KENYA, DEC 16 — Kenya Breweries Limited and the Kisumu County Government have formed a joint committee to cater for community interests in the ongoing revival of the Ksh15 billion Kisumu beer manufacturing Plant.
The liaison and delivery committee whose formation was announced by Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o will handle community engagement, issues management, information dissemination on employment and project updates.
Those named to the committee include Nerry Achar, Alice Moraa, John Okise, Kennedy Ajwang and Obunga Awich.
“We are happy with KBL’s approach and the progress of the project. We appreciate the fact that problems will arise from time to time and we must always seek to solve the problems together,” said Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o when he announced the formation of the committee.
“I look forward to reaping the fruits from the progress currently being made,” he added.
KBL Managing Director Jane Karuku welcomed the formation of the committee and said that the brewer was looking forward to becoming an integral part of Kisumu’s economic wellbeing.
“We heartily welcome the formation of the committee, which has already started work and thank Governor Nyong’o for leading the way to ensure we progress together. We have made a lot of progress at the new brewery site since July and we are delighted at the progress. We look forward to completing the construction works on schedule,” said Ms. Karuku.
Construction plans for the Ksh 15 billion Kisumu Brewery, whose ground-breaking was presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta in July, are progressing on schedule with production set to commence next year.
Ms. Karuku said the new plant will provide an expanded market opportunity mainly for sorghum farmers in Nyanza. The plant, she said will be heavily reliant on sorghum among other raw materials sourced from locals.
During the current development phase, Kisumu County has benefitted from the sourcing of construction material and labour force supply as part of the company’s local sourcing commitments.
To spur the local economy, the construction material and majority of the labour force at the construction site are majorly sourced from Kisumu County.
The committee is setting up an office that will serve as an information centre and will cater for all project enquiries including employment information.
The brewery plant is the single largest such project in Nyanza region and Kenya in decades, and is set to be an engine of economic development and catalyst for the lakeside city and the neighboring counties upon completion.
Kisumu County Governor Prof Nyong’o welcomed the project and reaffirmed the county’s support for the project sighting the socio-economic impact of the project to the county.
Governor Nyong’o said his county government fully supports the project and looks forward to enjoying its economic impact and the ripple effect of the brewery plant to the various sectors such as, agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and transportation which will positively transform livelihood of the people.
The plant will initially produce Senator Keg made using locally-sourced sorghum and KBL targets to recruit over 15,000 sorghum farmers with guaranteed market for the crop. This will lift demand for sorghum and in turn support small-scale farmers.
According to KBL, the Kisumu plant will also provide greater production capacity to meet the anticipated demand for affordable and healthy beverage which would effectively compete, and with time eliminate, illicit brews.
More jobs will be created when the brewery construction is completed and operations begin, Karuku assured.
“The plant is projected to be completed 2018, and approximately 100,000 direct and indirect jobs will result from this plant,” she said.
The Kisumu plant which will initially process only Senator keg is expected to expand operations to cater for up to a quarter of the company’s production capacity.
Production of the pocket-friendly keg beer is expected to increase by one million hectolitres after Kisumu starts operations.
The Kisumu plant which sits on a 55 acre piece of land was shut down in 2002 in what the beer manufacturer said was sufficient capacity at the Nairobi plant, and the then opening of a plant in Port Bell (Uganda) by its affiliate Uganda Breweries.