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Basic Public Investments and the Big Four Development Agenda

Basic public investments spanning different socio-economic sectors which Kenya is witnessing today is without a doubt placing Kenya on path towards economic growth now and in future despite massive capital input which has raised Kenya’s public debt. Recently, a lot of public debate has been centered on public debt which a section of Kenyans have unduly criticized without considering the other side of the debate. From a glimpse, the government has prioritized massive investments on the country’s critical sectors including agriculture, green investments, rail systems, innovation, research and development, clean water supply and the construction of roads and ports.

The government of President Uhuru Kenyatta has made substantial investments on basic public infrastructure since his first term in office to date. These infrastructural projects hinged on the Big Four Agenda include inter-county highways, expressway, ports, export processing zones, the ICT infrastructure, dams, water and sewerage systems in urban centers, towns and cities and health facilities among others.

The development projects are well spread across the country and the aim is integrate rural and urban economies to bolster socio-economic growth nationwide. Some of the basic public investments which are ongoing in the counties and funded by the national government are tailored to meet specific needs of the counties based on the unique geographical potentials of various devolved units. For instance, the revival of Kisumu port is expected to increase cargo handling at the inland port to 95,000 metric tonnes by 2022. Currently, Uganda imports up to six million liters of petroleum products monthly via the port of Kisumu using MV Uhuru I. It is expected that completion of MV Uhuru II shall increase multifold, the volume of petroleum transported via Lake Victoria to other lake basin countries via the port of Kisumu. A fully operational port of Kisumu shall spur economic activities in the Lake city of Kisumu and its environs, providing direct and indirect employment opportunities to many people.

In his recent tour of Ukambani counties, President Uhuru Kenyatta inspected the ongoing construction of Thwake dam. The multi-purpose 688 million cubic capacity dam when completed will serve at least 1.3 million people across Machakos, Kitui and Makueni counties. The dam is set to be completed in June 2022. The residents around the dam and its environments are poised to get water for domestic and irrigation purposes. The dam is also expected to contribute an estimated 20 megawatts to the national grid.

The ongoing public investments being pursued by the government are the key cogs that will drive the wheels of economic growth in Kenya. Kenyans there need to rally their support towards mega socio-economic projects which the government is currently implementing across the country.

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