Economic Processing Zone to be established in Kisumu
The county government of Kisumu has partnered with the national government and other development partners to establish a special Economic Processing Zone (EPZ) in the area.
Some 500 acres has been identified at Ombeyi in Muhoroni Sub County for the ambitious project which is vouched to turn around the economy of the lake side county.
The Business, Energy and Industrialization County Executive Committee (CEC) Member, Alice Moraa said the county government was working with other state agencies to ensure the project takes off.
She said Kenya Power is expected to put up a power station, Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) construct major roads to link the site to Kisumu International Airport while the Ministry of Water will ensure steady supply of the commodity.
A railway line, she disclosed shall also be constructed from Ombeyi to Kisumu International Airport to facilitate transportation of various goods and products to the airport for export.
Speaking to KNA, the CEC said the zone, the fourth of its kind in the country is expected to attract agribusiness and manufacturing industries.
“This project is expected to attract investors and open up Kisumu County to the rest of the world,” she said.
The county government, she said was focused on transforming Kisumu into a regional business hub adding that several other industries were set to be opened in the area.
“The Sh. 15 billion Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) keg plant that was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta last year will be opened in July this year,” she added.
The company she said has contracted farmers who have planted over 25, 000 acres of sorghum that will be used to produce senator keg.
Over 1, 000 distributors, she added are being sought to sell the products to retailers within Kisumu County thus creating more jobs.
She disclosed that the County Government, has signed an agreement with a Germany firm to set up a solar plant that will produce 40 mega watts of power.
“Already the county government has allocated the firm 200 acres of land in Muhoroni Sub County where construction is expected to kick off,” Ms. Moraa said.
Apart from solar, she added, the company will also venture into irrigation farming where various crops shall be grown.
Moraa said the project was key since it will employ 2, 800 workers from the county and at the same time boost food security.
“We have already signed a memorandum of understanding and now we are in the process of issuing out a license to the firm to pave way for the implementation of the project,” she said.
On dairy farming, she said the county government was in the process of setting up a milk processing plant in Muhoroni that will process and package 10, 000 liters of milk daily to end the perennial shortage of the commodity in the area.
And towards growth of Small and Medium Enterprises, Moraa said the county government has embarked on promotion of the culture of saving to resuscitate Saving Credit and Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) in the county.
A cooperative societies policy, she disclosed has been developed to streamline the operations of the SACCOs.
“The policy is ready and will be discussed in cabinet soon, before being tabled at the county assembly for approval,” she said.
This, she observed will save SACCOs from going under since most of them have been marred by leadership wrangles and financial malpractices.
“The policy stipulates the dos and don’ts on lending and general operations and activities of the societies,” she said.
By Chris Mahandara