Necessary structures to make Eldoret Kenya's fifth city are in place

An aerial view of Eldoret town. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

In the 'Nguzo Kumi plan', I have made a pledge to the great people of Uasin Gishu County - a promise that envisions transforming our county into a haven of enhanced quality of life for the elderly, dignity for women, and meaningful engagement for the youth.

This commitment is centered on a profound idea: The elevation of our dynamic town of Eldoret to the status of the fifth city in Kenya. Last week's presence of the Senate's Standing Committee on Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations in our county, while on a mission to assess our readiness, proves that wheels are rolling towards us attaining city status.

Allow me to guide you through the compelling reasons that underpin the significance of this endeavour. Eldoret's growth trajectory is a testament of its untapped potential. Fueled by the vitality of its youth and commonly referred to as a farmer's town, it has surged to become the fastest-growing town in the country.

Notably, its strategic location positions it as a linchpin between East and Central African countries and a conduit to European markets. The town's accessibility is a key asset, boasting an international airport, a well-connected railway, and a comprehensive road network that forges connections across the globe.

Yet, it's not just the pace of growth that sets Eldoret apart; it is the modern infrastructure that forms its backbone. A consistent supply of electricity and water, harnessed from diverse sources, including Chebara and the Elgarini rivers, serves as the lifeblood for both residents and businesses. Moreover, the blueprint for Eldoret Rural Water is testament to our foresight. This foundation isn't just functional; it is poised to facilitate international trade, providing us with a privileged gateway to global markets.

Eldoret's role as a healthcare hub is equally noteworthy. It holds the distinction of being the second-largest provider of consultancy services after Nairobi. As Eldoret ascends to city status, this reputation will amplify, drawing in a wider array of clients from East and Central Africa, thus further enriching our healthcare sector.

Education flourishes within Eldoret's boundaries, with a cluster of public universities and private institutions, including prestigious national polytechnics. Our financial sector is equally robust, hosting over 30 financial institutions, including Eldoret's Central Bank of Kenya.

Yet Eldoret's essence transcends its infrastructure - it is a vessel of sports excellence and offers a canvas of recreational sites, shopping malls, and walkways for our residents, marking it as a unique and walkable town.

Eldoret's magnetism extends to the realms of tourism, industry, and hospitality. The town is home to industrial giants such as Rivatex, Ken Knit and Rai Ply, which not only provides opportunities, but drives innovation. With well thought out urban planning and emphasis on sanitation, Eldoret paints an attractive picture. The hospitality sector thrives, boasting hotels, shopping complexes, and essential amenities that cater to all needs.

The journey toward city-hood is a journey toward empowerment. This elevation promises the augmentation of value through the utilisation of raw materials, benefiting both our farmers and the business community. Furthermore, it is a magnet for investments, paving the way for opportunities and employment for our youth.

But this transformation goes beyond local boundaries - it's a proclamation of global presence. Elevating Eldoret to city status will grant us visibility and recognition on the national and international stage.

This transition signifies our commitment to steering our own fate, shaping a town that thrives with prosperity and embodies our shared pride. Eldoret's journey toward city status is unstoppable as it captures progress, aspiration, and inclusivity.

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