Coastal counties seek state help to create jobs and improve lives
Jumuiya Ya Kaunti Za Pwani (JKP) has asked the national government for financial support to fund projects in the coastal region and create millions of jobs in the process.
In a memorandum sent to President Uhuru Kenyatta, the regional economic bloc hopes to secure at least 100 billion shillings from the central government to roll out various initiatives that it says would generate jobs and develop members’ economies.
The bloc, which represents the counties of Mombasa, Kwale, Taita Taveta, Kilifi, Tana River and Lamu, plans to launch projects in the blue economy and climate-smart agriculture.
It also wants to develop small industries and develop tourism. Special emphasis will also be placed on cultural development, according to the document.
JKP has announced that it will also develop smaller ports, improve education and health, and provide affordable housing and clean water.
The preservation of the environment and the development of social facilities are also on the agenda, according to the CEO of the bloc Emmanuel Nzai.
The projects will also include special economic zones (SEZs) expected to generate more than 100,000 jobs, according to the memorandum signed by Nzai and sent to President Kenyatta through ODM chief Raila Odinga.
Projects and programs
“On the basis of the projects and programs envisaged in the document, the JKP secretariat presents to the Right Honorable Prime Minister its appeal for support in the amount of 100 billion shillings to help revive the economies of the coastal counties,” he said. declared Nzai.
“These resources will be complemented by contributions from own counties and additional funding from development partners to support our economic recovery programs.”
The memorandum was drafted last week following an agribusiness and investment conference in Diani, Kwale County.
JKP seeks to invest 10 billion shillings in harnessing blue economy resources such as marine minerals, power generation from tidal waves, seaweed cultivation, fisheries development and processing Fish.
The regional economic bloc wishes to invest in blue tourism, blue sports, maritime transport and maritime transport, boat building and the production of fishing gear for export.
The company is expected to create more than a million jobs in five years.
Regarding climate-smart agriculture, JKP plans to use 1.2 billion shillings to develop small-scale agriculture and value-adding projects. These projects include aquaponics agriculture. There will be added value for coconuts, cashews, bixa and fruits.
Some of the money would be used to provide water ponds and build fish ponds, among other things.
The small-scale and value-added agriculture projects are expected to create jobs for 6,000 young people and induce the employment of around 60,000 other people, according to Nzai.
JKP also wants to revive the production industries of spare parts for vehicles as well as spare parts for bicycles, motorcycles and tuk tuks. The boulder is also passionate about repairing boats.
Nzai said they also want to develop food industries – those that supply their finished product to other industries as a commodity or raw material – for special economic zones.
Of this amount, 5 billion shillings will be invested in food industries in the hope of creating 18,000 jobs per year.
“JKP also wants to support local investors, exploit the opportunities created by tourism and promote cultural events and the local film industry. We want to develop local talents, programs and sports, ”Nzai said.
In the memorandum, JKP said it will invest 6.6 billion shillings in tourism and cultural development to create 2,400 jobs for young people. The objective is to create 24,000 jobs in the long term.
JKP plans to develop over 20 SEZs at a cost of 20 billion shillings and hopefully generate 20,000 jobs for each industrial park established.
Industrial parks are expected to process materials obtained locally for export, the official said.
Jumuiya will use an additional 50 billion shillings for the development of small ports in Shimoni, Takaungu and Vanga which are expected to generate 20,000 direct jobs and two million indirect jobs.
“The feasibility studies have confirmed the viability of the development of small ports. These will anchor production and facilitate intra-regional trade, ”Nzai said.
JKP wants to invest 10 billion shillings in education, health, water and a clean environment which should create 50,000 direct jobs and catalyze the employment of five million more people.
He also wants to invest 25 billion shillings in affordable housing in the hope of creating 100,000 direct jobs and two million indirect jobs.
“The demand for housing requires adequate planning for decent and affordable units across the region to cater for the growing middle class,” JKP said in the memorandum.
“This proposal is in line with the national government’s agenda for economic recovery and transformation through dedicated efforts to revive economic activities that have been hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic. ”