By Victoria Magar
After years of neglect, Kisumu and the larger Luo Nyanza is reaping big from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee administration with the launch of mega projects and commissioning of others.
President Kenyata flew to the lakeside city on Sunday, where he was joined by his handshake partner former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, ahead of Tuesday’s Madaraka Day celebrations.
And apart from the infrastructural development like roads which the president started launching on Sunday, his tour of the city brought joy to many, with an economic boom recorded in the hospitality industry.
“We know that most hotels are full, that is a good thing for the lake city,” said Dr Joshua Oron, a hotelier.
The hotel industry is among businesses worst hit due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged economies worldwide.
“The Madaraka Day is not only being celebrated in Kisumu as a celebration, it also comes with a lot of goodies that His Excellency the President is coming with for the people of Kisumu,” said Oron.
On Sunday, the Head of State launched the Shs1.6 billion Kodiaga-Wagai-Onyirore/Akala, and Nyangweso-Muhanda road circuit, and the Shs 2.4 billion Siaya-Bondo water supply and sanitation project.
The road network covers a total distance of 38kms, opening up the fish and sugarcane-rich region to markets in Kisumu and beyond.
On the other hand, the Siaya Bondo water project, funded by the Government and the African Development Bank (ADB), raised the volume of fresh water supply to the two towns by rehabilitating and expanding the Sidindi Malanga processing plant.
“All these projects you are seeing us commissioning are as a result of peace and unity, and I wont stop appreciating my brother because of the handshake,” Kenyatta told roadside rallies during the launch, “The fruits of peace is development, the fruits of peace are opportunities and eliminating poverty and lack amongst our people and that’s why we are asking you to support BBI.”
Kenyatta and Odinga initiated the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) that is aimed at changing the Constitution even though it ran into headwinds two weeks ago when the Constitutional Court’s five-judge bench declared it null and void, saying the two have no legal mandate to amend the constitution.
The judges declared the entire process that was to culminate into a national referendum ‘null and void’ but appeals have been filed in Kenyatta said has high chances of success.