Politics and policy
Donors pledge Sh42b support for urban projects
Posted Tuesday, July 24 2012 at 16:14
Three donors have agreed to jointly provide Sh42 billion ($500 million) to support urban development programmes in Kenya for the next five years.
The programmes to be funded include the ongoing Kenya Municipal Programme (KMP), Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Programme (KISIP) and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.
The head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Sweden, Mr Anders Ronquit, said his country Sweden, France and the World Bank would together provide the money to support the programmes
Mr Ronquit said Sweden supported the formulation of the National Urban Development Policy, which will in the long run improve the national framework for urban development.
“We will also continue to support civil society and local communities’ participation in urban development through funding,” Ronquit told a forum on urban governance organised for mayors and chief officers from 14 local authorities in Nairobi
He observed that the reforms being undertaken through the new constitution, the new Land laws and the Urban and Cities Act would improve urban governance and service delivery in local authorities.
The forum, which was organised by the Civil Society Urban Development Programme (CSUDP) heard that Nairobi City has been operating on a twelve-year master plan which is now outdated.
Patrick Owade, the secretary for Local Authorities' administration, said the ministry was finalising the national policy on urban planning and development.
He said the newly enacted Cities and Urban Areas Act requires that planning be done for all urban areas with a population of 2,000 people unlike the case in the past where no requirement was placed.
Mr Owade said the new Act defines a city as an urban area with a minimum population of 500,000 among other factors, with a municipal having a minimum of 250,000 people.
“Three key urban areas have been given automatic city status given the roles they play as growth centres. These are Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. What is remaining for Mombasa and Kisumu is the issuance of the charters,” he said.
He said based on the 2009 population census and due to some consequential requirements of the Urban Areas and Cities Act, Eldoret and Nakuru will meet the threshold for municipalities.
He expressed confidence that the new legislation, which creates management boards to run the cities and municipalities will cut out councillors from running towns and cities after the elections.
“The thinking in the Act is predicated on the need to professionalise the management of these key economic centres. With the creation of Boards, Councillors will cease to exist as players in urban management,” he added.
Owade added that the government is working on harmonising the Building and Maintenance Bill, Environment Bill and Housing Bill before being tabled in parliament for enactment.