Kerugoya Kutus Municipality in Kirinyaga County has received a major facelift through Sh142 million urban support program undertaken by the Governor Anne Waiguru's government.
The facelift program involved the construction of car parks, improvement of town streets, and non-motorable ways as well as improving the drainage system in the municipality.
The improvement project was implemented under the Kenya Urban Support Program (KUSP) which is a collaboration between the Kirinyaga County Government and the World Bank.
Governor Waiguru said that phase one of the program is already complete while phase two will be completed in six months’ time.
The first phase of the KUSP program involved Sh71.2 million which was used for the construction of Kutus parking spaces, construction of Kerugoya fresh produce market, and a daycare center and storage unit at Kaitheri apparel factory in Kerugoya.
The fresh produce market serves over 1,200 traders who had been enduring harsh weather conditions.
After the completion of the first phase of the project, the county government earned accolades from The World Bank for prudent utilization of the funds hence qualifying for a second-round grant.
Kutus/Kerugoya Municipality was among the seven out of 59 municipalities across the country which met the World Bank’s minimum KUSP grant conditions hence qualifying for subsequent funding.
The second phase of the project involves the construction of car parks adjacent to Kerugoya County and Referral Hospital, upgrading of selected streets and non-motorable ways to bitumen standards as well as improving the drainage system along the highway in Kerugoya town.
The project which is expected to be complete in six months has also been funded to the tune of Sh1.2 million.
It also involves landscaping of both sides of the highway from Baricho Junction to Co-operative Bank and beautification of Kerugoya County Referral Hospital frontage by planting vegetation such as grass, flowers, and trees.
Market sheds will also be constructed to accommodate traders who have been selling along the streets.
Waiguru said that the facelift will benefit the town residents and traders and also improve on revenue collection for the county.
It will also create jobs for around 1,000 people through the public and private transport services and improved trading activities around the areas being improved.
She also observed that the ongoing project has become a source of income to hundreds of youth who are employed to undertake the works.
Importantly, the facelift in Kerugoya town will also improve the movement of both public and private vehicles adjacent to the hospital while pedestrians will have adequate walking space hence won’t be competing for space with motorists.
Kerugoya Open Air Market Chairman, Samuel Mwangi, thanked the County Government for the new fresh produce market, saying that it has provided a good business environment for both traders and customers.
He said that a good lighting system in the market also enables business transactions at night hence increasing business hours.
The market’s secretary, Janet Kibuchi, said that the market has helped women in a great way.
“Some women come to the market with their children and whenever it rains they would really get concerned about exposing their children to rains and cold. So the market sheds are Godsend to our mothers”, said Janet.
Besides the projects under KUSP, the municipality also boasts of a wide range of infrastructural development projects that have been implemented within the last three years. These include the street lighting project which has gone a long way in improving the business working hours and enhancing security.
The rehabilitation of Sagana-Samson Corner road which is set to be complete by the end of this year is also expected to spur more growth within the municipality while the county government dedicates itself to the construction of stormwater drainage to ensure free flow of water and prevent flooding in towns.
The county’s department of environment has also contributed to the improved municipality’s outlook through sustainable environmental management which includes proper waste management systems as well as undertaking landscaping and beautification projects.
Another feature that is poised to raise the standards and improve the vibrant business community in Kerugoya is the upcoming medical complex.
It will see the elevation of Kerugoya County and Referral Hospital to a fully-fledged Level Five facility with all the amenities of a high-end medical facility which includes an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and High Dependency Unit (HDU), modern surgical theatres among others.
Waiguru said that the development partnership is important in achieving the development agenda of the county and that the county government was committed to continually improve the county’s infrastructure as an enabler to socio-economic development and improved livelihoods of all residents.