A few years ago, Samburu town in Kwale County was rated among the poorest in the country, with no industry present and locals burning charcoal and farming livestock for survival.
With climate change and a drought, residents suffered, their animals dying due to lack of water and pasture.
However, Samburu’s face is now changing since the opening of one of the biggest steel manufacturing plants in Kenya and the second largest in Africa after South Africa’s.
Driving along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway, one cannot ignore the changes that the Devki Steel Mills, located in Samburu-Chengoni ward, has brought.
As other towns along the highway have suffered a persistent economic crisis due to the shift of cargo haulage from the road to the standard gauge railway, the once sleepy town of Samburu has flourished in the last few years.
Construction of the steel plant, nine kilometres away from the Samburu town centre, started in 2018 whereas operations started last year.