Nakuru becomes second county with many municipalities

Nakuru is set to become the second county with the highest number of municipalities after two of its main towns were upgraded from townships.

Gilgil which started off as an Indian Military Camp established by the colonialists was conferred the Municipality status last week with Molo set to receive its charter next week.

Nakuru is among the fastest-growing counties.

The development comes merely six months after President Uhuru conferred city status to former Nakuru Municipality which comprises the current day Nakuru Town East and Nakuru Town West Sub-Counties.

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui said the process of elevating the two towns started slightly before Nakuru became a city because they met the constitutional threshold to convert into municipalities.

Nakuru City photo by erik creative

He said the push for elevation was informed by the need to enhance the quality of life and improve services to the residents.

“The new status will attract additional funding for infrastructure improvement including tarmacking of roads, drainage, streetlights, markets, a town hall that will host a chamber for debates and other social amenities,” he said.

Kinyanjui said the grand planning for Gilgil included setting up a municipal development and coordination department and deployment of planners and surveyors who will have a fully-fledged office.

He added that his administration would also constitute a municipal board headed by a municipal manager and encouraged qualified persons to apply for these positions.

Speaking during the Gilgil Municipality Charter Award, Governor termed the upgrade a great achievement for a town whose history dates back to the 1800s.

He said among the benefits for the town is the construction of Sh200 million upgrade of the Mental Unit at the Gilgil Hospital which is being done in collaboration with the National Government.

Kinyanjui observed that Gilgil happens to host the second largest mental facility in Kenya after Mathare.

It is believed that Gilgil town started with the setting up of an Indian Military and became more vibrant around the time the Kenya-Uganda Railway was being constructed. 

“In 1944, a British military camp was established, where troops from the UK would train,” said Governor Kinyanjui who was accompanied by the area MP, Martha Wangari among other leaders.

He added that the railway line contributed immensely to the growth of Gilgil town through the movement of people and cargo even as the barracks set up provided security for growth.

“To many, Gilgil is a military town as it is home to military and Anti-Stock Theft Unit command centres as well as the National Youth Service Training College with thousands of Kenyans coming to witness the graduation of their family members and friends,” he said.

The Governor noted that the new municipality has the potential to grow and become the next big urban centre in Nakuru.

“Gilgil is strategically located off the Nakuru-Nairobi highway and is the gateway to the neighbouring Nyandarua County,” he said.

Kinyanjui said the municipality has potential for growth, especially with the construction of the Rironi-Mau-Summit super highway which will have an interchange at Gilgil.

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