President Uhuru Kenyatta has awarded a city charter to Nakuru, making it the fourth city in Kenya after Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. This comes after the National Assembly and the Senate approved Nakuru Municipality’s application for elevation to city status in June this year.
The President also launched the renovated Nakuru-Kisumu railway line, affordable housing projects and the Nyayo Gardens, which was under rehabilitation since 2019. The infrastructure around the park has been beautified as well, to match the aesthetic of the newly renovated gardens. He was accompanied by ODM party leader Raila Odinga, Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka among dignitaries.
Before classification as a city, urban areas must have infrastructural facilities like roads, street lighting, markets, fire stations, waste disposal and disaster management capacity.
The news was received with excitement, with Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, saying, the “The long and intriguing journey is finally coming to an end, I now roll up my sleeves to make Nakuru the best city in Kenya and Africa. Already, we have various projects underway that will restore the glory of Nakuru.”
The governor further relayed his fears of tax inflations following the elevation to city status, but pledged that his administration will make financial decisions based on the needs of the residents.
Nakuru currently has a population of 367,183, according to the Senate committee that scrutinized the city status application, surpassing the required population threshold of 250,000 people as per the criteria set in the law. The team also found that the local revenue generated in the past three financial years demonstrated the town’s potential to sustain its operations.
Residents of Nakuru are now expected to enjoy better recreational facilities, sufficient water, state of the art stadia, good road networks, enhanced solid waste management systems among other services.