Governor steps up push for 450 acre-land to expand Kitale town

The county government has accused the national government of delaying the allocation of land for the expansion of Kitale town.

Governor Patrick Khaemba says requests to have 50 acres from the Kenya Prisons Service and a further 400 acres from the Kenya Forest Service were yet to be approved, three years down the line.

“We are still lobbying the national government to give us part of land in town to enable us realise our expansion plan of Kitale town, which is congested,” Mr Khaemba said in an interview in Kitale town.

The county government wants the prison that stands within the town to be moved to create space for the planned upgrade of the town.

It has also been pushing for a forest, which is within the Kitale industrial park, to be cleared and be made part of the town.

Mr Khaemba said the planned upgrade was long overdue since the physical plan that was drawn by the colonial authorities could no longer contain the traffic to the town whose growth is partly fuelled by region’s booming agriculture.

Trans Nzoia is one of the regions known to produce maize and other crops that feed the bulk of the country.

Kitale lies on 18 square kilometres of land, half of which falls under the Kitale Golf Club. It is one of Kenya’s oldest towns.

“We have to expand this town because the current population of 200,000 has outlived its colonial plan, which was meant for about 45,000 people,” said the governor.

The regional government is also considering a deal with the Kenya Railways Corporation to lease part of its idle land within Kitale town for new market stalls to accommodate traders, now operating by the roadside.