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January 18, 2019

We'll resign if we don't transform Nairobi, Sonko team tells Uhuru

President Uhuru Kenyatta and members of the Nairobi regeneration team during their meeting at State House in Nairobi, April 13, 2018. /PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta and members of the Nairobi regeneration team during their meeting at State House in Nairobi, April 13, 2018. /PSCU

The team behind the Nairobi regeneration project has set ambitious goals and promised that officers will resign if they don't deliver.

The team includes national and county leaders and is co-chaired by Governor Mike Sonko and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala.

Officials leading specific delivery programmes have committed to resigning if targets are not met.

Cabinet and Principal secretaries working on the project will hand in their resignations to the President while County Executive Committee (CEC) members will give theirs to the Governor.

They made this promise during their meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House on Friday, when they briefed him on their commitments.

The officials briefed the President on ambitious timelines for the delivery of key services, ranging from garbage collection to launching a mortgage refinancing company.

They said garbage will be cleared from all 85 wards in Nairobi within 30 days and that a Nairobi River clean-up will be launched.

Read: Sonko banks on new funding strategy to tackle city garbage

Also read: We’ll rise or perish together, Sonko tells city matatu owners over rules

More ambitiously, the members said they will oversee the launch of the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company, which is at the heart of delivering affordable housing.

Affordable housing is in the President's Big Four agenda of putting a roof over more people's heads, availing healthcare, ensuring no one goes hungry and creating jobs through increased manufacturing.

Nairobi alone is projected to provide 200,000 new affordable houses under this programme.

Agreements with financial institutions on funding 100,000 units will be signed in 90 days, Sonko's team said.

The team also said the automation of bus termini systems, the launch of the Thika road Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) and set up of the Nairobi traffic management committee will take place in a month.

Read: State introduces dedicated lane for PSV buses plying Thika Road

The team further set a three-month target for equipping high-volume health centres and improving trauma services at Mbagathi and Mama Lucy hospitals to ease pressure on Kenyatta National Hospital.

The President said he made an incognito visit to KNH, which bears his name, and was displeased by the intense pressure it suffers.

"More accident and emergency centres are required. You have to get these centres working,” he told the team.

The team added that the launch of car-free days in Nairobi and youth market days in 17 sub-counties will be accomplished in three months.

Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita will oversee the regeneration on the President's behalf.

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