Most residents want Nakuru town to be given city status, a report by an ad hoc committee formed to collect views says.
The committee chaired by former Nakuru Mayor John Kitilit presented its final report to Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui yesterday.
Speaking to The Standard, Mr Kitilit said a majority of residents approved the intended elevation.
“Citizen participation is a key principle in the Constitution and the Urban Areas Act. We have concluded the process and submitted a comprehensive report,” he said.
Stakeholders who made their submissions before the ad hoc committee were drawn from professional bodies, business associations, Members of Parliament, among others.
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Kitilit, however, noted some residents and political leaders were apprehensive the elevation might have adverse effects on local population and economy.
“Ten county departments expressed their readiness and support of the town’s elevation to city status. County utility providers also backed up the plan,” said Kitilit.
Nakuru Municipality chairperson Lawrence Karanja, however, denied claims that there will be haphazard increase in taxes and rising cost of living once Nakuru attains city status.
There were also concerns over the infrastructural needs of the town which residents wanted addressed before conferment of city status.
Governor Kinyanjui hinted of plan to expand boundaries of the upcoming city, adding that the county government was committed to solving issues raised by stakeholders.
“Estates like Kiamunyi, Lanet and Mawanga will benefit from the development funding set aside for Nakuru City. We will progressively solve emerging issues among them having a sustainable development funding model,” said Mr Kinyanjui.
The report will now be submitted to the county assembly for debate. If approved, it will be handed over to the President for conferment of the city status.
Last week, Deputy President William Ruto urged the county government to fast-track the process, saying the national government fully backs the plan.
“Do your part and leave the rest to us. I will sprint with it so that we can have the first city in Rift Valley.”