Ward reps differ over proposal to upgrade airstrip - Daily Nation

Ward reps differ over proposal to upgrade airstrip

Tuesday January 16 2018

Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony (right) with

Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony (right) with former Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Chairman Samuel Poghisio at Kerenga airstrip runway when they toured the facility in January 2017. PHOTO | ANITA CHEPKOECH | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ANITA CHEPKOECH
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The county government of Kericho has proposed an upgrade of the local airstrip, raising a storm in the Assembly on whether such a project should gobble up Sh100 million.

On Monday, MCAs differed in the House as some tried to block debate on the budget by making away with the mace.

The initial Sh100 million was reduced to Sh25 million last month after members argued that the project should be gradual, not one-time.

However, the proposal has thrown into question the economic significance of counties undertaking such developments even as major airports remain under-utilised.

While a section of Kericho residents want Governor Paul Chepkwony to shelve the upgrade on grounds that it is not a priority compared to water, roads and health services, others want it built using State funds.

Prof Chepkwony had allocated Sh100 million to start off the airstrip expansion plan in a supplementary budget, which would be done in conjunction with the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) and the Kenya Air Force who would provide strategic support.

The total budget for the project will amount to Sh1 billion when complete.

Those in support say the airstrip will open up the region for economic growth while those against say Kericho is near two international airports: Eldoret and Kisumu.