President Uhuru Kenyatta’s development tour of Luo Nyanza this week benefits South Nyanza very little compared to Central Nyanza.
According to details of the president’s interim itinerary, as prepared by the President’s Delivery Unit on Wednesday, Mr. Kenyatta will launch massive projects in Kisumu – and Siaya (Central).
On the other hand, Migori and Homa Bay (South) will receive fewer benefits.
This fact now rekindles the longstanding rivalry between the south and central (Luo) Nyanza. Arguably, Kisumu and Siaya counties have ruled their southern counterparts since time immemorial, which is largely thanks to the political dominance of the Odinga dynasty and its cronies.
Save for the trans-county projects like roads and ports, Mr. Kenyatta will inspect and commission 11 massive projects in Kisumu county alone. Siaya will receive three projects. This gives Central (Luo) Nyanza a total of 14 massive life-changing projects in their basket. On the other hand, Migori and Homa Bay combined will benefit from just five (5) projects.
Starting Friday, the Commander-in-Chief will inspect and commission the rehabilitated and revitalized Nakuru – Kisumu Meter Gauge Railway Line. The project is composed of the Kisumu Inland Container Depot – in Kibos, Kisumu Passenger Train Terminus, Uhuru Railway Renaissance Centre, and the Kisumu-Butere line.
He will lead the ground-breaking ceremony of the Ksh25 billion Koru-Soin Dam. The dam will, in part, help in solving the flood menace in the region. He will also inspect the Construction of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at the Miwani Complex.
Mr. Kenyatta will also commission the Kisumu Port Revitalization Project, whose key components are, the Kisumu Port, MV Uhuru, Shipyard, Kenya Pipeline Low Loading Jetty, and Four Feeder ports – Asembo Bay, Kendu Bay, Homabay, and Sio Port.
There will also be the commissioning of the Ksh476 million Marine School.
Other development projects within Kisumu will include the commissioning of the Ksh4.2 Billion Lake Basin Mall, the Ksh9.4 Billion Sirare Corridor Lot 2 (Ahero – Kisii) road, and the upgrading to bitumen standard of the 19.5kilometer Katito- Awasi road; Ksh600 Million towards the acquisition of land to enable tendering and commencement of works between Mamboleo-Airport in readiness for AfriCities Conference.
Commissioning of the Ksh600 million Uhuru Business Park and Market Complex, an inspection of works at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sports Grounds, and the construction of the Ksh135 Billion EAC Lake Victoria Basin Commission Headquarters.
In Siaya, ODM chief Raila Odinga’s home county, the president will commission the Ksh2.2 Billion Siaya – Bondo Water and Sanitation Project and launch the Last Mile Electricity Connectivity at a cost of Ksh227 million. There is also the Kodiaga- Nyangweso – Wagai – Onyinyore/Akala road at Ksh1.5 billion.
For Migori county, the Head of State will commission just two projects on Wednesday next week. The 75-kilometre Isebania-Ikerege-Kehancha -Ntimaru-Gwitembe-Ang’ata-Lolgorian road. Also, the president will initiate deliberate steps to ensure the South Nyanza Sugar Company (SONY) is revitalized – a loan of Ksh100 million is to be negotiated from the National Bank and a grant worth Ksh250 million from the Kenya Sugar Board.
Then on Sunday, Mr. Kenyatta will be in Homa Bay County to grant a charter to young Tom Mboya University College and commission the Construction of the Ksh335million Administration and Tuition Block Project. At the same institution, he will “inspect and appreciate the progress of works” on the Ksh985.7 million construction of four amphitheaters and a six-story building.
He will then launch the Ksh2.5 Billion Mbita – Sindo – Kiabuya – Karungu road and inspect the dredging of Mbita causeway.
In the Jubilee administration, Central Nyanza has produced two Cabinet members, namely; Raphael Tuju and Rachael Omamo, whereas the South has none – only the CAS for Industrialization David Osiany, which is a recent appointment.
Benjamin Awuor, a farmer in Homa Bay county, told the 47 Reporters that the president’s tour would have focused more on crop farming and tourism.
“I am happy to hear that he has plans for the revitalization of SONY. However, the main economic mainstay of Homa Bay is crop farming. For instance, our sweet potatoes are consumed in the UK by the royal family. It would have been better if deliberate steps were to be taken to encourage more people into farming. The train and satellite ports, like the one in Kendu bay, will not benefit us if we have no goods to transport.
Also, our county has great unexplored tourism potential. Why are these not being talked about?” he wondered.