Mombasa residents have expressed concerns over the slow pace of development in their County.

Speaking at the Mombasa Residents Dialogue forum organized by KARA in partnership with Safaricom Ltd, the residents challenged the County Government to address the myriad service delivery challenges facing the County. Top on the list of concern for the residents was solid waste management. They complained that the County has failed to put in place proper mechanisms for garbage collection and disposal leaving most parts of the County littered and stinking. The residents also urged the County Government to constructively engage County stakeholders in decision making processes and ensure that the expectations of the residents are reflected in the final decisions made by the County Government.

However the County Executive Committee Member in charge of Land, Housing & Physical Planning Dr. Edward Nyale who represented the Governor, defended the County pointing out that a number of initiatives have been rolled out to provide sustainable solutions to the challenges facing the County. “The County Government of Mombasa has received development assistance from the Government of Japan through its Agency Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to fund the Mombasa Gate City Master Plan. The plan will include solutions for various sectors including urban transport, railway, airport, power, water supply, sewerage, telecommunication and solid waste management” he said.

Dr. Nyale blamed the slow pace of development on late disbursement of funds by the National Government. He informed participants that the government has plans to create industrial and eco-tourism hubs across the country to boost its economy, and will continue working with Resident Associations to enhance service delivery.
The forum whose theme was communication services providers as enablers of smart cities was also addressed by Mr. Steve Okeyo, Director, Regional Sales & Operations, Safaricom Ltd; Ms. Lucy Wainaina of UN Habitat; and Mr. Njuguna Kamunge, Coast Regional Manager, Communications Authority of Kenya.

Mr. Okeyo said that Safaricom will continue to offer innovative solutions community problems by embracing smart technologies. He pointed out that the company has so far developed various producst that respond to the needs of the Kenyans. The products include: Mpesa, Msoko, Mtiba etc. He explained that the company has integrated Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) in all its areas of operation and will continue working with various stakeholders to contribute towards the achievement of the goals. Ms. Wainaina said that UN Habitat’s main focus is on SDG-11 and the New Urban Agenda provides the strategies for Kenya in achieving SDG 11. She added that UN Habitat had developed various models of smart cities that could be adopted by Mombasa County. Mr. Kamunge said that the government should play a crucial role in promoting smart cities by developing proper National Addressing System and establishing ICT and data centers across the country.