By Nahashon Maina
Construction industry in Laikipia has grown almost double in the last three years.
Investment in the sector, hit Kshs 4.5 billion in 2020 up from Kshs 3 billion in 2019 and Kshs
2.5 billion in 2018. The residential buildings took the chunk of this investment with Kshs 1.8 billion invested as appetite for residential space keep on growing, Laikipia Statistical Abstract 2021 indicates. Industrial segment is one of the areas witnessing interest among investors within
county as the number of industries and warehouses emerge. This can be attributed to efforts by the Laikipia Innovation and Enterprise Development Programme support model to SMEs towards industrialization. This can also be attributed to continued planning of urban centres and regeneration of small towns
under the Smart Towns Initiative. Data in the statistical abstract indicates that the industrial space increased from 1,696M3 in 2017 in 2020. The total investment in the
same period rose to Ksh 1.2 billion from Ksh 65 million in 2017.
The construction industry continues to be one of the leading employers in the county with
over 7,000 jobs. In 2020, the builders in the county consumed 3.07 million (50 kg) cement
bags bought from 213 outlets in the county. Growth in the construction industry is a key indicator of a performing economy. Projects such as malls, office blocks, holiday homes and estates also contributes to the improved performance of the sector as investors rush in to meet the demand for decent housing in urban centers across Laikipia.
In 2020, Unison Sacco signed a contract with Nanyuki Water and Sewerage Company
(NAWASCO) a sewerage system on its 542 acres at a cost of Ksh 32 million. The Sacco is constructing a well-planned residential estate within Nanyuki town known as Taji Gardens. The partnership will ensure that the estate has utilities such as water, electricity and sewer system. Proper urban development will assist in solving sanitation issues while also offering conducive living conditions to tenants. With the return of the railways services, industries within Nanyuki will benefit from convenient and cheaper transportation of cargos out of
the county. Laikipia county is strategically placed at an intersection with some of mega projects by the national government driving the increased investments. To take advantage of the LAPPSET corridor, the county intends to establish serviced industrial zones in Rumuruti, Nyahururu and Nanyuki as it seeks out to position Laikipia as a logistic hub. For economic growth, the county is supporting enterprises to drive industrialization in Laikipia. The utilization of locally available resources can propel growth of industries that
attracts manufacturing investors. The county has been carrying out mineral mapping exercise and
laboratory test shows the county to have deposit. in iron ore and limestone. Limestone is the raw
materials used in the production of cement and the hope is that once exploration begins it will
low the cost in construction industry. Manufacturing sector is one area that the county is banking on to create wealth and employment opportunities through value chain linkages. The county is also upgrading 10 centers into smart towns to create an enabling environment for investors.
By Nahashon Maina