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Bungoma now gets Sh1 billion boost for city status bid

WESTERN
By Nathan Ochunge and Micah Sali | September 29th 2021
Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati gives a portrait to United Kingdom Deputy High Commissioner, Julius Scott during the launch of Sustainable Urban Economic Development Program in Bungoma town on September 28, 2021. [Mumo Munuve, Standard]

Bungoma is among 12 counties that have benefited from a multi-billion shilling programme aimed at elevating towns into cities over six years. 

The Sustainable Urban Economic Development programme is being funded by the British government.

“Bungoma has received Sh1 billion for urban development and by 2026, the town is expected to have attained city status,” said Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa during the launch of the programme in Bungoma town on Tuesday.

Mr Wamalwa said the grant will go a long way in decongesting the municipality and spur economic growth through promotion of diversification and agriculture value chains.

The targeted value chains are dairy, sugar, maize, and poultry farming which will take at least 50 per cent of the grant.

Other counties that have benefited from the grant are Kisii, Makueni, Mandera, Isiolo, Tharaka Nithi, Kirinyaga, Uasin Gishu, Lamu and Kitui.

“We are giving a charter to Nakuru County next month for attaining full city status. Eldoret will follow soon," said Wamalwa.

He said Bungoma will receive a charter after five years. The CS noted that Kenya Devolution Support Programme has pumped an additional Sh454 million into the programme for the improvement of infrastructure in the health sector in selected counties.

Briish Deputy High Commissioner to Kenya Julius Scott said the future of Kenya is dependent on the development of urban centres.

“By 2030, at least eight million Kenyans will be living in urban centres and by 2050, the population will have risen by an extra 12 million. We must plan for that early enough by developing proper systems that will create employment in the long run,” said Mr Scott.

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