Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong'o has sought to explain why he skipped Azimio la Umoja Coalition rally that was held at Kamukunji grounds early this week.
The county chief was instead spotted at State House, Nairobi with Ruto, raising eyebrows over his mission.
The governor said he was pursuing a multi-billion project that will be implemented in Kisumu and had been called for an urgent meeting with the president and the visiting UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.
According to Nyong'o, he needed President Ruto’s goodwill for the multi-billion climate change and smart agriculture project which will be implemented in his devolved unit.
The project supported by the UK government is set to cost Sh30 billion and will entail activities aimed towards climate change in Kisumu. Its implementation, however, require political goodwill from the national government too.
“We discussed the Sh30 billion United Green project coming to Kisumu and how we can pull our resources and synergies to mitigate the effects of climate change,” he said.
Nyong’o made the clarifications during the swearing in of his county executive committee members.
The deal comes at a time when Kenya is set to benefit from Sh500 billion in climate finance through a partnership signed with the UK.
This was agreed upon during a meeting between UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Ruto at the COP27 climate summit in Sharm-el-Sheik, Egypt.
Proceeds will fast-track green energy, agriculture, and transport sectors funding, which will go a long way in mitigating the effects of climate change.
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Sunak praised Kenya’s pioneering climate leadership and urged President Ruto to continue championing clean growth when Ruto visited the UK recently.
In a five-year UK-Kenya Strategic Partnership, the project will unlock mutual benefits for the UK and Kenya.
Early this year, Kisumu inked the deal when they signed a pact aimed at providing local farmers with sustainable agricultural technologies and agro-industrial projects.
They will be undertaken jointly by Kisumu County Government and United Green Group, with support from the national government.
Through the programme, 100,000 hectares of primary farms will be integrated to create smallholder farmer schemes with the aim of increasing productivity.
The project also aims to create over 25,000 jobs across counties within the lake basin.