Kenya has a deficit of more than 2 million housing units annually. Nairobi needs at least 50,000 housing units each year. The demand for better housing has been growing with each passing day. The ever-increasing Rural-Urban migration has given birth to the mushrooming of expansive slums in Nairobi as residents struggle to have a roof over their heads.
To help address the shortage of houses, and to help Kenyans at least own a house, President Uhuru Kenyatta came up with the Big 4 Agenda. Among the Big 4 is the construction of at least 500,000 affordable housing units for Kenyans. The first phase has already been handed over to the owners and the President hopes the 500,000 units to be completed by the time his term ends in the year 2022.
The government of Kenya also pledged to support private companies and investors who deal with real estate and who would like to construct affordable houses for Kenyans by exempting them from paying certain required taxes. Towards the end of January, real estate company Cytonn Investments launched an affordable housing fund where customers will be contributing as little as 1,000 shillings and eventually own a house.
Truth is, the demand for housing units in Kenya is growing, especially in satellite towns. Developers are, therefore, looking for better ways of putting up their structures in a manner that will not only excite the residents but also compel them to own them and call them home. One of the major aspects that developers are considering currently, and one that was not common before, is the use of air-conditioning.
Most tenants and developers currently keen on decent air conditioning. A house that has good air conditioning is likely to get tenants or buyers faster than that that is without. Developers are currently on the lookout for good air conditioning gadgets that will complement their work as well as making their products attractive and salable.
“The increased demand for air conditioning in Kenya is mainly influenced by extreme weather patterns, blamed on climate change. Unlike in the past when hotels and some commercial buildings were the main customers for air conditioning products, there has been tremendous growth in the sale of such products for use in residential homes as the Kenyan middle class seek to extend the facilities, they enjoy at their workplace to their homes,” said the air-conditioner global production giant, Daikin who has now officially entered the Kenyan market.
As the government rolls out plans to establish Nairobi as the first fully-fledged smart city, not only in Africa but in the continent as well, the affordable housing project should act as a benchmark on how houses in a smart city should look like and this will include but not limited to the installation of good, affordable, energy-efficient air-conditioners like those from Daikin.
“We intend to make our products available and accessible to all our desired customers for both residential and commercial applications. This is because our global proposition is to make premium yet affordable products,” said the Managing Director and CEO Daikin Air-conditioning India, Kanwal Jeet Jawa.
Daikin has for more than 90 years been considered as a leading innovator and provider of advanced, high-quality air-conditioning solutions for residential, commercial and industrial applications.
The company has now landed in Kenya and looking forward to working with partners to stamp their products across the country, a move that is set to create job opportunities for thousands of Kenyans given the opportunities that will arise down the value chain.
“These services would be provided by our partners who act as our extended arms. We’ll value add to our partners by investing in them through upgrading their skills both technically as well as in soft skills,” added Jawa.