Secretary of State for International Development Rory Stewart joined outgoing UK High Commissioner Nic Hailey and Department for International Development (DfID) Kenya Head Julius Court yesterday for a visit to Lamu celebrate the coastal municipality’s successful application to join the SUED programme.
The Sustainable Urban Economic Development (SUED) programme is a £60 million, five-year programme supported by the British Government.
SUED funding is channelled through two mechanisms:
- Seed Funding:of up to 50% of the programme’s total fund to support infrastructural development and value chain projects. The seed funding will be demand led and based on the projects identified in the respective municipal urban economic plans. An equivalent of up to Ksh 4 billion to be shared among the ten supported municipalities.
- Technical Assistance: Each municipality is expected to get an equivalent of up to Ksh 500 million of technical support over five years.
While in Lamu, Mr Stewart joined Governor Fahim Yasin Twaha to sign a letter of understanding, launching the SUED programme in Lamu municipality.
Governor Twaha said that Mr Stewart is the first British cabinet minister to ever visit Lamu and used the opportunity to demonstrate the rich heritage the UK and Kenya share.
“I’m glad that the DfID is supporting the SUED programme to work with us to grow our technical skills in urbanisation. This will ensure that strategies developed are locally aligned,” Governor Hon Twaha said.
Outgoing UK High Commissioner Nic Hailey Tweeted: “Delighted we are hosting the first UK Cabinet minister to visit Lamu in as long as anyone can remember – and at new UKaid support to help this beautiful town develop sustainably.”
Lamu is among 10 municipalities that will receive support from the UK to support market driven economic growth in Kenyan municipalities and under the programme, Lamu will receive support to deliver climate-smart urban growth, attract investment, create jobs and build infrastructure.
Recording a series of social media videos, Mr Steward illustrated how UKaid was supporting the town sustainably by providing water, sanitation and planning, while protecting mangrove trees and cultural heritage.
He described what he saw as “A wonderful example of the DfID working with communities.”
Mr Stewart also welcomed the decision to halt the development of the Lamu Coal Plant, noting that Kenya is blessed with many environmentally friendly sources of renewable energy which investors and development partners are keep to support.