Nakuru County will receive Sh429.7 million from the World Bank this financial year for urban development and to upgrade slums in Nakuru and Naivasha towns.
A large portion of the money, under the bank’s Kenya Urban Support Programme (KUSP), will benefit Nakuru town, which is awaiting a city-status charter.
The grant will be shared between two municipalities - Nakuru (Sh293.4 million) and Naivasha (Sh136.3 million).
To improve access to basic services, the bank, under the second phase of the Kenya Informal Settlement Improvement Project (KISIP), has also granted Nakuru County Sh300 million.
Governor Lee Kinyanjui said his administration, with development partners including the World Bank, had kicked off plans to upgrade Nakuru and Naivasha's informal settlements.
"The initiative, besides slum upgrading, will also target improvement of drainage infrastructure, waste management, improvement of roads in the slums and installation of lights," he said.
The slums targeted include Kaptembwo, the biggest in Nakuru town, with a population of more than 100,000.
Others are Kivumbini, Lake View, Kwa Rhonda, Flamingo, Kaloleni and Bondeni.
This comes as Nakuru County has started an ambitious bid to redesign Nakuru town as part of a master plan that seeks to improve its face and decongest the town.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to visit Nakuru before the end of the year to deliver its city-status charter after the Senate approved it in June.
Fix traffic congestion
With Nakuru’s elevation to a city, Mr Kinyanjui's administration is leaving nothing to chance.
In its grand plan to fix traffic congestion, the county government has started building an ultra-modern matatu stage to accommodate PSVs that have been operating from the town centre.
"We have to decongest the town, re-carpet the roads and allow for the improvement and expansion of walkways," he said.
Earlier this year, the county also acquired 3.6 hectares of land from Kenya Railways, at the Gate House roundabout, to set up a matatu terminus. The work is almost complete.