By Eastern Newspaper Correspondent
Isiolo town was anticipated to be the economic game changer in Kenya in terms of connecting the nation to Sub-Saharan Africa and landlocked Countries.
Drafters of the 2010 constitution envisioned Isiolo to be a resource city that would be an economic hub for Kenya but the dream seems far from over due to a lack of political goodwill and unwilling pastoralists to relinquish their communal land for its expansion.
Isiolo city, the bedroom of vision 2030 is encrypted for abrupt facelift once the infrastructural development projects including Sh800million Abattoir, Isiolo Airport, Sh51billion Isiolo-Mandera road, railway line connectivity to South Sudan, Oil refinery, modern market but which have stalled despite World Bank’s fund allocation.
Isiolo Municipality manager Osman Halake Dadacha however noted that the dream to make Isiolo a resource city is alive and urged development partners, the county and national governments, and investors to chip in and realize the vision.
Dadacha said politics, social economics, insecurity, and finances are the main hindrance to the realization of this economic booster to ASAL counties.
He also said water scarcity, and insufficient land for the expansion of amenities, infrastructures, and sewerage are disastrous to achieving the vision.
“The resource city will enhance and foster linkage between Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia. The city will open up the region to the Middle East as a trade Centre for fresh produce, value-added products, and livestock among other entrepreneurship endeavors. It will create jobs, empower people and transform lives in marginalized Northern Kenya counties,” Dadacha said.
The national government projected a 2012-2024 budget of at least Sh2 trillion for the LAPSET project.
During President Uhuru’s tenure, the national government completed Isiolo international airport, completed and opened Lamu port, and renovated the Nairobi Nanyuki railway line which is part of the vision 2030 that was initiated and drawn by former President Mwai Kibaki.
Many economic and political analysts observe that the introduction of the Big 4 Agenda by the Uhuru government diverted attention from vision 2030 a good reason for its delay.
Dadacha said Isiolo is a tourist corridor adding that once urbanized it will turn around the economy of the Country.
He said the municipality, while aided by the British government and World Bank has developed a roadmap for the solid waste master plan and stormwater master plan in readiness for the city.
The LAPSSET Corridor Program is Eastern Africa’s largest and most ambitious infrastructure project bringing together Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. This mega project consists of seven key infrastructure projects starting with a new 32 Berth port at Lamu (Kenya); Interregional Highways from Lamu to Isiolo, Isiolo to Juba (South Sudan), Isiolo to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), and Lamu to Garsen (Kenya), Crude Oil Pipeline from Lamu to Isiolo, Isiolo to Juba;
Product Oil Pipeline from Lamu to Isiolo, Isiolo to Addis Ababa; Interregional Standard Gauge Railway lines from Lamu to Isiolo, Isiolo to Juba, Isiolo to Addis Ababa, and Nairobi to Isiolo; 3 International Airports: one each at Lamu, Isiolo, and Lake Turkana; 3 Resort Cities: one each at Lamu, Isiolo, and Lake Turkana; and The multipurpose High Grand Falls Dam along the Tana River.