Residents decry slow pace of Nakuru airport construction
09 September 2015, 10:37
Nakuru - Residents and investors in Nakuru have called for speedy construction of the proposed Nakuru airport to boost tourism and flower exports to Europe.
Led by Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), they decried the slow pace in the building of the airport.
“Delay in construction of the airport is among factors slowing down growth of the horticulture sector in the region,” said Nakuru chapter KNCCI chairman, Kamau Njuguna.
Njuguna observed that flower farmers especialy in Naivasha sub-county will have a chance to exploit a huge market by increasing exports to Europe and the United States of America.
“Nakuru county has the potential to contribute hugely towards turning the economy of Kenya into a thriving one if we build a reliable transport system,” said Lawrence Karani, an investor.
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The county, which produces close to 70 percent of Kenya's flowers exports, relies on refrigerated trucks to ferry produce to Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, about 100 kilometres away, for export.
Construction of the airport has been on the cards since 2011 when the Treasury allocated KES 250 million for preparatory work in the 2011/2012 budget.
However, plans to build the facility on a 640-acre piece of land identified at Pipeline Area on the outskirts of Nakuru town flopped after the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) claimed that the area was on a bird migration route.
In July this year, Governor Kinuthia Mbugua said that the feasibility study by the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) had identified two parcels of land suitable for a mini-airport in Naivasha.
He said the Authority had handed over a report and recommendations which the county was going through before deciding the most suitable among the parcels of land.
The airport is expected to serve about a million travellers annually, including tourists to Lake Nakuru National Park among other attractions in the region.
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