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State to merge major towns and cities into six metropolitan regions

COUNTIES
By Peaceloise Mbae | May 1st 2015
ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i

The Government plans to merge eleven major towns into six metropolitan regions.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i said apart from Nairobi which has gained metropolitan status, other cities and towns will be merged with surrounding townships to spread development in counties.

In the proposal, Kisumu is to be merged with Kakamega, Nakuru with Eldoret, Wajir to merge with Garissa and Mandera, Kitui with Mwingi and Meru, while Mombasa is to swallow up the immediate townships.

"The government is working with county governments to achieve this. The establishment of the metropolitan regions is part of Kenya vision 2030 aimed at bringing development to major and minor cities within the country," said Mr Mating'i.

Failed plans

Matiangi made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf by Lands Principal Secretary Mariam el Maawy during the opening of the national conference on Upscaling Metropolitan Development at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies.

Worldwide trends indicates that cities are growing beyond their establishment and territories, merging with adjoining urban localities and other cities resulting in metropolitans

In Kenya, previous plans to achieve metropolitan growth have failed since 1973. According to Matiang'i, the establishment of Nairobi Metropolitan is a learning opportunity for the country in develop other regions.

"Urgent attention should be focused on re-appraising the potentials and functionality of our large urban areas, and re-inventing the utilisation of physical space for production," he said. Matiangi said all these will depend on the cooperation of the national and county governments.

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