Kisii County Government has formed a team that will come up with a strategic urban development plan to be used in upgrading Kisii municipality and boosting business in the region.
Speaking at the County offices, Kisii County Governor James Ongwae said that according to the latest law in the country, a place needs only 200,000 people to be designated as a city and Kisii municipality has a population oscillating between 200,000 and 500,000 people daily.
Ongwae added that the municipality boundaries were also increased from 25 square kilometers to 77 square kilometers due to the increased population from 20,000 people in the last urban development plan that was formed 50 years ago to 400,000 people.
He noted that the plan that is expected in six months will prioritize street lighting in the municipality, bypass roads to reduce congestion, water supply and walkways as major issues that enable business to thrive.
“They are going to give you a strategic plan which is a Geographical Information System that allows access to information online. One will be able to access information about his or her property in Kisii municipality from anywhere in the world,” said Ongwae.
He said that the municipality was controlling 60 per cent of the money market in the Nyanza region and requested for a Central Bank money collecting Centre to reduce work at the Central Bank in Kisumu by 57 per cent.
“In this municipality, there will be medical tourism as we are finalizing the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the University of Manchester medical school in making Kisii University a Centre of excellence in health education that will work closely with Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital (KTRH),” said the Governor.
He added that the County government is finalizing a mother-child hospital in KTRH that is set to have 350 beds and 4 surgical theatres saying women will not be mixed with men in the hospital.
Ongwae also noted that the Sugar factory in South Mugirango has been given an approval letter by the Sugar Directorate adding that the investor will start work at the factory in the next three months.
He pointed out environmental degradation, proliferation of informal settlements, and waste management as the major urban planning challenges in the Kisii municipality due to the rapid population growth.
By Augustine Mosioma