The County Government of Kakamega has initiated a project to upgrade infrastructure in the Amalemba and Kambi Somali slums within Kakamega town.

The Kenya Informal Settlement Improvement Project (KISIP), a Kes.116 million initiative funded by the World Bank, will be utilized for upgrading roads, repairing sewer lines, installing security lights, and facilitating access to water.

Governor Fernandes Barasa, who launched the project, expressed gratitude to the World Bank and the French Development Agency (AFD). He urged KISIP to develop modalities for ensuring that those residing in the project area receive title deeds.

“KISIP has assured us that those who own land at Kambi Somali and Amalemba will get title deeds, so that they can be proud owners of the land,” Barasa said.

He welcomed the project, highlighting that it experienced delays in commencing during two proposal attempts in 2013 and 2017.

“I urge the contractor to involve residents in the construction work during the project phase,” he added.

Governor Barasa stated that the project coincides with the County’s implementation of 10-kilometre-per-ward road construction projects, amounting to over Sh. 600 million for the County government.

The program is also in line with the county’s shelter improvement initiative, encompassing the construction of 360 low-cost, decent houses every Financial Year.

“I thank all political leaders with whom we work closely. We can achieve more by empowering our people if we stick together,” he said.

Governor Barasa urged the National government to recognize that counties require funds to sustain their operations and provide services to residents.

“As counties, we request the National government to release the equitable share of Kes.450 billion to support counties in implementing development projects. We rejected the proposal from the National Treasury of Kes.391 billion because it does not represent the increase in revenue collection, increase in inflation, or the cost of living,” he explained.

Engineer Joash Wende, the KISIP Regional Representative, stated that Kakamega is one of the 28 counties benefiting from the Kenya Informal Settlement Improvement Project. The project aims to enhance the living standards of people residing in slums.

“The arrangement is always that the County identifies the projects to be done, and they propose them to the funding agency through the National government since the fund is meant for the County government, but through the National government,” he said.

“These improvements are meant for common Mwananchi who lack the necessary facilities and infrastructure, so it is a good opportunity for all of us to benefit,” he added.

Engineer Wende urged community members to collaborate with the contractors, consultants, and the County government to ensure the successful implementation of the project.

“The project has timelines to complete, it has standards for quality, and it also has standards for safety. We don’t want to hear about issues of the project, causing damages, injuries, or some harm to people or the environment,” he said.

The engineer pointed out that the County Project Implementation Coordination Team and the Settlement Executive Committee (SEC) will be on standby to supervise and monitor the progress of the project.