For the past few years, Eldoret town has been in the race, alongside Nakuru to become the next city in Kenya.
Nakuru has already gotten the nod from the Senate and it is set to officially be a city, once a charter is issued – while Eldoret has also stepped up efforts to get the status.
The Eldoret Municipal Board has already set in motion a process that will see the town be declared a city, but what does that status mean to locals? What are some of the key areas that are set to be improved?
We take a look at some of the areas and services that will automatically be improved once Eldoret is a city, some of the changes are already being felt;
A city status comes with a lot of responsibilities, one of them being the need to have a good transport network. This is the reason the County Government of Uasin Gishu has lately been investing in tarmacking new roads within the CBD and even to key estates – with the support from development partners.
Most of the roads within Eldoret town are well maintained, and this is just but a start of the benefits of a city.
There is also an ongoing construction of the Eldoret bypass, that once complete will enhance transport within the town by doing away with regular traffic jams that are usually linked to the long-distance trucks transporting goods from Mombasa port to neighboring countries.
Security is a driver of an economy, and for Eldoret to be a city, it means there will be an increase in business opportunities, from more conferencing facilities, investors to tourists. For the city to sustain this influx of businesses, it will need to be well secured, and this is why most of the streets and key roads now have street lights.
As efforts to get an elevation gains momentum, any area with no street lights will have enough, which in turn also benefits mwananchi.
Even without searching for city status, there has been a rise in demand for housing within Eldoret town because of many learning institutions, key government offices in the town among other factors pushing a population rise.
Aside from private housing units, the County Government of Uasin Gishu is working on rehabilitating its houses, and upgrading them to modern status.
“We are rehabilitating our dilapidated houses. We are also constructing roads to the estates within the town with the help of the Kenya Urban Support Programme (KUSP).”– Eng. Nelson Maritim, Uasin Gishu County Executive Committee (CEC) Lands and Planning
Sewerage Services/Drainage systems
With an increase in demand for houses also comes an increase in demand for sewerage services.
Uasin Gishu County Executive Committee Member for Environment Mary Njogu says they are currently working on a plan to connect Langas, Kipkenyo, and Kimumu as well us upcoming estates to sewerage systems.
Njogu says Langas and Kimumu locals will be connected to the existing sewerage system that is not yet fully utilized while those in Kimumu will get a new sewer line.
“We are trying to pursue one for Kimumu and its environs because the gradient cannot allow them to use the current ones. Residents, there are currently using pit-latrines, exhausters, and bio-digester.”– Mary Njogu, CECM Environment.
Other areas that will experience substantial changes as a result of the city status push include water provision and the creation of more parks, with the Eldoret Arboretum already taking shape, as well as enhanced garbage collection.
“City status comes with great advantages including increased funding from the Government.”– Tito Koiyet, Eldoret Municipal Manager