Counties

Elgeyo Marakwet cable car plan in limbo seven years later

cable

Cable cars in La Paz, Bolivia. The Sh1 billion cable car project was proposed by Elgeyo Marakwet County in 2013 to connect Iten and Kabarnet. AFP PHOTO

Summary

  • The Sh1 billion project was proposed by the county in 2013 to connect Iten and Kabarnet, but has failed to kick off due to financial constraints.

The plan to construct cable cars in Elgeyo Marakwet remains just that after the Kenya Tourism Fund Board admitted that it is yet to start looking for investors to implement the project.

The Sh1 billion project was proposed by the county in 2013 to connect Iten and Kabarnet, but has failed to kick off due to financial constraints.

The board’s chairman Alphonse Kioko, speaking in Iten on Monday, said the board intends to float the proposal to its private sector partners in a bid to initiate a public-private partnership (PPP) model for the project.

However, it is unclear when the board will commence conducting a feasibility study on the project. Mr Kioko was non-committal, only saying: “After this meeting, the board would float the cable car project to its investors.” 

Earlier reports that the Fund had received Sh80 million for a feasibility study had elicited excitement.

Iten is popularly known as the “home of the champions” by virtue of being the birth place of most prolific Kenyan athletes and having high altitude training facilities, making a case for sports tourism.

“The county is a global sporting destination, strategically placing it on a world map,” said Mr Kioko.

But even as the Board drags its feet, the county government has been busy courting potential investors. Governor Alex Tolgos recently revealed that the county had secured support of the British government in the project.

“We are still looking partners and we are now asking Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala to move with speed and use Sh80 million to carry out the feasibility study so that we find a way to jumpstart it,” said Mr Tolgos.