Governor Anyang Nyong’o has appointed former Auditor-General Edward Ouko to spearhead the rapid development of the lakeside city’s lakefront.
The appointment comes a week after the governor picked Health Cabinet Secretary nominee Mutahi Kagwe and Defense Cabinet Administrative Secretary Peter Odoyo to as part of a team that will spearhead Kisumu’s social and economic transformation.
Mr Ouko’s name has been gazetted as chairman of Kisumu Lakefront Development Corporation Board of Directors.
The 11-member team will also have former Lake Region Economic Bloc Chief Executive Officer Abala Wanga as its secretary.
Other members include the chairperson of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kisumu chapter, representatives of Kenya Railways Corporation, Kenya Ports Authority, Africities, Nyanza Club Trustees and a professional body appointed by the governor.
The city manager and county executives in charge of Finance and Lands, Housing, Physical Planning and Urban Development counterpart will also be part of the team people expected to restore the city’s once vibrant marine economy and transport system.
Governor Nyong’o also gazetted Kisumu Lakefront Development Corporation as a special purpose agency to drive development of Kisumu lakefront.
The corporation will spearhead the development of eight thematic zones along the lakefront which will be key to urban renewal and development.
Zone one will have commercial and port area with a cruise viewing site, Golf Course (zone 2), Pipeline and Jetty (zone 3).
There are also plans to develop two water fronts at Dunga and Usoma in zone four, hotels and resorts in zone five and an international conference centre in zone six.
A fish factory and redesigning a sewage drainage system with a road and railway lines along the lakefront will fall in zone 7 and 8 respectively.
The first task by Mr Ouko-led team will kick off on Sunday during a consultative meeting to deliberate on the roadmap for the lakefront implementation agenda at Acacia Premier hotel.
The meeting is also expected to attract a pool of experts from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, including the Presidential Delivery Unit.
The plan entails construction of a world class amphitheatre, setting up an 18-hole golf course, a cultural centre and facelift of three major streets in the Central Business District.
A paved footpath will connect the amphitheatre to the lake. The place will also house a conference facility, cultural centre, and four-star hotel.
Although the plan is still at the conception stage, the county government is confident the project will turn around the face of the city.
Already, buildings constructed along Lake Victoria, including hotels on the famed Lwang’ni beach, have been demolished to pave way for the expansion of the port and businesses that could boost tourism and marine transport.
Another board touted to play a key role in the development of the region is the Kisumu Economic and Social Council (Kecosoc), whose membership also includes former Nairobi County First Lady Susan Mboya Kidero. Kecosoc will focus on long-term strategy and resource mobilisation for development of Kisumu City.
It is also expected to advise the county government on strategic policies aimed at promoting economic growth, social equity and job creation.