NAIROBI, December 5, 2016 (PSCU) – President Uhuru Kenyatta will tomorrow visit Ukambani counties of Makueni and Kitui where he will launch and inspect development projects and meet with residents.

The projects – which include roads and health – are part of the Ksh 144 billion in development that the Jubilee Administration has invested in the Lower Eastern region.

President Kenyatta will start at Sultan Hamud in Makueni County where he will launch tarmacking of the Ksh 1.2 billion Sultan Hamud Junction–Kasikeu–Wautu–Kyambeke–Kikoko road and address residents. Thereafter, the President will proceed to Mbooni where he will inspect the construction works of the Mbooni Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) before interacting with leaders and residents to share views on development.

In the afternoon, President Kenyatta will be in Mutomo, Kitui County, where he will launch the upgrading to bitumen standards of the Kibwezi–Mutomo–Kitui road. He will conclude the first day of his working visit by launching the tarmacking of Kibwezi–Mutomo road section at Kibwezi. He will then address a public rally at St. Joseph Girls High School, Kibwezi grounds.

The President is also due to launch the Katuaa–Nunguni road in Makueni County and the Kenya Medical Training Centre, Makindu Campus, and launch medical equipment at Makindu Hospital before addressing residents in Makindu town.

The President will wrap up his visit to Makueni and Kitui counties by commissioning the Kenya Medical Training Centre, Makueni Campus and launching medical equipment at Makueni Level Five Hospital where he will also address residents.

In April this year, President Kenyatta hosted at State House, Nairobi, a delegation of over 10,000 leaders and professionals from the Ukambani to discuss development in the region.

The meeting was also attended by a number of Cabinet Secretaries who outlined the development projects their Ministries are implementing in the Lower Eastern region, which form part of the Ksh 144 billion invest by the Jubilee Government in the region.

On roads, Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said his Ministry has completed the procurement process for the dualling of the Machakos–Athi River Turn off road in Machakos County that will cost of Ksh 8 billion. The project was launched in October. The 20 kilometre road – being constructed at a cost of Ksh 5.3 billion – will ease the vexing traffic congestion on the Nairobi – Mombasa highway.

According to Mr Macharia, other road projects in the region include the Machakos-Kenol-Ngoleni-Kaani-Mutituni-Kaseve road that will cost Ksh 1.2 billion, Mombasa road – Daystar/Lukenya at a cost of Ksh 600 million and Machakos–Lukenya-Kenani-Athi River road costing Ksh 600 million.

Mr Macharia disclosed that the Government has also set aside funds for the upgrading of Mathathani-Kathiani-Kavoleni road at a cost of Ksh 1.3 billion, the Ksh 732 million Mumbuni-Kathiani-Thwake River road as well as the Mathathani-Kaseve and Kiangala-Riuni roads each costing Ksh 800 million.

Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa is on record as saying that the Jubilee Government has invested Ksh 122 billion in water and dam projects in the Lower Eastern region.

Among the water projects undertaken in Ukambani include Thwake Dam – one of the Vision 2030 flagship projects – estimated to cost Ksh 60 billion. The dam will serve Makueni, Kitui and parts of Machakos counties including the Konza techno city.

The Government has already set aside Ksh 600 million to kick off resettlement of families affected by construction of the Thwake dam. When complete, the project – which has a component for irrigation – will provide water to 1.3 million Kenyans and generate electricity.

Other projects highlighted by Mr Wamalwa include the Masinga-Kitui Water and Sanitation project that is estimated to cost Ksh 2.2 billion. The project will provide water to 180,000 residents of Kitui town and connect 60,000 people to the sewerage system.

The Government has invested heavily in the Managed Equipment Service in the Lower Eastern region. The equipment includes theatre, kidney, X-ray and ICU machines. Six hospitals in the three counties of Machakos, Kitui and Makueni have received state-of-the art medical equipment valued at Ksh 2.6 billion.

The Government has also set aside Ksh 500 million to finance health programmes in Kitui County.

Kitui and Mwingi general hospitals have been allocated Ksh 200 million each in the next financial year to facilitate their alleviation to level five status.

Other facilities allocated funds include the proposed Kanyangi Kenya Medical Training Centre (KMTC) which is 74 km from Kitui town and Mutomo KMTC which will receive Ksh 50 million each.

Kyuso and Tseikuru hospitals were each allocated Ksh 50 million while 16 dispensaries and health centres in Kitui County will also be opened, the Health CS said.