- Two years ago, Oparanya said he would ensure the town becomes a city before 2022 when its centenary celebrations are to be held. Kakamega town was gazetted as the Western provincial headquarters in 1920. It is now serving as the county headquarters.
Kakamega town is getting ready for an upgrade to city status, Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has said.
He said the journey towards the attainment of city status was taking shape and called for the support of all stakeholders to enable him to achieve this dream.
The county chief spoke during a breakfast meeting with Kakamega traders under the auspices of the Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Friday.
Two years ago, Oparanya said he would ensure the town becomes a city before 2022 when its centenary celebrations are to be held. Kakamega town was gazetted as the Western provincial headquarters in 1920. It is now serving as the county headquarters.
Oparanya said a special committee has been set up to work on ensuring that all requirements are met to elevate the town to a city.
The Urban and Cities Act requires that a municipality has a population of at least 250,000, alongside other social amenities, to qualify for city status.
“Apart from improving the road network, installation of security lights and beefing up security, the county has embarked on a massive beautification programme of the town,” he said.
On December 19, 2019, the county chief inaugurated the Kakamega Municipality Board that is charged with the management of municipal affairs on a semi-autonomous basis.
The Kakamega town municipal charter was also launched. The charter took into account the expanded boundaries that encompass satellite townships of Khayega towards Kisumu, Lubao towards Webuye, Eshisiru towards Mumias and Shinyalu.
The new boundaries are contained in a 10-year spatial plan. They expanded the town from 49km2 to 123km2. The changes mean freehold titles within the new area will now remit land rates to the county.
Development of the spatial plans was funded by the World Bank, which has also given Sh400 million for infrastructure development.
Oparanya on Friday also said the county has commenced the process of repossessing all undeveloped plots in the town before being re-allocated to private developers.
The governor said the first phase of the exercise has been completed and repossessed plots will soon be given out to investors to develop them.
He said Sichirai market, which is under construction in Lurambi subcounty, will accommodate traders whose kiosks were demolished in the town.
The county will also construct 3,000 houses at a cost Sh6 billion to meet the expected rise in demand for houses once the town is elevated to a city. Construction will be done through a private-public partnership.
Oparanya added that the county was making progressive improvements in revenue collection. He said they were collecting Sh300 million when he took over, but they have improved to Sh1 billion.
He said his administration is targeting to collect Sh2.1 billion at the end of the current financial year.
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