The Nairobi County Government has announced plans to convert part of Toi market into a housing estate as part of efforts to create affordable houses for city residents.
Speaking a media breakfast at a Nairobi hotel, Lands, Urban Renewal and Housing County Executive Charles Kerich said City Hall intends to construct modern stalls at the popular market and use the rest to construct flats. Other houses will be constructed in Old/New Ngara and Jeevanjee/Bachelors’ quarters.
“We will pay rent for those occupying the houses for the period they will be out and when the houses are completed, they will come back,” said Kerich.
Kerich added that the plan to upgrade county government-owned estates in the Eastlands part of the city are also on while in Mukuru slums, they intend to improve roads infrastructure to make the area accessible.
He said he does not fear cartels, which are likely to resist some of the projects, saying he intends to implement his agenda without fear.
“When I entered office I was asked: Don’t you fear cartels? I asked: Which cartels? Mine is to go on with implementing my agenda and when someone comes to ask, I will ask him: So you are the c****l? This is how it looks?” he told journalists and county staff present.
“Why should you live in Mlolongo when we can build houses here and you walk to work?” he added.
As part of the affordable housing, Kerich revealed that county government staff will also benefit as part of a morale boosting strategy.
“I have done a Cabinet memo and now we are working on regulations. That is something I have told the boss, if you are to motivate the staff, they must also know you are taking care of them. I know we have reshuffles but that is something I want to finish in five years. That is my legacy,” he said.
He also revealed that the county government is revising the valuation roll in order to enhance revenue collection.
The media breakfast was held to engage with the media as part of activities leading to this year’s Devolution Conference to be held in Kakamega later next month.
Devolution County Executive Veska Kangogo said the county government will hold dialogue meetings in all the 17 sub-counties on April 4 and a town hall meeting with stakeholders at Charter Hall on April 11.
During the meeting, various county executives in charge of dockets that have been chosen by the Council of Governors as thematic topics at this year’s conference outlined achievements made since Governor Mike Sonko took office, priority areas going forward and challenges they face.
Other dockets represented were Roads, Infrastructure and Transport; Health Services; Commerce, Tourism and Co-operative Sector; Environment; and Agriculture, Livestock Development and Fisheries.
Roads, Infrastructure and Transport County Executive Mohammed Dagane said there are plans to expand enterprise road and construct an overpass that would connect with Haile Selassie Avenue at Muthurwa market.
However, he said while the county government is working hard to improve roads and other infrastructure it faces a challenge since some of the roads fall under either the Kenya Urban Roads Authority or the Kenya National Highways Authority. But he said they are collaborating in addressing some of the issues affecting city transport such as signages and lack of foot bridges on Outering Road, which is being blamed for at least four d****s every day.
Dagane also revealed that the national government has provided Ksh 3 billion for street lighting using concrete poles, which is being implemented by Kenya Power.
During the meeting, the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) came under focus for failing to remit funds to county government-owned facilities, which is affecting the free maternity services under the Linda Mama initiative and provision of universal healthcare.