Inside Sonko’s Sh31.5bn budget to tackle problems facing Nairobi

City hall. Photo/Monicah Mwangi
City hall. Photo/Monicah Mwangi

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko plans to transform the city and tackle the problems residents face.

Sonko has outlined multi-million shillings projects his administration intends to roll out next financial year. This is in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda.

The President’s Big Four are affordable housing, universal healthcare, food security and manufacturing.

In the County Fiscal Strategy Paper for 2019-20, the county proposes to spend Sh31.5 billion. Of the budget, Sh8.7 billion will be spent on development.

A huge chunk of the development allocation will be used to expand and equip county health facilities, construct residential houses, expand roads and improve water and sewerage infrastructure.

The plan comes against the backdrop of intense criticism of the governor over his below-par performance in the first year in office.

During his swearing-in in 2017, Sonko promised to ‘fix’ Nairobi’s problems within 100 days in office. That included ending traffic snarl-ups, garbage crisis and poor roads.

But more than one and half years later, the city is still grappling with the same challenges.

Sonko’s administration has also proposed to allocate Sh6.8 billion to health.

Of this, Sh5 billion will be spent on staff salaries. The county has more than 100 health facilities.

Some Sh874 million will buy drugs and medical equipment to end the frequent shortage in public hospitals.

Expansion of hospitals, including the refurbishing of Pumwani Maternity Hospital and completion of the 300-bed facility at Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital will gobble up Sh334 million.

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“The county is leading the way to make the universal health coverage a reality through rapid health infrastructure expansion, acquisition of specialised equipment and capacity building,” the paper reads.

On housing, the administration plans to build 100,000 housing units in the medium term. Of the number 10,000 are expected to be constructed in 2019-20.

The houses will be constructed under the Urban Renewal Programme. It entails the regeneration of old city estates. The programme is a joint venture between the county government and private investors.

Seven estates are set to be redeveloped. They are Old Ngara, Jevanjee, New Ngara, Suna Road, Uhuru, Pangani and Ngong Road.

The national government plans to construct 500,000 in four years, with counties expected to put 45,000 in four years.

“To enable the urban renewal sector to effectively spearhead the envisaged urban renewal programme, Sh861 million will be allocated for development expenditure,” the report reads.

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The county has proposed to allocate Sh1.9 billion to address the garbage, persistent water shortage and sewerage problems.

Of the amount, Sh839 million will hire contractors, and service and fuel garbage trucks.

“To improve access to water and sanitation services the sector will seek to increase water supply by drilling boreholes and extension of water systems,” the document reads.

To improve the poor state of roads, the administration has proposed to allocate Sh1.8 billion.

The county will construct walkways, complete ongoing road projects, improve traffic management facilities and develop parking areas.