Eldoret’s rich live in peace and quiet

By Vincent Bartoo

It is home to Eldoret’s affluent, and the serene environment in Elgon View Estate makes it perfect for comfort living.

Located South of Eldoret town just ten minutes drive from the Central Business District (CBD), the estate is zoned for low-density residential buildings, mostly bungalows and maisonettes.

It is strategically located along the Eldoret-Kapsabet Road, which leads to the Eldoret International Airport.

In it’s surrounding are Eldoret State Lodge, the Eldoret Sports Club, Eldoret Club and major hospitals. Well performing private schools like Hill Primary and secondary schools, Eldoret Seminary High School, Testimony primary and secondary schools are within its neighbourhood.

Electricity and water is excellently supplied to the estate, which also has a fairly good road network.

The tranquillity of the estate has attracted non-governmental organisations that have set up their headquarters within the estate. They include the United Nations offices, the World Food Programme and the Kenya Red Cross Society among others.

The estate is home to prominent politicians, athletes, businessmen and religious leaders in Eldoret and the larger North Rift region.

Security is tight with alarm systems and guards in every home

Residents have jealously protected the serenity of the estate and have opposed plans to establish commercial buildings that would disrupt serenity.

Recently, the residents were up in arms over plans by the Kenya Red Cross to put up and Sh200 million five-star hotel.

Led by retired athlete Kipchoge Keino, the residents said past attempts by developers to put up commercial buildings have been rejected.

against constructions

"Since 1979, no application for change of user from residential property to commercial has been approved. We wonder why this one is an exception," said Keino.

The residents say apart from the proposed development setting a precedent for other commercial investments, it would generate noise, affect security and corrupt the morals of youth in the neighbourhood.

But Kenya Red Cross Governor, Paul Birech denied that the hotel would affect the tranquillity of the neighbourhood, instead saying it would add value to the area.

He cited street lighting, improved sanitation services, construction of a tarmac leading to the hotel, as some of the benefits to the neighbourhood.

"The structure (hotel) will be put up to standard and the guest house will be noise free," Birech assured the residents.

Consultations over the planned construction of the hotel are still going on. Until recently, the estate was not served by any public transport, as every household own at least two vehicles. The introduction of tuk tuks is meant to serve middle class residents of the estate who have rented servant quarters.

seeking extra coins

"Due to harsh economic times, we have had to rent out the servant quarters for additional income from our houses," said Peter Cheruiyot, a businessman living in the estate.

The servants are then forced to rent houses in adjacent low class estates like the neighbouring Langas, reporting for work early and leaving in the evening.

Rent at Elgon View estate range between Sh20,000 to Sh50,000 a month, depending on the tenant. Individuals pay between Sh20,000 and Sh30,000 while NGOs, companies and churches pay up to Sh50,000. Servant quarters are rented out at between Sh5,000 to Sh7,000 a month, depending on the size.

Security at the estate is tight with most tenants hiring private security firms to protect their property, most of which are installed with alarm systems. Guards from the firms patrol the estate, where homes also have fierce dogs like German Shepherds to ward off criminals.

The posh nature of Elgon View Estate has influenced development of high-class residential homes in the neighbouring Outspan area.

The area was initially land belonging to the defunct East Africa Tanning and Extract Company, which was bought by individuals for private development.