The recent announcement by the Nakuru County government that Gilgil and Molo towns will be promoted to municipalities is both welcome and timely.
The elevation of the two towns reflects that their populations have risen to the point that they must now be awarded municipality status.
With this, the county government can increase the funding necessary to give their residents a higher quality of service delivery.
According to the Urban Areas and Cities Act 2011, for a township to gain municipal status, it must have a population of between 70,000 and 249,000 residents.
Key areas that the county government should invest in are ensuring the residents of Gilgil and Molo have a higher quality of services delivery is water and sewerage infrastructure, which will be a boon for residents and the local economies.
As the urban planners begin working on how to implement the water and sewerage systems, it will be in the best interest of citizens to make long-term sustainable investments.
This will ensure governments do not have to redo projects every couple of years - essentially a waste of taxes and disruption to service delivery.
There is normally a boom in local economies when municipalities get water and sewerage infrastructure. Jobs are created during the construction phase of such projects. There are also capital inflows, courtesy of the supply of locally available building materials.
Employing the local labour force also allows technological and knowledge transfer through training and upskilling.
This benefits the local communities when future construction projects in these towns are implemented.
Once water and sewerage infrastructure is up and running, municipalities often see reduced cases of water-borne diseases associated with pollution of water resources.
Water quality improves because there is reduced pollution of natural river systems.
Such investments trigger the development of modern infrastructure including residential, commercial, retail, and industrial properties.
One way this goal can be achieved is by using modern building technology like Weholite HDPE pipes which offer a service life of over 100 years and has low maintenance costs.
The light nature of Weholite technology also makes it easy to use in heavily built-up areas with minimal disruptions to communities.
Nakuru and other county governments that are elevating towns to municipalities should thus be proactive in adopting modern technologies such as Weholite HDPE, as they have proven to offer durable and sustainable solutions to today’s water and sewerage challenges.
- Simon Thomas is an international consultant and board member of Megapipes Solutions Ltd.