to changing lives and bolstering national development," he said.

Ruto said the factory will directly employ 11,000 individuals and indirectly benefit 40,000 residents.

"Increased revenue and savings of up to 24 billion shillings annually on taxes, will significantly contribute to Kenya's economic growth," he said.

He urged entrepreneurs to invest in the country, highlighting the high potential for massive economic transformation in West Pokot County and beyond.

Governor Simon Kachapin echoed Ruto's sentiments, hailing the factory's inauguration as a historic moment for the county.

"Sebit Cement factory signals our commitment to fostering industrial growth and a chance to exploit our natural resources for sustainable development to boost standards of living," he said.

Kachapin lauded Sebit Cement Chief Executive Officer Narendra Raval's pledge to support initiatives such as livestock branding and tracking to combat cattle rustling, showcasing the project's holistic approach to community development.

Raval expressed confidence in the factory's potential to drive growth and empowerment in the county.

"We are proud to spearhead this transformative initiative, aiming to create opportunities for growth and prosperity while advancing Kenya's economic agenda," he said. 

He assured of the company's commitment to environmental conservation and revealed plans to construct a clinker factory in Kitui County by 2027.

Residents greeted the commissioning with enthusiasm, anticipating the positive impact on their livelihoods.

Jane Chepkoech, a Sebit resident, expressed hope for a brighter future saying: "This project brings hope for our community's development. We eagerly anticipate to see the benefits it will bring."

The commissioning of Sebit Cement factory underscores the government's dedication to promoting industrialisation and inclusive growth across Kenya. By leveraging the region's resources, the project aims to unlock opportunities for sustainable development and prosperity.

Raval, flanked by local leaders, unveiled the plaque commemorating the factory's inauguration.

The factory's projected annual output of 2.0 million tonnes of clinker will not only meet Kenya's demand but also serve Eastern African markets, further bolstering regional economic integration.

Present were Cabinet Secretaries Rebecca Miano (Investments, Trade and Industry), Salim Muvrya (Mining), Kipchumba Murkomen (Transport), Davis Chirchir (Energy), Principal Secretaries, lawmakers, ward representatives and the visiting Uganda Cabinet Minister, Peter Lokeris among others.