G. Daniel News

10 towns in Kenya likely to be upgraded to city status under new law

President Uhuru Kenyatta during the signing of The Urban Areas and Cities (Amendment) Bill 2017 on Tuesday at State House, Nairobi. [Credit/PSCU]
PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA on Tuesday signed into law The Urban Areas and Cities (Amendment) Bill 2017 which redefines city status.

By G. Daniel

While assenting the bill into law at State House, Nairobi, President Kenyatta said the new law is intended to accelerate efficient and quality services to urban areas residents.

The new law now enables the county governments to review the criteria provided for classifying an area as a city, municipality, town or market centre.

The law stipulates that an urban centre shall require to have at least 250,000 residents to be upgraded to city status which has been reduced from 500,000.

The law also proposes the establishment of boards to govern and manage cities and municipalities while outlining specific requirements for appointment to the boards.

County governments under the new law will also be allowed to declare an urban area a municipality if it has a resident population of at least 50,000 residents.

An urban area will become a town if it has at least 10,000 residents while a market centre requires 2,000 residents.

As such, Kenya is likely to have at least 10 more cities as we enumerate below. The figures indicated are from 2009 census and another census expected to take place this year, most of these town below the cutline for a city status will definitely have achieved the requisite minimum number (250,000).

1. Nakuru-307,990
2. Eldoret-289,380
3. Ruiru-238,858
4. Kikuyu-233,231
5. Kangundo/Tala-218,557
6. Malindi-207,253
7. Kiambu-188,869
8. Kisii-183,000
9. Naivasha-181,966
10. Kitui-155,896

Machakos whose 2009 population was 150,201 residents might also make it to a city status among other major towns and municipalities spread across the country. Kenya currently has only three cities, Nairobi (capital), Mombasa and Kisumu.

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