President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday conferred city status to Nakuru municipality.
Nakuru, the former headquarters to the former largest and most populous province in the country – Rift valley, becomes Kenya’s fourth city after Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
“Nakuru City will join Kisumu, Mombasa and Nairobi as cities. With a reputation as East Africa’s cleanest town, all of Kenya looks forward to Nakuru City growing by leaps and bounds,” President Kenyatta said in his State of the Nation Address in Nairobi on Tuesday.
The president signed and handed over the Instruments of City Conferment to Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui at the rehabilitated Nyayo Gardens.
Governor Lee Kinyanjui allays fears on higher taxation
An excited Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui welcomed the news, saying, “the long and intriguing journey is finally coming to an end”.
The county boss also assured city residents not to be worried about high taxes as a result of the elevation. He promised to always ensure public participation before implementing any decision.
How Nakuru was elevated to city status
Senate approved Nakuru Municipality’s application for elevation to city status this year.
The town’s population stands at 367,183, according to the Senate committee which approved Nakuru Municipality’s application for elevation to city status this year, surpassing the required population threshold of 250,000 people as per the criteria set in the law.
The team also found that the local revenue generated in the past three financial years demonstrated the town’s potential to sustain its operations.
What residents are set to ejoy
Nakuru residents are excited by the elevation as they now expect to enjoy sufficient water, better recreational facilities, state of the art stadia, good road networks, enhanced solid waste management systems among other services.
According to James Michoma, a physical planning expert, the town will undergo an overhaul and be re-planned, in a bid to resolve the perennial problem of congestion especially in the central business district and main streets.
Projects going on already
Bondeni slums is already set for an upgrade following a KSh2 billion affordable housing project initiated by the National government. 605 housing units are to be built in the low income area.
While conferring city status, President Kenyatta also inaugurated the new Nakuru Disaster Management Centre as well as the rehabilitated Nyayo Gardens.