Preparations for the commencement of major works in Homa Bay county are in advanced stages under the second phase of the Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Project (KISIP2).

The Department of Lands, through the County Project Coordination Team, has sensitized various committees representing the informal settlements in the county on their roles and responsibilities. 

Settlement Executive Committees (SEC) and Grievance Redress Committees (GRC) have undergone training on social and environmental safeguards, gender-based violence, grievance and conflict management, and communication skills. This training aligns with the Project Operation Manual (POM), which outlines the processes and procedures to be followed during the project's implementation.

County Project Coordinator Madam Norsea Bayer expressed confidence that the training will equip officials with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively manage emerging issues within their settlements.

 "We are committed to full adherence to project guidelines. We take issues of environmental and social safeguards as seriously as we do financial issues," she stated.

She further said that the project will meet the conditions and meet the timeline set by the implementing partners.

Ms. Tonia Okeno, the social safeguards focal point person in the County Project Coordination Team, addressing Settlement Executive Committee (SEC) and Grievance Redress Committee (GRC) members during a sensitization exercise in Homa Bay town on Thursday.

The SEC chair for ‘A Thousand Street ’Informal Settlement, Madam Roseline Kajo, expressed satisfaction with the transparent handling of Project Affected Persons (PAPs), significantly reducing the risk of conflict. She also noted that interventions like installing high mast lights will improve security and increase business hours.

Mr. Peter Ombai, a boda boda rider residing in Makongeni, expressed enthusiasm about the plans to upgrade a major road within his settlement, which will make transportation easier for clients, school children, and patients.

"I regularly use the road heading to Makongeni Health Centre. The terrain is terrible and that makes it tricky to ride on. I can't wait to see how the project is going to fix it to make ferrying clients, children to school and patients to hospital easier." He said

The County Government has received the PAPs report, containing details of affected persons and property valuations, paving the way for the commencement of major works in Shauri Yako, Sofia, Makongeni, A Thousand Street, Nyandiwa, and Rusinga Old Town Informal Settlements. These works include the construction of roads, stormwater drainages, vending platforms, and connection to piped water, all aimed at improving the lives of people living in these areas.