Nyamira town upgraded, but no space for expansion

A section of Nyamira Town which hosts the County headquarters. Economic growth of the town is slow with little activities being undertaken. [Stanley Ongwae, Standard]

A land crisis is looming in Nyamira as the newly inaugurated Nyamira Municipality embarks on transformation of the town, which hosts the county headquarters.

The municipality’s manager, Jackson Mogusu, said the town had run out of public space as much of the land is under absolute titles, meaning the original owners are the ones still holding the rights over the property.

Expansion of the town to cater for a growing population could thus be an expensive undertaking, if it happens at all.

Nyamira town is among major urban centres in the country that were upgraded to municipality status under the Kenya Urban Support Programme financed by the World Bank.

The town currently does not have a cemetery, recreational facilities, dump sites, social hall or even sufficient space for an open air market, essentials that should be in any urban settlement.

Mr Mogusu says the land issue is among other serious matters that need to be urgently addressed.

“The Municipality Board will have to deliberate on the question of land and how the missing facilities and amenities will be acquired. Our municipality ought to grow and we should have clear ideas on how to make it happen,” he told Home & Away.

Municipality Chairman Peter Ondieki said a framework is already being worked on for the urban development, which has picked despite lack of land.

“We are working out transformation ideas that will see the county scale further its economic standards. The people who have been entrusted with the planning and development are up to the task and we shall realise all the set goals,” he said.

The urban area, which for long was known as a one-street town, will have a 3.4 kilometre backstreet that will straddle the town from Borabu Inn through Golan Heights Hotel to Nyabite Market.

The road will be upgraded to bitumen standard at a cost of around Sh100 million, said Mogusu.

Nyamira was among seven out of 59 urban centres that qualified for the second round of funding through the Kenya Urban Support Programme.

Benefiting municipalities will share Sh448 million at varying amounts from a minimum of Sh50 million, with Nyamira getting Sh113 million.  

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