NAIROBI—Counties that are considered underdeveloped will now benefit from a range of development plans to the tune of over sh 100 billion.
Under the banner of North and North Eastern Development Initiative (NEDI) covering Mandera, Garissa, Isiolo, Lamu, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana, Wajir and West Pokot, the counties will receive funds to support off grid solar access for the underserved counties, climate smart agriculture, water and sanitation development.
The World Bank is already investing about 20 percent close to (USD 1.4billion) of its current USD 6.9billion commitments in the north and north eastern counties.
Ms Helene Carrison Rex, the Programme leader for NEDI from the World Bank said the aim of funds is to attract investments to the region to complement the ongoing government efforts to improve equity as well as reduce extreme poverty.
Similarly, earmarked for funding is the North Eastern Transport Improvement Project, the Development of response to displacement impacts projects and national safety net Programme additional financing.
Governors Amb. Mohamed Abdi Mohamud (Wajir) Ali Roba (Mandera), Ali Korane (Garissa), Josephat Nanok (Turkana), Mohammed Kuti (Isiolo) Mohamud Mohamed Ali (Marsabit) were joined by Cabinet Secretaries Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution) and Ukur Yatani (Labour) in the launch of the initiative in Garissa and urged donors and investors to inject fresh life into the counties that have suffered marginalization since independence.
Underscoring the need for increasing access to modern energy services to households.
“After devolution, this is the second largest transformative project in the region and residents now have a feeling of inclusivity and will have profound impact on populations,” said Roba who is the chairman of the Frontier Counties Development Council.
Governors Amb. Mohamud, Roba and Korane said the region had turned away investors because of lack of basic infrastructure. They mentioned lack of roads, absence electricity grid to support cottage industries and manufacturing as enshrined in the Big Four agenda of the National Government.
The Governors lauded how the ISIOLO-Moyale road has opened up trade and investments in the region previously shunned because poor transport infrastructure.
The leaders said the narrative of the Northern Kenya and North Eastern areas of Kenya as insecure, underdeveloped and unattractive for investors needed to be changed.
The projects will seek to improve water supply and sanitation in Wajir Town, Mandera and Dadaab communities.
The projects also seeks to increase agricultural productivity and build resilience to climate change risks in the targeted smallholder farming and pastoral communities.
Similarly, captured for the pastoralist communities is a project seeking to increase livestock productivity and open up market access. Financing will be at community level and and at county government level investments to finance larger sub projects.