The County Government of Kisumu has unveiled Maseno as a town to effectively plan the rapidly growing urban center.
Maseno, located in Kisumu West Sub-County is among five other urban centers upgraded to towns in the lakeside county. Others are Ahero, Muhoroni, Kombewa and Katito.
The county government banks on Maseno University and other learning institutions in the area to facilitate the growth and expansion on the town.
Speaking at Maseno Agricultural Training College during the unveiling ceremony Thursday, Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o said the move will spur growth and attract investments.
The town, which lies on the equator will be promoted as a tourists and education hub, with the governor urging investors to take advantage of the new status to develop the locality.
Meanwhile, the county government has set aside Sh40 million this financial year to upgrade the town.
Prof. Nyong’o said the money will be used to upgrade or install water and sewerage systems, roads and street lighting, solid waste management and for tourism development.
“I am aware that this is not enough but it is a statement that going forward we will have a dedicated budget for Maseno to adequately offer services to the residents,” he said.
The town, he added, will be managed by an administrator and town management committee who have been tasked with the responsibility of creating linkages and partnerships to improve service delivery and accelerate growth.
Nyong’o said the conferment of the other four urban centers was on course and expected to be completed before the end of next year.
“The growth of these satellite towns will not only bring services closer to the people, but also create economic nodes that will create opportunities for thousands of people,” he said.
Speaking during the same occasion, Maseno University Vice Chancellor Prof. Julius Nyabundi said facilities at the town were overstretched due to the rising student population.
“The university is growing rapidly. We have moved from admitting 2, 700 students three years ago to 6, 000 bringing our total student population to 21, 000,” he said.
The VC said the town lacked a sewerage system and hostels to accommodate the rising student population, adding that the town status will help bridge the gap.
By Chris Mahandara