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Sun shines at former swampy village of Kisumu

Buoye’s real estate developments change the fortunes of former Kano flood plain in the city’s outskirts

Christine Babu @PeopleDailyKe

Buoye village in Kisumu East constituency was once a flood plain. The raging waters from River Nyando used to sweep many houses after heavy rains pounded the town and its environs during wet seasons.

Today, Buoye, which is part of the vast Kano Plains of Kisumu East constituency, has attracted many former town residents who are now opting to buy plots and settle here as property prices are affordable. In the past few years, the former rural village located in the outskirts of Kisumu town has seen an increase in the number of investors. In many areas, the land is raised and many buildings and houses have withstood high flood waters.

Developers in the area also reinforce the foundations of buildings with extra steel structures to prevent flooding. Compared to town estates such as Lolwe, Migosi and Kenya Re, rent is pocket-friendly here compared to renting a house in town.

Tenants are also attracted by lack of congestion and less noise. Nonetheless, Buoye is normally swampy, particularly after heavy rains.Apart from rental homes, prospective homeowners think the area is far from town, with higher transport costs.

This has, however, not deterred investors from purchasing land in the area. Rental houses are being built by the day as people who formerly resided in Kisumu town move in because of its location and the low cost of housing. In the past one year, three new filling stations have been built within its vicinity and have helped to improve security in the area.

The locals who are mainly Catholics have also benefited from the new Vincentian Prayer House, Kisumu. Fatia Asmin, a sales representative at Lake Estate Agency, says the emergence of many decent houses in the area has motivated more investors to flock the area to put up rental houses.

“Apart from the low housing demand in Buoye, the on going construction of the new bus terminus at Mowlem has also attracted land buyers. Transport to town will be thus eased and business opportunities will increase,” she says. The sales representative foresees land prices skyrocketing in the next two years mainly as a result of the new bus terminus.

“Demand for houses will increase since people will want to venture into business around the terminus and save on rent money,” she says. Challenges of decent housing in Buoye has been mainly because of the area’s muddy black soil.

“This is being solved by use of murram to suppress the soil from flooding,” she says. Buoye has also been attracting tenants from Kondele estate, which usually erupts into violence during election periods.

“Security wise, Buoye is not badly off as most of its residents are natives unlike other estates like Mamboleo where land is mostly purchased by everybody,” she adds. Fatia is optimistic that more decent estates such as Polyview estate will soon be constructed here.

“Many of the residents are coming together to build rental houses using land sales proceeds. In addition, cyber cafes and M-Pesa outlets are sprouting,” says Mary Andrea, one of the developers. Andrea grew up at Buoye when the city seemed a long distant away, but now things have changed.

“We have also been included in the road expansion plans for Kisumu East, which is now underway,” she adds, smiling. Vincentian Prayer House has also brought along opportunities for the local entrepreneurs to venture into hostel and accommodation business.

The church gets visitors from other towns for retreats. Andrea has constructed several modern facilities in Buoye, among them rental houses and a primary school. She has also purchased other pieces of land within and further construction has already kicked off.

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