Changes galore as Kisumu gears up for Africities Summit

Kibuye Market

The ongoing construction of Kibuye Market in Kisumu County on March 21, 2022.

Photo credit: Tonny Omondi | Nation Media Group

As the clock ticks towards the ninth Africities Summit in Kisumu city, the county government is racing to finalise preparations ahead of the high-profile event.

With 57 days remaining, the county government is in overdrive to spruce up the city and improve the town's billing.

Apart from expediting the completion of pending projects, Prof Anyang Nyong’o’s administration has issued fresh directives as it seeks to create order in the city.

This will, however, come with more business casualties as the county moves to ‘clean up’ and reorganise the city ahead of this continental event, which will be held on May 17-21.

All car-washing points on roadsides are to be relocated in the next few weeks to clear pavements and areas around the city.

Acting City Manager Abala Wanga is said to have been instructed to ensure projects are completed and the directives are enforced.

The areas most dotted with car-washes are Vunduba Hotel on Nyerere Road, near Mamba Hotel on Ondiek Highway, the K-City market area and Gesoko on the Nyamasaria-Kondele bypass.

Mr Wanga told the Nation that they were planning to control car-washing activities.

“The city plans to do away with the roadside car-washing and identify a central location for them while considering environmental conservation,” he said.

He said the businesses, which are run by young people even in residential estates, have been mushrooming all over without regulation.

Cultural identity

He said car-washing points block walkways and waterlog roads.

The county government had earlier tried, with difficulty, to regulate the businesses on the shores of Lake Victoria on Lwang’ni beach.

Apart from the car-washing points, the city has instructed all buildings in the CBD to be painted brown beige and blue.

There are also decades-old buildings that dot the city centre, mostly residential homes for Asians, and are to be painted.

Kisumu Fire Station

The ongoing construction of Kisumu Fire Station on March 21, 2022.

Photo credit: Tonny Omondi | Nation Media Group

Mr Wanga said they have engaged the owners of the heritage buildings on Oginga Odinga Street to renovate and paint them while retaining their cultural identity and design.

“As we approach the ninth Africities summit, which will be held in Kisumu, we want to ensure all buildings within the CBD are painted with brown-beige colours. The city management will secure a waiver on the approval fees for owners of the buildings,” said Mr Wanga.

Road kerbs should be painted a mixture of blue and white.

Mr Wanga has also been asked to ensure all the major projects such as the construction of the Kibuye market, a fire station, Nyamasaria Bus Park, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sports Complex and the greening and beautification of the airport corridor are completed by the end of April.

Second phase

The first phase of the Kibuye Market ended in February and cost Sh315 million and is expected to host 2,000 traders.

On February 1, Kisumu Deputy Governor Mathew Owili led the ground-breaking ceremony for the second phase.

Phase two, Dr Owili said, is expected to cost Sh185 million and will host another 1,500 traders.

Upon completion, the modern market will have a boundary wall with secure entry and exit gates, and neatly arranged stalls with places for nursing mothers.

The construction of the fire station is also being expedited, with much of the work already done.

Relocating the Kachok dumpsite is also among the projects to be fast-tracked ahead of the event in May.

This has been a controversial issue since the era of the former governor, Jack Ranguma.

But Governor Nyong’o has managed to evacuate part of it, though the dumpsite remains an eyesore.

The challenge has been identifying where to take the waste, with locals in Muhoroni and Kisumu East sub-counties even going to court to stop the process, citing environmental issues.

Mr Wanga confirmed that there are also plans to expand the city centre even more and this would mean some facilities such as the Kisumu Bus Park, Kisumu School, and Kisumu Girls High School will have to give way for this.

They are to be relocated to Kibos, where a major industrial park is to be established on 105 acres.

This would give room for high-end shopping malls and buildings.