Long wait as Narok’s Sh53bn grand deals yet to take off

Monday December 18 2017

Narok DEVELOPMENT

Narok Governor Samuel Tunai addresses Emorogi residents during a public meeting on November 26, 2017. Governor Tunai asked leaders from the different political camps to put their differences aside for the sake of development. PHOTO | GEORGE SAYAGIE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By GEORGE SAYAGIE
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Two years ago, Narok County government signed nine deals worth more than Sh53 billion with nine investors at an Investment Conference held at Serena hotel at the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.

Apart from the construction of the first ever modern milk processing plant in Narok at Motonyi area of Mara Ward in Mulot, Narok South, all the other projects pledged are yet to kick off, long after the December 2015 conference.

The construction of the milk processing plant – known as Namelok Dairies – expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2018, will have a capacity of 200,000 litres of milk per day.

ENERGY
The facility will also produce chocolate bars and ice cream, besides the usual dairy products of fresh packaged milk, yogurt, ghee, and butter.

At the same time, residents of Talek trading centre in Narok West Sub-County benefited from a 50-kilowatt solar power project, set to reduce reliance on firewood and fuel-based power.

The solar power facility is the culmination of a partnership between the regional government and Gesellschaft Fur Internationale, a German technology company.

Governor Samuel Tunai says there were at least four other investors interested in setting up dairy plants in the county but the county government had given priority to local investors.

POLITICS
Namelok is a private venture by Kenyan investors led by Mr David Tanki, Mr Josiah Ntokote, and Mr Kingston Ogongo.

Mr Tunai said the rest of the investors were ready to set up their projects after lengthy land acquisition process and politics delayed take-off.  

One of the projects that was affected by politics is by Hind Agro Industries Ltd for construction of a Sh1.1 billion abattoir capable of slaughtering 1,000 cows a day.

The company is a leading exporter and manufacturer of buffalo meat in India.

According to Mr Tunai, a section of politicians opposed the construction of the industry at Limanet grounds, which they argued is communal land.

DEVELOPMENT
The two groups disagreed on the procedures used to establish the slaughterhouse at the purported site and agricultural facilities at Rotian, without consulting locals.

But addressing the opening of the second County Assembly last month, Governor Tunai asked leaders from the different political camps to put their differences aside for the sake of development in the county.

“We competed against each other, we may have rubbed each other the wrong way but that is now behind us. Let us serve the people of Narok together,” Mr Tunai said.

INVESTORS
This being his last term, the governor said he intends to leave a legacy by ensuring that the dream of a developed Narok that was hatched in 2013 comes to fruition.

Also done is groundbreaking for a pharmaceuticals manufacturing company and a Plywood industry by Mr Swapan Dhar of DG Industries, which pledged to invest Sh1 billion and construction is expected to start early next year.

Others who signed the investments deals and are yet to kick off are Mr Sunil Shah of Upland Crops, who agreed to commit Sh255 million for a milling plant and bakery, which will serve wheat, maize, and potato farmers.

ELECTIONS
The company is part of the United Millers group, which has been in business since 1977.

The firm also signed an agreement for a frozen French fries factory.

The governor is optimistic that JK Corp, which signed a deal to set up a private hospital in the county, would still carry on with the plan.

He said a majority of the investors were waiting for the outcome of the election to roll out their projects.