Stakeholder meeting in Kisumu debates coordinated approach to lakefront development2Kisumu, 19 May 2015 – UN-Habitat and its partners have taken place in a meeting in the Kenyan city of Kisumu to ensure multi stakeholder approach in the development of the Kisumu Lakefront. Earlier this month, the County Governor of Kisumu, Jack Ranguma, invited UN Habitat, Agence Francaise Development (AFD), Kisumu Urban Project (KUP), Kenya Railways (KR), Kenya Port Authority (KPA), Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), Kisumu county government and Kisumu City to discuss the development plans.

The stakeholders’ presentations acknowledged the economic potential of Kisumu national and across the East and central African region specifically in transport and trade. In addition was Kisumu Lakefront being developed to be a tourist destination locally and internationally. This will expand employment opportunities for the many young people currently jobless in the area, providing employment in the formal and informal sector.

An integrated development approach

The City of Kisumu is in the final stage of approving an “Integrated Strategic Urban Development (ISUD) Plan”, which has identified the Lakefront Area as a key asset for the city and proposed its development as an extension of the Central Business District (CBD).

In order for this development to be realized in a manner that benefits the entire city, there must be a sound development plan that ensures land owners and developers benefit economically, as well as preserve and enhance productivity of the informal economy. UN-Habitat has been closely following the lakefront development to date.

In line with the plan, UN Habitat has undertaken a planning exercise supported by analysis of legislation and overall economic feasibility of the area, resulting to a Concept Plan. During the meeting, the Governor raised concerns on the issues of land and a number of plans that are being proposed without involving the County Government of Kisumu.

The Governor suggested that harmonizing all the plans will also determine the response of the investors in the proposed investor conference for Kisumu County. The meeting concluded that more coordination was needed to harmonize different efforts from the various institutions working on the Lakefront for optimum utilization of resources and synergy.