President William Ruto is on his first tour of the Nyanza region since being elected to the top seat. Ruto will be in Homa Bay, Kisumu and Siaya counties over the next few days, where local leaders including Governors Gladys Wanga, Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o and James Orengo will be welcoming him.
Ruto is set to commission and launch several projects in the course of the tour, in addition to attending a homecoming ceremony for ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo. Analysts see the development projects as a key element of his plan to win support in the region which remains a bastion of his rival, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Here, Business Today looks at five key development projects Ruto is set to launch in the Nyanza region:
The biggest project Ruto in Ruto’s itinerary is an affordable housing scheme covering Oyugis, Kendu Bay and Mbita towns. The government aims to construct 5,000 houses in the towns, as part of the larger national plan to plug the housing deficit. Ruto was present for the launch on Friday, January 13.
Housing demand in Kenya is estimated at 250,000 houses annually, against a supply of 50,000 new units per year. The Kenya Kwanza administration has maintained that besides enabling affordable home ownership, the housing projects will create local jobs and spur the economy.
2. Blue Economy Research Hub at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology Blue Economy Research hub
President Ruto will launch a new research hub focusing on the Blue Economy at the Jaramogi Oginga University in Bondo, Siaya County. The state is keen on maximizing monetization of opportunities in the blue economy – economic activities relating to oceans, seas and costs.
Nyanza’s proximity to Lake Victoria and the Kisumu Port opens up endless possibilities in job creation and sectors including fishing, possibilities the new research hub will be expected to explore.
3. Homa Bay Municipal Market
President Ruto was present for the launch of Homa Bay Municipal Market on Friday, January 13. Others at the ceremony included Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga.
The market is expected to offer traders in the county a more conducive environment to operate.
4. Homa Bay Fish Market
The President on January 13 also commissioned the Homa Bay Fish Market. The large fishing industry in Nyanza would be the biggest beneficiary of a new fish market in the area.
Among other promises, the Kenya Kwanza administration has vowed to also support the establishment of fish processing industries in Nyanza.
5. Kisumu Port and Infrastructure Works in Kisumu
The President is also expected to make a visit to Kisumu Port in the lakeside city, with the government keen on upgrading infrastructure at the port and in the city to boost its status as a trade hub.