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State of the Nation: I will give Kenyans decent homes, Uhuru promises

The government is on target with its infrastructure plan, the President has said, adding he will also deliver in this second and final term.

Uhuru Kenyatta spoke on Wednesday of decent housing, roads and other transport infrastructure.

On shelter, Uhuru noted that a decent house is the most tangible symbol of a decent life, therefore a critical part of a family’s wealth.

But he added that the demand for decent places to live outweighs supply, particularly in the low-cost and affordable segment.

 While detailing solutions, he said: “The new housing programme has been designed to incorporate the private sector so as to properly respond to the demand. We expect hundreds of thousands of affordable new homes to follow, across the country, accompanied by a surge in jobs and incomes.

“My dream is that one day, in the not too distant future, owning a decent home will be within the reach of every Kenyan of median and modest income. Families will retire in the evenings to clean, well organised and hygienic houses, and Kenya will go to sleep knowing that all its citizens have sound roofs over their heads”.

The President spoke at Parliament on Wednesday, where he delivered his State of the Nation speech to an audience of National Assembly and Senate legislators.

He told the lawmakers that the housing dream will become a reality if they unite to eliminate barriers through lawsthat also cover the private sector.

Of the promised tarmacking of 10,000 kms of roads across the road, the President reported that 3,000 been completed while work was being done on 5,000.

The completed roads include Isiolo-Moyale which is part of the Trans Africa Highway Corridor running to the border with Ethiopia.

“[It] is transforming the economy of this region for the better of the people,” he said 

“Our people from that part of the country can now easily travel to their national capital, Nairobi, in a matter of hours, contrary to the past when they used to take days. They now feel they have reason to be proud to be Kenyans.”

Details: [State of the Nation speech]: Politics must revolve around service delivery – Uhuru

Uhuru said investments in infrastructure laid the firmest of foundations for the broad and shared prosperity that Kenyans expect.

“This term we must deliver,” he told the lawmakers. “We know that without radical renewal and improvement of our infrastructure and connectivity, we cannot hope to attract the investment we need to create jobs and prosperity, and to beat poverty.”

Regarding the Standard Gauge Railway, the President reported that less than a year since the first train left Mombasa for Nairobi, nearly 700,000 passengers have used Madaraka Express.

“On the cargo side, I am pleased to state that as promised, the SGR cargo services were up and running on January 1 with an initial monthly load of 22,345 metric tonnes rising to an impressive 213,559 metric tonnes per month as of the end of April.”

Uhuru went on to say that the expansion of the Last Mile Connectivity programme has seen 71 percent homes get electricity, up from 27 percent in 2013.

“I am particularly proud of this success for I know its transformative power. I have seen for myself that on the day a family first switches on a bulb, their entire lives change,” he said.

Related: State of the Nation: Devolution no longer a baby, commitment intact, says Uhuru

Also read: State of the Nation: Support Big Four to boost economy, Uhuru tells lawmakers

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