The push towards upgrading Eldoret town to a city is just two steps away from becoming a reality after approval by the Uasin Gishu county assembly of a report from an ad-hoc committee recommending conferment of the town to city status.
The approval of the report by the county assembly now paves the way for Eldoret town municipality to be elevated to the 5th city in Kenya after Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, and Kisumu.
The report will now be forwarded to the Senate for consideration, and if approved, it will be forwarded to President William Ruto for consent to have Eldoret town conferred with a city charter.
The motion was moved by a member of the county assembly for Racecourse, Amos Kiptanui, who observed that upgrading Eldoret to a city will transform the economy of the entire North Rift Region.
Soy MCA Isaac Chirchir, who seconded the motion, said that Eldoret has exceeded all the legal requirements for conferment to City Status.
The ad hoc subcommittee presented its report to Governor Jonathan Bii in early April after collecting views from members of the public on the proposal to have Eldoret become the fifth city in the country.
While handing over the report, the committee said 93.2 per cent of the residents who submitted their views supported the upgrading, while only 0.9 per cent opposed it, and 5.88 per cent of the residents wanted the upgrading to be postponed to a later date, citing various challenges they said the town had yet to achieve.
However, the ad hoc subcommittee was of the opinion that the town had met all the necessary requirements, such as population and infrastructure development.
Eldoret has two public universities and a national polytechnic. The town also hosts several public and private university constituent colleges. On health, there are 53 health facilities spread across the entire county, including Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), that serves the entire north rift and western counties. The county also hosts the Eldoret international airport.
Statistics indicate that Eldoret town was one of the fastest-growing towns in the country at 5.2 per cent compared to the national average of 3.7 per cent.
Governor Bii says if upgraded, the town will attract more investors and increased funding, apart from increasing the county’s visibility internationally.
By Kiptanui Cherono