Oserian Development Company Limited, one of the largest flower growers and exporters in Kenya, has embarked on an expansion of its key facilities in readiness for an expected increase in population as its industrial park takes shape.
The park is part of a project dubbed the Oserian Two Lakes Development Master Plan, a long-term scheme designed to have a new city in Kenya’s Naivasha Town that will include business and industrial parks, an export processing zone, retail and leisure facilities, residential housing, and a new airport runway.
The Oserian Development Company has already begun an ambitious plan to diversify its commercial activities as part of the farm’s business expansion strategy.
“We want to be ready to offer people who will settle here,” said Mary Kinyua, Oserian’s Director for Human Resources and Administration.
Ms. Kinyua was speaking in Naivasha when the firm unveiled a new block of eight classrooms funded with premiums from a capacity building non-government organization (NGO), FairTrade, at a cost of Ksh14 million ($140,000) at the Oserian Primary School.
At the same time, Oserian has upgraded its health center by installing a CT scan and a dental chair that was also unveiled. “We will no longer refer our staff for these health services,” Ms. Kinyua said.
The School expansion project has been undertaken to decongest the already overstretched capacity at the public school built by the flower farm as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility programmes.
The block was officially opened by Fairtrade UK head, Michael Gidney in a ceremony attended by among other dignitaries, Naivasha Member of Parliament Mrs. Jane Kihara.
Ms Kinyua has asked the government to step in and provide at least eight teachers since the school faces a major shortage of instructors.
Naivasha, Kenya’s famous flower city, is poised to grow into a major economic hub following plans by the government to create a dry port as part of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) strategy and push generation of geothermal power to reduce reliance on hydro energy.
These developments have seen a major re-alignment of business in the Lake-town, with Oserian taking the lead in setting up a business park that includes a flower business zone, real estate, agro-processing industries and related support infrastructure for about a 20,000 population expected to work and live within the Oserian Two Lakes Business Park.
According to Ms Kinyua, these people will need schools for their children, and Oserian is planning ahead to ensure that this important aspect of social development is taking care of. “We are putting up a public school that is able to give our children equal learning facilities with those from other good schools as our contribution to Sustainable Development Goals,” she said.
The Oserian school expansion comes in the wake of the introduction of the music school at its supported educational institutions, in support of the Kenya government’s new curriculum in the country’s education sector focusing more on talent development than an academic pursuit.
Oserian is already a small town in its own right, with over 11,000 people living in its Company funded housing estates and benefitting from the Company funded Creches, Schools, Medical Centre and Social Halls.
The new strategy will ultimately see the expansion of these amenities in support of the expansion, which will see the creation of an industrial park which will be known as Two Lakes Industrial Park.