Upgrade of towns will spur growth, Wanga says

Homa Bay Governor, Gladys Wanga. [Denis Kibuchi, Standard]

Four towns in Homa Bay county are expected to acquire rapid growth after being upgraded to municipalities.

Ndhiwa, Oyugis, Kendu Bay and Mbita towns are the new municipalities in the county.

Upgrading the towns to the new status came after Governor Gladys Wanga signed a charter for each of them. This gives the county a total of five municipalities after Homa Bay town which has been in existence.

Speaking in her office after signing the charters, Wanga said the municipality status will spur development in the towns.

The Governor said urbanization is a reality that must now be embraced.

"Urbanization is here with us and people are moving from villages to towns, leading to a higher population. This means we must now think of how these towns can grow to accommodate our people," Wanga said.

The settlement of many people in towns has led to the need for the provision of more services such as water, sewerage systems, electricity, roads, and housing among others.

The Governor said the municipality status would enable the county government to attract development partners who can undertake various projects.

"Population growth in the towns has created the need for many services for our people. But for us to position these towns in a manner that can attract funding or any support from investors, they should be municipalities," Wanga said.

She added that upgrading the towns augments the concept of devolution in her administration.

"Devolution did not come for Homa Bay town which hosts the county headquarters alone. Upgrading these towns will devolve more services to the lower levels," the governor added.

She expressed optimism that the municipalities put Homa Bay at the same level as other counties in discussions for attracting investors to support urban development.

"I urge our people to be ready to benefit from opportunities which result from upgrading the towns to municipalities," she added.

The creation of the municipalities came after the County Assembly approved its Bill.

County Assembly Speaker Julis Gaya said the municipalities will open Homa Bay County for economic development.

"What has happened today is growth which will develop our county," Gaya said.