• The project is funded by the World Bank through the Kenya Urban Support Programme.
• It seeks to transform Murang'a town while creating an enabling environment for business.
Murang’a town has had a major facelift after its municipal board tarmacked three streets for Sh50 million.
The backstreets were previously rough and dusty. The upgraded drive is meant to provide an environment conducive to business.
The board's infrastructure committee chairperson Judy Maina said the project will make it possible for traders to open businesses along the backstreets as they will ease the movement of people and goods.
She said many businesses were struggling because of inaccessibility, which, in turn, reduced the amount of revenue collected by the county government.
The roads also connect residents to several government offices such as Kenya Power and the Lands registry that attract high numbers of people. They, therefore, improve access to services.
“We settled on the project after engaging locals in public participation forums in which they aired their priority needs,” Maina said.
The board will also create more parking lots to ease congestion in the town. Also to be undertaken is a beautification programme through which it will instal streetlights and create recreational parks while zoning trading areas for hawkers.
“We have areas in Mukuyu shopping centre that are appropriate for such traders and we will zone them so that we can create order in the town,” Maina said.
As part of its strategic plan, the board will establish parking areas for public service vehicles and tuktuks.
Sammy Njogu, the municipal manager, said the projects are being funded through Kenya Urban Support Programme.
A social hall and an early childhood development and education centre at Mukuyu have also been renovated. Walkways will also be created at a cost of Sh20 million.
Njogu said construction works will be completed in a few days and will provide an enabling environment for business while improving the appearance of the town.
Judy Makira, board vice chairperson, said they have effected immense development and completely transformed the town within a short time.
“We have tarmacked streets that people thought would never be upgraded,” she said, calling on traders to take advantage of the new roads to expand their businesses.
She said they are in discussions with the Murang’a University of Technology on how to partner to grow the municipality and thus appealed to more partners to come on board.
“Soon, we will have parks complete with Wi-Fi and all our streets will be lit up."
Makira lauded the county government for its support for the projects. The board was inaugurated in February 2019 by Governor Mwangi wa Iria. Soon after, it upgraded two backstreets, established a walkway and upgraded the Mukuyu market matatu terminus.
In September last year, a delegation from Upplands-Bro, a Swedish town, visited Murang'a in a partnership that will see twin projects established in the two municipalities.
Representatives of the board had also visited the Swedish town in October 2019 to benchmark on its governance system.
The partnership will see Murang’a municipality benefit from technology transfer given the advanced state of infrastructure in Upplands-Bro.
Edited by F'Orieny