Governors, Sweden ink deal to upgrade towns in 7 counties

Council of Governors chairman Josphat Nanok. -FILE
Council of Governors chairman Josphat Nanok. -FILE 

The process of redesigning towns in seven of the 47 counties has begun following the signing of a development plan between governors and the Swedish government.

The strategic plan, signed between the Sweden Local Authorities and Regions and the Council of Governors’ urban committee support team, will be valuable in identifying the key areas of utmost priority for the committee and specific strategies towards addressing this.

The counties set to benefit in the programme dubbed SymbioCity including Kisumu, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kitui, Meru, Nakuru and Trans Nzoia will receive Sh361 million to decongest their towns.

The seven will receive the funding from the Swedish government to improve planning of their urban centres in the programme which will last three-and-a-half years.

CoG secretariat said in a statement Monday the project would help re-draw new plans for their towns to conform to trends occasioned by the advent of devolution.

“The programme employs an integrated approach towards urban development. It is envisaged that Kenya will, in the long run, integrate the planning component of urban development to incorporate other key players like environment, safety and security, transport and infrastructure for improved service delivery,” read part of the statement.

A majority of towns face a myriad of development challenges due to outdated policies, most of which have never been revised in tandem with current trends.

The SymbioCity, according to the governors, seeks to improve the status of their towns in line with the Constitution. The funds — 30.3 million Swedish kronor — will be provided by the Swedish government through its embassy in Kenya.