Eldoret moved a step closer to becoming a city following the signing of a municipality charter that establishes a board to run the town.
Governor Jackson Mandago signed the charter yesterday to ensure compliance with conditions set out in law.
The charter is in line with the Urban Areas and Cities Act that sets out the criteria for a town to acquire city status.
Under the charter, a board will be established to ensure provision of services to residents and follow up on implementation and compliance with policies by both national and county governments.
The board will also ensure participation of residents in decision-making as well as in the town’s activities and programmes.
This means that the board will set up structures to comply with the Act which specifies conditions for towns to be granted city status.
These include infrastructural facilities such as roads, street lighting, markets and fire stations, and an adequate capacity for disaster management.
“The charter gives instruments to establish the municipality which will then come up with a framework that will eventually progress to a city status,” said Lands Executive Nelson Maritim.
“The law dictates that you need to have municipality offices then eye city status, that is where we are headed as a county,” he said.
According to Maritim, the charter clearly spells out the composition of the nine-member board.
“In the board, we will have the manager doing delegated functions of county executives and departments which will be key in discharging their mandates through solid waste management, traffic and planning, collection of fees among other functions,” he said.
The county is expected to gazette the charter this week to give room for the creation of the board.
Other towns eyeing city status are Nakuru and Nyeri. However, the President still has to give the final nod before any town is elevated to city status.
“The President may, on the resolution of the Senate, confer the status of a city on a municipality that meets the criteria set out in section 5, by grant of a charter in the prescribed form,” states section 5 of the Urban Areas and cities Act.
According to the Lands executive, the county is expecting funding from the World Bank, which is willing to finance projects to assist it attain city status.
“We are set to receive Sh630 million from World Bank and the fund will be used to construct roads and houses in informal settlements besides focusing on beatification and increasing footpaths by 8 kilometres,” he said.
“We are also bidding for money from Sustainable Urban Economic Development (SUED) if we manage our municipality well,” he said.
Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno said a city status for Eldoret would transform the region.
“We are a gateway to East Africa and having a board will enable us plan well and attract more investors,” he said.