President Uhuru Kenyatta reiterated the importance of good infrastructure in development saying the ongoing roads, water and electricity projects will help spur the country’s economy.
With good infrastructure, the President said Kenyans will be able to run their businesses, generate wealth and create employment for the country’s youth.
At the same time, the President wondered why some Kenyans were opposed to the growing Government investment in infrastructural projects saying their concerns were misinformed.
“Some people are questioning why we are putting up infrastructural projects throughout the country. We know the importance of infrastructure. When there is good infrastructure wananchi will be able to do their businesses without any hindrance,” the President said.
The Head of State spoke Friday in Makueni County where he inspected the ongoing construction of Thwake multipurpose dam, a flagship project of Kenya’s Vision 2030 development blueprint.
“We are doing infrastructure because without it there will be no jobs. With projects such as this (Thwake Dam) wananchi are assured of better and decent lives.
“We cannot raise the standards of our people without infrastructure. One must have a plan to help wananchi to develop themselves. Wananchi do not want handouts but rather to be empowered to improve their livelihoods,” the President said.
With the completion of mega dam, over 1.3 million residents of lower eastern counties of Kitui, Makueni, Machakos will have access to clean treated water. The dam will also supply clean water to the upcoming Konza technopolis in addition to its use in irrigation and generation of 20MW of hydroelectric power.
President Kenyatta expressed satisfaction with the progress of the ongoing project and urged responsible agencies led by the water ministry to ensure that the dam is completed within schedule.
On the matter of water quality, the President said NEMA will tackle upstream pollution concerns to ensure clean and safe water for those living downstream along rivers Athi and Thwake which are the dam’s main supply sources.
“We will ensure that pollution upstream which brings dirty water to the people on the downstream is eliminated. It is the right of every Kenyan to have access to clean water and NEMA whose job is to ensure that our environment is protected, our rivers are protected will have to fulfil its mandate,” he said.
The Head of State, who was accompanied by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, pointed out that the Government was in the process of repossessing all land meant for expansion of sewerage infrastructure in Nairobi and across the country from grabbers.
“Some individuals were complaining that the Government is evicting people from public land. But what we are doing is to repossess land set aside for sewerage infrastructure so as to ensure safe and clean water for our people,” President Kenyatta said.
Former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka thanked the President for initiating Thwake multipurpose dam saying the project will uplift the lives of Ukambani residents.
“This region is going to benefit tremendously. We appreciate that even when you were the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance you took steps to ensure the project takes off,” Mr Musyoka said.
The Wiper Party Leader said contrary to some misleading media reports, Ukambani leaders were united and are working together for the betterment of the lives of their people.
Host Governor Prof Kivutha Kibwana of Makueni reiterated Mr Musyoka’s sentiments on unity of Akamba leaders by dismissing reports of disunity.
“We appreciate that you have come to launch and inspect projects in our region. We assure you that no petty politics will disrupt these projects. We are all united as leaders,” Governor Kibwana said.
Cabinet Secretaries Sicily Kariuki (Water, Sanitation), Monica Juma (Defence) and Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution) as well as Governors Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and Charity Ngilu (Kitui) were several leaders present at Thwake to welcome the President.