Business in Kiambu County is set to receive a major boost following plans to erect over 20,000 street lights through an ambitious programme by a gubernatorial aspirant.
Through his 24-hour economy blueprint, Thika MP Patrick Wainaina plans to put into action a programme that will make it easier for business people to transact and minimise security risks.
Wainaina said he will work closely with Kenya Power and Lighting Company to achieve the scheme while installing electricity poles at Matangini area in Juja Sub County yesterday. He also mentioned that he aims to install about 6,000 street lights by August.
During his five years in office, he installed more than 2,000 street lamps in the Thika constituency, and he plans to do the same in each of the other constituencies. He claimed that they had located potential locations for the lights, including retail malls and dimly lighted regions.
“We have started here at Matangini and we hope to increase to close to 6,000 lamps by August before increasing our coverage in the coming months. Those who have areas where they feel the need for street lights should liaise,” he said.
According to him, the 24-hour economy strategy is intended to improve and modify commercial activities in one of the most productive counties in order to hasten economic growth.
Wainaina, a supporter of the Buy Kenya programme, asserted that the promotion of power connections in rural regions should serve as a catalyst for economic growth by fostering the development of enterprises that create value.
“We are targeting a 24-hour economy and the project is a move towards that direction; we want to drive away the darkness that has restricted business hours in our towns,” he said.
Matangini traders led by Hellen Ndanu and Patrick Kinuthia lauded the project saying they would no longer be forced to close their enterprises early due to security fears.
Kinuthia, an agrovet operator, said initially, he would close at 7pm due to darkness, but will now work till 11pm.
“I used to close my business at around 7pm due to lack of proper lighting, muggings from robbers, but after the installation of the street lights I can now extend my business working hours without worrying about my security or even power blackout,” said Kinuthia.
Bodaboda operators led by Wilis Kamau said they would now be able to transport their customers to their homes till late without any fear.
Along with installing street lights, the MP is carrying out an empowerment programme that will see 2 million avocado and macadamia seedlings sent to farmers in an effort to increase their profits.
He distributed more than 50,000 seedlings to farmers in Gatundu North Sub County last week for planting this year.