Good news as Nakuru was this afternoon awarded a city charter by President Uhuru Kenyatta, making it the fourth city in the country after Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
The Head of State who was accompanied by ODM leader Raila Odinga, also launched the revamped Nakuru-Kisumu railway line and affordable housing project.
“Nakuru City will join Kisumu, Mombasa and Nairobi as cities. With a reputation as East Africa’s cleanest town, all of Kenya looks forward to Nakuru City growing by leaps and bounds,” President Kenyatta said in his State of the Nation Address in Nairobi on Tuesday.
The news was received with excitement, with Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, saying, “the long and intriguing journey is finally coming to an end”.
“I now roll [up my sleeves] to make Nakuru the best city in Kenya and Africa. Already, we have various projects underway that will restore the glory of Nakuru,” Mr Kinyanjui added.
The governor has allayed fears that the elevation to city status will occasion residents being burdened with high taxes, land rates and rents. His administration, he said, will make its decisions based on the needs of the residents and will ensure regular public participation.
The Senate approved Nakuru Municipality’s application for elevation to city status this year.
The town’s population stands at 367,183, according to the Senate committee that scrutinised the city status application, surpassing the required population threshold of 250,000 people as per the criteria set in the law.
The team also found that the local revenue generated in the past three financial years demonstrated the town’s potential to sustain its operations.
Residents of Nakuru are now expected to enjoy better recreational facilities, sufficient water, state of the art stadia, good road networks, enhanced solid waste management systems among other services.