Nyeri County will spend Sh600 million to build a new matatu terminus at Asian Quarters ground despite uncertainty over the relocation of a dumpsite at the proposed site.
The project will be implemented within two years by the Nyeri Town Municipality Board and will be financed through the Kenya Urban Support Programme, a World Bank grant to counties.
Governor Mutahi Kahiga, his deputy Caroline Karugu and Nyeri County Assembly Speaker John Kaguchia launched the project on Wednesday, asserting that the terminus, which will also serve as a business park, will spur economic growth.
However, the county is faced with the challenge of relocating a dumpsite located adjacent to the site of the planned matatu park.
County Executive for Lands and Urban Planning Kwai Wanjaria noted that the county is still on course with plans to find an alternative dumpsite despite the delays.
"The construction of the terminus will kick off as we work on getting rid of the garbage," he said.
Rware MCA Paul Kanyari also piled pressure on the county government to come up with a sustainable waste management system and stop dumping garbage at the Asian Quarters ground.
This, he said, will provide a conducive environment for traders who will occupy the business park.
"The county must work on getting rid of the waste because it will be a health hazard to those who will be moved to work here," he said.
Annual budget estimates for 2019-2020 financial show that the county has reviewed the amount for the purchase of land from the initial Sh20 million to Sh50 million.
Governor Kahiga said that the bus park project will address congestion in Nyeri town and provide employment to hundreds of youth.
SPEED UP WORK
He asked contractors to speed up the work and employ Nyeri residents instead of outsourcing.
"I urge the contractors to take up the work immediately and ensure strict compliance with the BOQs (bill of quantities) and timelines," he said.
Works at the Asian Quarters ground will start in the backdrop of concerns among some residents that the county did not conduct public participation in allocating funds to the project.
Mr Kahiga and Speaker Kaguchia warned politicians against fighting the project by inciting residents to oppose it.
"The assembly will not support anyone who is opposed to the project and we will not be drawn into their wars because this is a noble project," Mr Kaguchia said.
The launch was briefly disrupted by a group of women who shouted down Mr Kanyari as he addressed the crowd.
Once complete, the terminus will have parking space for lorries, matatus and taxis, 1,000 business stalls, a garage, an open air market and a Kenya Power substation.
The county had identified three parcels of land in Endarasha Ward for the relocation of the dumpsite but local leaders protested.
At the same time, residents of Kieni Constituency have been warned against selling land to the county for the relocation of garbage.
Kieni MCAs have insisted that an environmental impact assessment must be conducted and local leaders consulted before the county buys land.