Homa Bay gets World Bank approval for housing project

Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga receives EDGE certificate from the National Housing Corporation Managing Director David Mathu in Homa Bay town on October 4, 2023.[James Omoro, Standard]

The Homa Bay National Housing Corporation (NHC) Affordable Housing Programme project has received international approval for its environmentally friendly building strategies.

The project being undertaken by NHC, which is the lead implementer of the government's Affordable Housing Programme projects, has been awarded the Edge certification by the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group.

This accomplishment is as a result of a collaborative effort with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) who supported the certification process through their IFC-Edge programme.

NHC Managing Director David Mathu said the Homa Bay project has been designed with a strong focus on sustainability, and its design choices have been rigorously assessed.

Predicted outcomes include energy savings ranging from 27-30 per cent, water savings of 32- 37 per cent, and embodied energy savings of 52- 62 per cent.

These statistics demonstrate a strong commitment to resource efficiency and environmental responsibility.

"This certification represents more than just a badge of honor; it signifies an exceptional level of environmental performance that will make a lasting impact on both the residents of the housing development and the broader community," said Mr Mathu, a quantity surveyor.

"The Homa Bay Affordable Housing Project is setting a new standard for sustainable urban development in Kenya."

Edge is a green building certification system focused on making buildings more resource-efficient.

The certification system enables developers and builders to quickly identify the most cost-effective strategies to reduce energy use, water use and embodied carbon in materials.

"This certification is not just a testament to the dedication and hard work of all those involved in this project, but it also signifies a significant step towards sustainable, affordable housing in Homa Bay," Mathu added.

"We are excited to share this accomplishment with the community and the world as we continue to strive for excellence in sustainable housing solutions.

"Together, we can build a brighter, greener, and more sustainable future for Homa Bay and beyond."

Climate resilient

Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga said the Homa Bay AHP project is the first in Africa to get the Edge certification.

"This means sustainability and comfort of the people who will be occupying the houses. This project is changing the county and this is the kind of transformation that is changing our county," she said.

"Our policy and legislative framework on climate change calls for development of climate resilient housing in the county. The implementation of AHP contributes to the realisation of this policy position.

"The Edge certification confirms that we are not only providing solutions to the housing issues but we are doing so in a sustainable way."

NHC has trained at least 35 of its staff on the IFC-Edge certification who have been well equipped to advance the benefits to other projects being undertaken by the Corporation to ensure they are environmentally friendly, well designed and professionally implemented.

"This event is also not only to celebrate this remarkable accomplishment but also serves as an inspiration for other projects especially those that have already commenced in Embu, Kirinyaga and Nyandarua counties to follow suit and prioritise sustainability in their designs and execution," the managing director said.