Friday, 07 February 2020 17:27

SYMBIOCITY KENYA HOMESTRETCH

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The Symbiocity Kenya project has made tremendous strides since iception inception in 2015. Some of the landmark achievements of the project thus far include: development of a toolkit for inclusive urban development dubbed ‘’Planning our towns”, impactful projects in the pilot counties, development of guidelines for place making (which is paramount for any urban sector), several successful capacity building sessions for county practitioners, among others. All these have drawn the country closer to sustainable urban development which was their high level expectation.
The Miji Endelevu project has not gone without its share of challenges. According to the project manager, the project still faces schedule constraints.
During this period ending in December 2020, Symbiocity Kenya’s objective is to implement the change projects as well as facilitate peer learning amongst counties. Mr. Mbwika, the project manager, pointed the need for early planning to achieve desired results. “We are planners, therefore, we have a tendency to prepare ahead of time to ensure things run smoothly. To this end, we have had several stakeholder meetings just to sit and look ahead of time about the things that we need to execute this year. What we plan for this year is basically to implement the change projects.’’
The project has focused on transparency and accountability in its implementation and especially in it procurement processes. To this point, the project has not had any negative procurement issues towards it. “The county does procurement, COG reviews through a ratification process and if the document is okay, we issue the county with no objection, which is basically a greenlight to get in to contracts with suppliers. An auditor from the Embassy is also expected to come and oversee the ratification process. For a county’s procurement process to be termed successful, it must have complied with Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015 as well the Symbiocity Kenya implementation framework and guidelines,” he continued.
The aspiration of the Symbiocity Kenya is that the capacity building done among urban planning experts in the counties as well as the lessons learnt from the 7 pilot counties would be replicated in all the other counties to cause a revolution in sustainable urban development in Kenya.
Miji Endelevu or the Symbiocity Kenya Project is a partnership between the Council of Governors (COG) and the Sweden Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR), to purposely test integrated urban solutions and strengthen planning capacity of the 7 towns in the 7 pilot counties in Kenya, selected through a competitive process in 2016. The towns are Mbita of Homabay County, Ahero of Kisumu County, Kwa Vonza town of Kitui County, Ontulili of Meru County, Njoro of Nakuru County, Kiminini of Trans Nzoia County and Butere of Kakamega County.

Read 126 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 February 2020 08:15

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