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Nakuru’s Section 58 enjoys State House privileges

By | November 5th 2009


Section 58, or ‘five eight’ as it is fondly referred to by residents, is an estate with plush homes. It is sandwiched between Nakuru’s State House to the North and Bondeni to the South of the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

Section 58 shopping centre.

The estate enjoys a panoramic view of the pink stained edges of Lake Nakuru whose white shores are reminiscent of the sandy beaches commonly associated with the Coast. Sadly, in the recent past, salt dust and receding waters have beleaguered the lake.

The residents of ‘five eight’ consider themselves lucky as they get to enjoy the benefits of being so close to the State House, which former President Moi frequented. While the rest of the town suffered acute water shortages, the residents enjoyed free flow since the estate shares the same water supply line with State House.

The same applied to electricity supply and assurance of security. This luck has, however, waned in the recent past as the incumbent rarely visits the State House and now residents suffer water shortages, electricity outages and incidences of insecurity.

From this hood, one can clearly see the eastern slopes of Menengai Crater and gain easy access to the nearby Hyrax Hill Prehistoric museum. I spent a night in this hood and was besieged by numerous memories, which I still treasure today.

The thunderous rattle of the train startled me when it passed close by just past midnight. I was informed the railway line and train station are a stone-throw away.

Situated at the western edge of the estate is ‘dog section’, the police dog training unit. There are two primary schools in this hood — one public and the other private.

Two private secondary schools are also situated here. One targets upper class residents and offers British curriculum GCSE system. Several mainstream churches stand here, too.

Down to the south, a changaa brewing hideout named after a mysterious guy called ‘Kanyi’ has greatly thrived under the disguise of housing the less fortunate. It is known to be a hub of crime and is a cause of alarm to the residents of the plush homes a few metres away.

Some of the new buildings in the area. [PHOTOS: Boniface Thuku/Standard]

Within this hood are five old housing projects — Kabachia 1-4 and Mama Ngina — built in the early 1970s by the Government. It is from here that the frangipani-scented enclaves of the rich and new developments spread.

Down south-east of this hood stands the Municipal Council’s fire station. Its classical beauty and ancient faÁade can be confused for a historical museum. Sadly, its environs are famous for the brewing of illicit liquors. It doesn’t help matters that the fire station is home to rickety fire engines.

Section 58 is located slightly more than a kilometre away from Nakuru town making it an ideal hideout for the Asian community, most of whom drive the businesses in the town. The estate is also preferred by expatriates owing to its upmarket class yet affordable housing.

Rent prices

A five-bedroom maisonette rents out at between Sh20,000 and Sh30,000 per month while rent for a two-bedroom flat is between Sh12,000 and Sh20,000, all depending on how far the house is located from the Nakuru-Nairobi highway.

Most residents, however, bought plots and built their own homes. Today, one would have to spend a fortune to acquire a tiny piece of land.

"There is a shortage of land for sale in Section 58 and this has seen plot prices rise from Sh400,000 ten years ago to Sh1.8 million today," says Elizabeth Wambui of Magical Entreprises, a property management company in Nakuru. "However, there is an adjoining development next to the estate called Naku where an eighth of an acre is selling for about Sh800,000."

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