President Kenyatta has announced planned and completed development projects the Jubilee government in Machakos, Makueni and Kitui ahead of a planned visit to the area on May 19, 20 and 21.

He will make a repeat visit to the region which is an opposition Cord stronghold in the second week of June 2016. Although billed as a visit to inspect development projects, the real purpose to to infiltrate  Cord strongholds ahead of next year’s general elections.

The projects were announced during a meeting between the Presudent and so-called professionals from the area led by Cord dissident and Machakos County Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua. The visit has already sparked heated controversy among  Kambas, many of whom are steadfastly behind Cord Coalition led by former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and former Minister for Foreign Affairs Moses Wetangula. Some of the projects such as a road between Mombasa Road and Daystar University have been termed as ‘non-projects’ while others such as the dualling of a section of Mombasa road are not Ukamba but national projects.

The following is a list of the projects:

Infrastructure

The dualling of the Machakos-Athi River Turn off road in Machakos County that will cost of Sh8 billion roads. Procurement process completed.  We are just waiting for letter of no objection from the World Bank to make sure the actual construction of the project begins. Construction of the road will ease the vexing traffic jams experienced on that section of the Mombasa-Nairobi highway.

Other road projects in Machakos county include Machakos-Kenol-Ngoleni-Kaani-Mutituni-Kaseve Road that will cost Sh1.2 billion, Mombasa Road – Daystar/Lukenya at a cost of Sh600 million and Machakos-Lukenya-Kenani-Athi River Road costing Sh600 million.

Ongoing road projects in Machakos include the Mathathani-Kathiani-Kaloleni Road that will cost Sh1.3 billion, the Sh732 million Mumbuni-Kathiani-Thwake River Road as well as the Mathathani-Kaseve and Kyangala-Riuni roads each costing Sh800 million.

In Makueni County, the Ministry has completed the procurement process for the Sh1.2 billion Sultan Hamud-Kasikeu-Wautu-Kyambeke-Kikoko Road which is ready for launching in the first week of June.

It has also allocated Sh500 million for the construction of Makueni town roads, while tendering for the Sh1 billion Kasikeu-Upete Road, the Sh800 million Kautandini-Mavia-Kimakiu-Salama Bridge, the Sh800 million Tawa-Nguluni-Itangini and the Sh800 million Thwake Bridge would be advertised in a week

In Kitui County, construction of the Kamuogo Bridge at a cost of Sh500 million is being fast-tracked.

Water

On water and Irrigation Sh122 billion would be invested in water and dam projects in the Lower Eastern region.

Other  projects include Thwake Dam project – one of the Vision 2030 flagship projects – estimated to cost Sh60 billion. The dam will serve Makueni, Kitui and parts of Machakos counties including the Konza Techno City.

Sh600 million has been set aside to kick off resettlement of the families affected by construction of Thwake Dam. When complete, the project – which has a component for irrigation – will provide water to 1.3 million Kenyans and generate electricity.

The Masinga-Kitui Water and Sanitation project  is estimated to cost Sh2.2 billion. The project will provide water to 180,000 residents of Kitui town and connect 60,000 people to the sewerage system.

Health

On health,  the Government’s Medical Equipment Scheme programme is on course. The equipment includes theatre, kidney, X-ray and ICU machines.  Already six hospitals in three counties, including Machakos, have received the specialized medical equipment valued at Sh2.6 billion.

The Government has also set aside Sh600 million in the next financial year to finance health programmes in Kitui County.

The national and county governments are also taking inventory of all the stalled Economic Stimulus Programme projects under the Ministry of Health in the Lower Eastern – read Ukambani – region with a view to completing them.

The two levels of government will work with other stakeholders to upgrade various hospitals, health centres and dispensaries in the counties of Kitui, Machakos and Makueni. Kitui and Mwingi general hospitals have been allocated Sh200 million each in the next financial year to facilitate their alleviation to level five statuses.

The national Government will collaborate with the county government of Machakos to upgrade Machakos hospital to the level of a teaching and referral hospital.

Other facilities allocated funds next financial year include the proposed Kanyangi Kenya Medical Training Centre (KMTC) which is 74 km from Kitui town and Mutomo KMTC which will receive Sh50 million each.

Kyuso and Tseikuru hospitals were each allocated Sh50 million while 16 dispensaries and health centres in Kitui County will also be opened.

Land

On land, Government said it had already surpassed the 3 million title deeds issuance target set for 2017 by 1.2 more titles.

The Government would issue 33,247 title deeds in Makueni, 74,564 in Machakos, 26,729 in Mwingi and 40,735 title deeds in Kitui within a week.

President Kenyatta said he will visit the counties of Machakos, Makueni and Kitui on May 19, 20 and 21 to inspect the progress of the development projects that the Cabinet Secretaries committed to undertake.

The President said he will make a repeat visit to the region in the second week of June.