Industrialization of Athi River Town.

The central theme of this is to study is to investigate which factors have been responsible for the current rate of industrialization in Athi River town and the socio-economic effects of these industries. Although Athi River town appears to have great potentials for industrial development, it is not known precisely which factors make the town attractive. While appreciating the benefits from industries the adverse effects will also be considered.

This study focuses on Athi River town and finds out that cheap, good industrial land, transport and market explains 77% of industrial location decision in the town. Raw materials and government incentives are found to be insignificant location factors.

The rate of industrial growth in Athi River town is 10%. Which is much higher that the projected national growth rate of 6.4%? The employment growth arte in the town is 10.6%, which is more than twice the projected 4.4% (sessional paper one 1986). This shows that the town has great potentials for industrial, development .The high growth rate of industrial development and employment will create more job opportunities to Kenyans. Also E.P Z. is proposed in the town, which is a reflection of the town’s favorable industrial location characteristics. EPZ if implemented will boost the town’s growth through infrastructure provision and employment provision.

The study further found out that other results of the explosive growth rate of the town inter-alia, the town is characterized by a haphazard growth. Further, the town lacks an up to date plan to guide growth. The existing plan was prepared in 1970 although the town is experiencing marked change. The rate of infrastructure provision is lagging behind the town’s growth. The disposal of industrial waste is raising a lot of concern particularly from chloride metal, Athi River mining and East Africa Portland. This is a result of weak pollution control laws and the machinery to enforce them.

To harness the full industrial development potential of Athi River town will require proper planning and coordination of development activities.

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