ELEVATION

Wamatangi: We require Sh10bn to make Thika a smart city

Once regarded as the industrial town of the country, this will be the first city in the Mt Kenya region

In Summary
  • In collaboration with the national administration, the county will allocate Sh1 billion annually for the project, which will be undertaken on the 690 acres ceded by Del Monte company
  • However, the governor said the process faces opposition by critics, including politicians
Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi addressing the press during a stakeholders’ forum on elevating Thika town into a smart city on Thursday
Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi addressing the press during a stakeholders’ forum on elevating Thika town into a smart city on Thursday
Image: KNA

Elevating Thika town into a smart city will require Sh10 billion, Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi has said as the process kicked off.

The amount will be used to initiate a raft of development projects crucial to ensure the town matches city status.

Once regarded as the industrial town of the country, Thika will be the first city in the Mt Kenya region.

Wamatangi said in collaboration with the national administration, the county will allocate Sh1 billion annually for the project, which will be undertaken on the 690 acres ceded by Del Monte Fruit Processing company.

Nonetheless, the governor said, the process faces opposition by critics, including politicians.

 “It is not going to be an easy walk; we must accommodate the wishes and aspirations of our people. There have been claims that people will be evicted but I can assure you that no-one will be kicked out of their homes,” he said.

Wamatangi spoke during a public engagement forum in Thika town yesterday.

The forum was attended by MCAs Kennedy Mwangi (Township), John Njiru (Hospital), Peter Mburu (Kamenu) and Jackson Kung'u (Gatuanyaga).

They called for involvement of all stakeholders in the project.

Among the projects include Sh5.7 billion for water piping which is being implemented in partnership with the national government.

Another Sh500 million will cater for walkways and non-motorised transport.

Others are the installation of 2,500 solar streetlights and the duelling of the Thika-Kolpin section of the Garissa road by Kenha, to ease congestion.

The county is also implementing Sh256 million worth of infrastructure projects under the Kenya Urban Support Program while the Thika Stadium is being modernised at a cost of Sh250 million to provide a world-class venue for events.

Major markets including Madaraka, Jamhuri and Kiganjo have also been earmarked for enhancements with Sh1 billion injected for the trading hubs.

Plans are also underway to move the Thika GK Prison from the CBD to the outskirts of the town, with the Governor disclosing 30 acres will be allocated for the relocation.

Future projects include a proposed airstrip at Del Monte, a Sh2 billion light rail system, establishment of ICT and tech hubs and the modernisation of hospitals and ECDE centres.

Already, committees have been put in place to midwife the elevation into an industrial smart city. 

This will culminate with President William Ruto conferring it with a charter.

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