Almost eight years ago, the World Bank allocated Sh29 billion to revamp urban services and infrastructure in the Nairobi Metropolitan area covering Kajiado, Kiambu, Machakos, Murang’a and Nairobi counties.
The money was to cover 90 per cent of the project’s total cost of over Sh33 billion ($330 million). The project was aimed at boosting the economy and creating jobs by improving key infrastructure and services in the region.
The focus was mainly on infrastructure such as roads and railways, sewerage and storm water, markets, disaster and emergency preparedness and security lightning aimed at improving the lives of the more than 10 million people residing in the areas.
The multibillion-shilling project — under the Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement Project (NaMSIP) — was to start in May, 2012 and end five years later in June 2017, but the timeline was later extended as most of the projects began late.
At the completion, the project was expected to revolutionise urban infrastructure and services in 13 selected towns across the five counties. They included Nairobi, Ruiru, Kikuyu, Kangundo, Tala, Thika, Mavoko, Karuri, Ngong, Limuru, Kiambu, Kitengela, Juja and Ongata Rongai.
In May last year, World Bank team leader Gyongshim An extended the period for implementation the projects by another 10 months to the end of this month.
“It is in this regard that we are happy to announce that we will extend the project period for 10 more months so that work can be well-coordinated and completed,” Ms An said.
She was impressed by the progress of the projects and true to her words, most of the projects have been completed.
Security lighting projects that began in 2015 have all been completed. They included installing 315 street lights and 77 high masts in Juja, Thika, Limuru, Kikuyu, Kiambu, Karuri and Ruiru in Kiambu County; 20 street lights and 13 high masts in Tala, Kangundo and Mavoko in Machakos County; 147 street lights and 14 high masts in Kitengela, Ngong and Ongata Rongai in Kajiado; and 115 street lights and 84 high masts in Nairobi.
Storm-water drainage systems in Nairobi City (Dagoretti, Langata, CBD and Embakasi), Thika (CBD and West of CBD), Ongata Rongai township and Mavoko have been completed.
Several market projects have been completed and are awaiting official launch.
The improvement of the Kikuyu, Kahawa and Ruiru commuter rail stations in Kiambu County, which began in July, 2016, is complete.
Similar projects in Nairobi began even later.
NaMSIP director Benjamin Njenga said the commuter rail stations will have five units, including one each in Embakasi village, Pipeline and Donholm, with the Dandora station having two platforms.
“With construction of these units, it will become easier even for the disaster management team to move when an emergency occurs,” he said.
In Machakos County, the improvement of the Athi River Station, which started in December 2016, is also complete.
In Kiambu County, non-motorised transport facilities along selected roads in the Ruiru and Thika municipalities are all complete.
The same applies to the rehabilitation and construction of access roads to the Thika Railway Station and rehabilitation and construction of Old Nakuru.
In Kajiado County, the rehabilitation of Kerarapon and Mwitu roads that began in February 2011 is complete.
So is the construction of the Ngong and Kitengela bus terminuses.