To transform Thika town in Kiambu County into a smart industrial city, Governor Kimani Wamatangi has claimed that the national government had deposited Sh5.7 billion into the county’s account.
According to Wamatangi, the investment of funds will be targeted towards enhancing the water supply to Thika and its environs, including Juja, Ruiru, and Githunguri, drawn from the Kariminu mega-dam.
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The governor mentioned that the supply of water will be boosted by 20 million cubic meters. The increase will keep pace with the increasing population demand.
He said that they will begin with the connectivity of water from the Kariminu2 dam. The governor also said that they already have funding for the project. Later, he said that they’d proceed with the other infrastructural projects.
The estimated cost to transform the town into a city, as stated by the governor, is Sh15 billion. It is expected that the project will take approximately three years to complete.
The Thika smart industrial city project financiers
According to him, the financing for the project will be a collaborative effort between the national and county governments, and development allies. It will also be funded by private enterprises.
He stated that an extra Sh200 million will be spent on reticulation. Also, he said that Sh4 billion will be used to fund industries and reform the construction industry. An additional Sh5 billion will be used to construct an airstrip, a light rail transit system. It will also be used to build a better road system and establishment of tuk-tuk and boda-boda bicycle bays.
Several more roads in and around the town, as well as a part of the Thika Garissa Highway, would also be doubled, the governor added. He claimed that further infrastructure projects will be completed after the town is granted city status. These projects include roads, markets, a sewerage system, contemporary stalls, street lighting, parking, and walkways.
10,000 market stalls with free internet will be installed in the proposed city. He said that there will be areas specifically designated for the youth. If Thika grows into a city, Wamatangi said, it would get an annual allocation of at least Sh1 billion for infrastructure upgrades. It already receives Sh480 million a year from the World Bank as a municipality.
The journey, which would make the town Kenya’s fifth city after Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, and Nakuru, could take three years to completely actualize. The city’s status, he claimed, will enhance opportunities for wealth creation.
Several locals have voiced concern that transforming Thika town into a city will be unfavorable. This is because they will be cheaply displaced to make room for infrastructure development.