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Government lines up major projects for northern Kenya

WORLD-BANKNAIROBI, Kenya, June 12 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday said the World Bank is set to embark on a Sh111 billion funding of transformative projects in the country particularly the Arid and Semi-Arid areas.

Though his spokesman Manoah Esipisu, the head of state indicated that the monies will be used to provide solar energy to households, public institutions such as health centers and educational institutions.

“Key features of the program include, incentivizing private companies to expand into these counties, developing mechanisms to make solar products more affordable to consumers without distorting the commercial market and supporting the enforcement of quality standards for solar products,” he said, and added that “The project is expected to generate employment for youth through operations and maintenance that would be required of solar systems. The counties involved are Mandera, Turkana, Marsabit, Wajir, Garissa, Isiolo, West Pokot, Samburu, Lamu, Tana River, Narok, Kwale, Kilifi, and Tana River.”

Esipisu further stated that a project to increase the agricultural productivity of farmers in the area will be set up to assist pastoral communities in improved agricultural technologies.

“Farmers and pastoralists will be assisted with improved agricultural technologies, innovations and management practices. It will also improve access to quality agro-weather and market information to enable farmers and herders to make decisions that are more economically advantageous,” he stated.

He further announced plans for the construction of the Isiolo-Mandera Road which will open up Northeastern Kenya by connecting it to Central Kenya.

“This is a critical road for opening up Northeastern Kenya and connecting it to Central Kenya. This intervention is conceived as a development corridor and as such, fiber optic cables will be provided to ensure the region’s digital connection and airstrips will also be built for flight connections,” he stated.

He explained that in addition, service centers like huduma centers and information centers for pastoralists will be built in market towns along the road to connect the population to government services.

“Designs for this 740 km road are over a decade old and need to be updated if this road is to be built. This could be financed out of IDA18 resources should the government make a formal request.”

The funding by World Bank will also be use to assess ground water availability in the region and provide a framework for its sustainable use.

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