What you need to know:
- Nakuru County is set to undergo a major transformation owing to multibillion-shilling projects initiated during the town’s push for city status
Elevating Nakuru to a city will see residents benefit from a few mega infrastructural developments.
After receiving the charter from President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday, Nakuru County is set to undergo a major transformation owing to multibillion-shilling projects initiated during the town’s push for city status.
When Governor Lee Kinyanjui began the process, he sought to improve the town’s physical planning and infrastructure by commissioning several projects. These range from roads and markets to an airport and modern fire stations.
To this end, last year, the national government launched construction of a Sh600 million ultra-modern market at the fire station grounds in Nakuru East sub-county.
The four-storey complex is expected to host over 3,000 traders and provide a dignified, safe and secure business space.
Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary Charles Hinga said the market will take a year to complete.
It is expected to have sufficient parking and a daycare centre for traders with young children. This will be a relief to several traders operating in the existing open-air market.
The national government has also invested Sh2 billion in building 605 affordable houses in the Bondeni slums as part of its Big Four agenda.
The project, undertaken by Kings Developers, will see the slum upgraded to a modern estate.
It is under a partnership between the national government and the World Bank
Governor Kinyanjui said the project, launched in May, is at 40 percent completion.
Upgrading the Lanet airstrip to an airport is also one of the projects that was necessary for Nakuru to get approval for city status.
The national government, through the Kenya Airports Authority, gave the nod for the project.
Work on the airport began last year and will cost Sh3 billion in the first phase.
Yesterday, Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the project will be completed by June next year.
“I went to the site and the contractor confirmed to me that the airport will be ready for use by June. This will ease movement in this region as we will have aeroplanes flying to all parts of the country and beyond from this city,” he said.
The government is also dualling the Rironi-Nakuru-Mau Summit highway.
In October last year, President Kenyatta signed a Sh160 billion deal with a French consortium for the dualling of that road.
In the deal, the road will be built by a French company and overseen by the Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) through a public-private partnership (PPP) model that will involve tolls.
This will see the current two-lane highway expanded into a four-lane dual carriageway that will be further expanded to six lanes on the busiest sections.
The national government also plans to build a four-kilometre elevated highway from the section near State House, Nakuru, to Eveready.
Governor Kinyanjui noted that the highway will reduce travel time to Nairobi from three to at least one hour.
Other projects undertaken by the national government include the modern fire station that was officially opened on Wednesday.
The fire station, opposite Nyayo Gardens, has 30 firefighters, who graduated from the Morendat Institute of Oil and Gas in Naivasha.
The Sh174 million World Bank-funded project is set to enhance the county’s disaster preparedness and response.
Nakuru residents are also set to benefit from the Naivasha Inland Deport and the rehabilitated metre gauge railway, work that included renovating the iconic Nakuru railways station.
For its part, the county government has completed building the Sh75 million new matatu terminus at the Railway Grounds (opposite the GateHouse roundabout) in Nakuru town.
The terminus is expected to decongest the town’s central business district.
The upgrading of Nakuru's historic Afraha stadium is also ongoing.
The stadium will be upgraded to international standards Sh650 million.
The county has also invested in health and physical planning.