Construction work is in progress at Gatitu Road in Thika town. [Kamau Maichuchie, Standard]

The quest to make Thika Town the first city in the Mt Kenya region has gained traction after Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi commissioned an ad hoc committee to midwife the town's elevation into an industrial smart city by the end of this year.

After formally appointing the team through a gazette notice, Governor Wamatangi officially handed over the task to the committee to oversee the process that will culminate in President William Ruto conferring a charter to Thika, once an industrial hub.

The committee members are drawn from diverse sectors, including the business community, the Kenya Institute of Planners, the Kenya Institute of Public Accountants, the Kenya Institute of Architecture, the Law Society of Kenya, the Association of Urban Areas and Cities and the Kenya Institute of Planners.

During a ceremony held at the county headquarters, Wamatangi stated that Thika, once a thriving industrial hub, has the potential to evolve into a modern city teeming with vibrancy.

Sewerage system

According to the county boss, once upgraded to a city, Thika will attract grants of about Sh1 billion per year for infrastructural development, including tarmacking of roads, drainage, street lighting, water connectivity and sewerage system among others.

The County Executive Committee Member for Housing, Planning, and Urban Development Salome Wainaina said Thika is set for transformation, with the recently gazetted Export Processing Zone being highlighted.

Acting Chief Officer of Municipal Administration and Urban Development Martin Kagiri, stated that data on social and physical infrastructure, revenue generation, land use, population and development control have already been gathered - putting the process of transforming Thika into a city at 60 per cent completion.

Kamenu Ward MCA Peter Mburu said all five MCAs in Thika were behind the project and would mobilise residents to support it.

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