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LAKEFRONT PROJECT

Agency rolls out plan to make Kisumu city face Lake Victoria

A 26km promenade to be built from Camp David to Dunga Beach to showcase beauty of the lake.

In Summary
  • The project will be undertaken through a joint venture by the Kisumu Lakefront Development Corporation and Kenya Urban Roads Authority.
  • Sh25 million seed fund has been allocated by Governor Anyang Nyong’o’s administration to kick-start the project.
The Yatch Club along Lake Victoria in Kisumu
SCENIC: The Yatch Club along Lake Victoria in Kisumu
Image: MAURICE ALAL
Kisumu Lakefront Development Corporation chairman Edward Ouko with Kisumu deputy governor Mathews Owili at Yatch Club along Lake Victoria on Saturday, September 5, 2020
Kisumu Lakefront Development Corporation chairman Edward Ouko with Kisumu deputy governor Mathews Owili at Yatch Club along Lake Victoria on Saturday, September 5, 2020
Image: MAURICE ALAL

 

The Kisumu government will build a 26km promenade along Lake Victoria as the county starts the process of making the city face the lake in a bid to attract investments.

The project will be undertaken through a joint venture by the Kisumu Lakefront Development Corporation and Kenya Urban Roads Authority.

 

The walkway from Camp David to Dunga beach is expected to open up the lakefront for development projects.

Former auditor general Edward Ouko, who chairs the corporation, said a Sh25 million seed fund has been allocated by Governor Anyang Nyong’o’s administration to kick-start the project.

The fund, he said, will be a gateway to various development projects to be initiated along the lake.

“The promenade will promote walking along the lake, cycling and regulated driving to showcase the beauty of Lake Victoria and available economic opportunities to attract investments,” Ouko said.

He said the lake has not been fully utilised to realise maximum revenue generation. Ouko spoke during a reconnaissance boat ride along the lake on Saturday.

Kisumu deputy governor Mathews Owili, Lake Basin Development Authority MD Raymond Omollo, city manager Doris Ombara, and Lake Region Economic Bloc CEO Abala Wanga were present.

Already, the corporation has lined up various projects to be developed along the lakefront. They include the establishment of a marina at Dunga where plans are underway to acquire land for the building of high-rise buildings and skyscrapers facing the lake.

 

The corporation also plans to develop a harbour where big passenger vessels and boats will dock.

Others are the ecotourism area around Hippo Point, fish landing sites and fish processing plants, an 18-hole professional golf course, a public beach, and a port.

The already revamped Sh3 billion Kisumu port is another boost to the city's lakefront project. President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to launch the port next month.

The Nakuru-Kisumu railway line is also under rehabilitation at a cost Sh3.8 billion. The railway is expected to boost business activities and regional trade.

Ouko said they have also mapped out specific areas for the construction of posh hotels within the lakefront.

“We have a number of investors who have shown interest to be given space for development,” he said.

It is highly anticipated that the projects will open the economic potential of Lake Victoria as well as the tourism sector.

Ouko said the projects will boost regional trade, create job opportunities, and foster socio-economic development in Kisumu and neighbouring counties.

He said they were working with the National Land Commission to identify areas for the realisation of the lakefront project.

However, they will not demolish existing structures but will instead integrate them into the project plan.

“We will have designs to ensure new projects go over or under the existing infrastructure. Such buildings are very important," Ouko said.

Kisumu Lakefront Development Corporation chairman Edward Ouko with deputy governor Mathews Owili looks at lakefront development plan during a reconnaissance boat ride along Lake Victoria
Kisumu Lakefront Development Corporation chairman Edward Ouko with deputy governor Mathews Owili looks at lakefront development plan during a reconnaissance boat ride along Lake Victoria
Image: MAURICE ALAL

Owili said making Kisumu city to face the lake will boost the tourism sector and open various economic developments in the region.

He said they are banking on an aggressive approach to strengthen the maritime economy by increasing investments along the lakefront.

“This will provide linkages and open up the lakefront for commerce and business opportunities,” the deputy governor said.

The county, he said, with development partners has designated plans to have the city face the lake under a multifaceted land use programme that is economically viable.

“The past few years have seen Kisumu emerge as an investment capital within the region. This has seen the national government embark on key projects to boost its economy and fully realise Lake Victoria's potential,” Owili said.

He said the county has strengthened bilateral ties to boost economic growth and leverage economies of scale within Lake Victoria and the East Africa Community following the renewed focus on regional development.

Nyong’o gazetted KLDC as a special purpose agency to drive the development of Kisumu lakefront. It is mandated to spearhead the development of eight thematic zones along the lakefront.

The zones will be key to urban renewal to develop Kisumu into a resort city with modern hotels, a waterfront, public beaches, and tourism facilities.

 

Edited by P.O