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Gilgil town receives charter to become a Municipality

Gilgil Township has joined other urban areas in Nakuru County and the country to become a municipality after it received a charter elevating it to its new status.

While handing over the charter at Gilgil stadium, Nakuru Governor Mr. Lee Kinyanjui said the decision to push for the elevation of the town was informed by the need to enhance the quality of life and improve services to its residents.

“The municipality status will see additional funding that will help us improve infrastructure including tarmacking of roads, drainage, streetlights, markets, and upgrade of this stadium,” he said.

Kinyanjui said his government`s grand plan for Gilgil municipality is setting up a municipal development and coordination department which will oversee the running of the new municipality.

This will include deploying planners and surveyors who will have a fully-fledged office which will help bring services closer to the people of Gilgil.

“We plan to constitute a municipal board headed by a municipal manager with the help of board members. We encourage qualified persons to apply for these positions. We will also construct a town hall that will host a chamber for debates and other meetings,” Kinyanjui said.

The governor said Gilgil town which is situated between Nakuru city and Naivasha town has a great potential to grow and his government chose to seize these opportunities to create avenues not only for wealth creation for the residents but also to improve services for their benefit.

“Strategically located off the Nakuru-Nairobi highway and is the gateway to the neighboring Nyandarua County, Gilgil town has the advantage of having a steady supply of clean, quality water, National Youth Service (NYS) training camp, natural resources, which is diatomite, an airstrip, a supply of affordable foodstuff, and electricity connection among others,” Kinyanjui said.

The governor observed that his government, conscious of the opportunities for growth in Gilgil, made deliberate efforts to initiate development in the town and one of the projects his government has done include the tarmacking of roads within the town, upgrading of the Gilgil bus park and markets and the health sector where a maternity wing has been set up at Gilgil sub county hospital at a cost of Sh.40million.

He said in collaboration with the National Government, his government was working to upgrade the mental health unit at a cost of Sh. 200million.

Kinyanjui also announced that Molo Township will receive its charter elevating to a municipality next week. This will see the number of municipalities in Nakuru County rise to five after Nakuru town was elevated to city status late last year.

According to the urban areas and Cities Act of 2011, for a township to qualify to be awarded a charter for municipal status, it must have a population of at least between 70,000 and 249,000 residents.

It must also have an integrated urban area or city development plan and a demonstrable capacity to generate sufficient revenue to sustain its operations and to effectively and efficiently deliver essential services to its residents as provided in the First Schedule to the Urban Areas and Cities Act.

The township must also have sufficient space for expansion and infrastructural facilities such as street lighting, markets and fire stations, among others.

Even after fulfilling the requirements and involving public participation, a request is then send to the Senate to be discussed and passed before the President grants the town the new status through a charter.

By Mabel Keya – Shikuku

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