The government plans to create five new metropolitan areas around the country by merging key towns and cities into zones in a bid to boost urban services and planning.
On Monday, the Housing ministry started looking for a consultant to help in the plan that will see Mombasa, Kisumu-Kakamega, Eldoret-Nakuru, Wajir-Garissa-Mandera, and Kitui-Mwingi-Meru grouped into metropolitan areas.
Towns outside Nairobi have been grappling with poor housing, road and public transport systems that have hindered developments, forcing rural dwellers to migrate to towns and cities in search of job opportunities.
Mass movements have caused overpopulation in big cities such as Nairobi and Mombasa.
The creation of new metropolitan areas will boost infrastructural investments in the above-mentioned areas, reducing mass migration to cities that have hindered them from developing.
“The government has obtained a credit from the International Development Association (IDA) towards the cost of Kenya Urban Support Program (KUSP) and it intends to apply part of the proceeds toward payments under the contracts for consultancy assignment for the development of National Metropolitan Development Strategy for five designated metropolitan growth areas in Kenya…,” the Principal Secretary State Department for Housing and Urban Development Charles Hinga said in a notice on Monday.
The government has invited a consultant to develop the national metropolitan development strategy that will prepare the master national metropolitan development strategy for Kenya as well as the metropolitan development strategies for each of the five designated metropolitan regions.
Roles include “preparing integrated strategic spatial development plans for the five designated metropolitan growth areas and propose strategic development and investments for each metro complete with their implementation plans,” said the department.
“The consultant will be selected in accordance with the quality cost-based selection (QCBS) method set out in the consultant guidelines,” said the department.
In March 2013, a document titled Spatial Planning Concept for Nairobi Metropolitan Region had six thematic areas. It was launched by the then Lands Minister James Orengo as part of an ambitious government plan to reorganise economic activities around the city.
It followed a presidential executive order in May 2008, which also saw the establishment of the Nairobi Metropolitan Development Ministry.