After remaining unfinished for an astonishing 16 years, the Isiolo international abattoir is finally on track to be completed within the next 18 months.

This long-awaited development comes as the Kenyan government has secured the necessary funds to finish the project, marking a significant turning point for the region's meat industry.

The Trade and Investment Ministry has announced that they have received Sh42 billion from the Afriexim Bank in collaboration with the African Finance Cooperation to finance the project.

Of this sum, Sh28 billion will be allocated to the abattoir's completion, while the remaining Sh14 billion will be utilized to expand the Isiolo international airport, catering to freighters that will transport the meat products to international markets.

Trade and Investment Cabinet Secretary, Moses Kuria, emphasized the transformative impact of the facility on Kenya's meat export prospects.

"We have international buyers ready to take up the facility space that we will provide and also come and set up their facilities," Kuria stated.

The benefits of this development extend far beyond the abattoir itself.

For Isiolo County, this project is set to be a game changer. With the establishment of new infrastructure such as improved roads and a larger airport to accommodate freighters, the region is poised for unprecedented growth and increased employment opportunities.

Isiolo County Governor Ali Guyo expressed his optimism, stating, "The people of Isiolo and the larger northern part of Kenya will benefit from this as it will allow them to offload their livestock without having to go as far as Nairobi and Mombasa to sell them."

Furthermore, the government estimates that the region suffered losses amounting to Sh280 billion in livestock last year due to drought conditions.

The timely completion of the Isiolo export abattoir is seen as a crucial step in preventing similar losses for farmers in the future.

Kuria also shared his confidence in the project's potential success, revealing he has confirmation from 16 international carriers that will be ready to have the meat from Isiolo as their cargo.

"I have confirmation from 16 international carriers that will come here to get the meat products that will be processed at the facility," Kuria said.

The Isiolo export abattoir's significance extends beyond its economic impact, as it also addresses pressing environmental concerns.

By reducing the need for long-distance transportation of livestock, the facility will contribute to lower carbon emissions, promoting sustainable practices in the agricultural sector.

As the completion of the Isiolo international abattoir draws near, Kenya stands at the brink of a new era in meat exports, with promises of increased revenue, employment opportunities, and infrastructure development.