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Counties

Governor in big plan for Nakuru's facelift to city status

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui (right) and deputy Eric Korir during an ASK show in Nakuru on August 20, 2017. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui (right) and deputy Eric Korir during an ASK show in Nakuru on August 20, 2017. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Governor Lee Kinyanjui has stepped up push to have Nakuru town elevated to a city.

The Nakuru County boss has embarked on an ambitious plan to upgrade infrastructure in the town as a way of making the town match city status.

In an interview, Mr Kinyanjui revealed the county government was in the process of constituting a Municipal Board to ensure the town is given a major facelift ahead of its elevation into a city.

“My administration will set aside Sh 1.8 billion to revamp the road network within the town and to other parts of the County.

"The town will also receive a major renovation. The aim is to make Nakuru town match the status of a city,” said Mr Kinyanjui.

Issues to handle

Among the issues the county is expected to handle include the planning of the town, garbage disposal among other things key to city status.

He said the planned upgrade was long overdue.

Already, a contractor to renovate road network in the town has started the project.

The roads targeted include those that serve Menengai and Milimani estates, the ones accessing Nakuru GK Prison, London estate and Industrial Area on the western side of the town.

Others include roads in Kaptembwa and Bondeni in the south, Naka, Free Area and Mwariki estates on the eastern part of the town.

The county government jointly with the Rift Valley Water Services Board have already embarked on rehabilitation the water supply network within Nakuru town which started last month.

The Sh250 million reintegration project within the town is aimed at improving water supply.

Cabinet nod

The town has been earmarked as one of those to be elevated to city status after the Urban Areas and Cities Amendment Bill got the Cabinet’s nod in September, paving way for the creation of two new cities in Kenya.

The cities that are already in place are Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa.

The other town that is likely to benefit from the elevation is Eldoret.

Nakuru and Eldoret towns are considered the fourth and fifth largest urban centres in the country, respectively, after Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

The Urban Areas and Cities Act 2011, which is set to be amended, states that for an urban area to be classified as a city, it must have at least 250,000 residents based on the last population census.

Integrated plan

Another requirement is that the place must have an integrated urban area or city development plan and should demonstrate capacity to generate sufficient revenue to sustain its operation.

Nakuru acquired township status in 1904 and became a municipality in 1952.

In 2011, Nakuru was named the fastest growing town in East Africa by a United Nations agency.

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