Eldoret town is inching closer to becoming a city with just two steps standing between it and this coveted title. The town git a shot in the arm after a report from an ad-hoc committee recommending conferment of the status was approved by the Uasin Gishu County Assembly.
While handing over the report, the committee noted that 93.2% of the residents who submitted their views supported the upgrading, 0.9% opposed it while 5.88% of the residents wanted the upgrading to be postponed to a later date, citing various challenges they said the town had yet to overcome.
However, the ad hoc subcommittee was of the opinion that the town had met all the necessary requirements, such as population and infrastructure development. This has paved the way for Eldoret town Municipality to be elevated to the fifth city in Kenya after Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru and Kisumu.
The report is set to be forwarded to the Senate for consideration and, if approved, it will be forwarded to President William Ruto for consent to have Eldoret town conferred with a city charter.
The motion to upgrade Eldoret was moved by a member of the County Assembly for Racecourse, Mr Amos Kiptanui, who observed that this will transform the economy of the entire North Rift region. Soy MCA Isaac Chirchir, who seconded the motion, said that Eldoret exceeds all the legal requirements for a city.
The ad hoc subcommittee presented its report to Uasin Gishu Governor, Mr Jonathan Bii, in early April after collecting views from members of the public on the proposal to have Eldoret become the fifth city in the country.
Eldoret has two public universities and a national polytechnic. The town also hosts several public and private university constituent colleges. On health, there are 53 health facilities spread across the entire county, including Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), that serves the entire north rift and western counties. The county also hosts the Eldoret international airport.
Statistics indicate that Eldoret town was one of the fastest-growing towns in the country at 5.2 per cent compared to the national average of 3.7 per cent. Governor Bii says if upgraded, the town will attract more investors and increased funding, apart from increasing the county’s visibility internationally.