The national government has initiated plans to merge some towns in the country in order to create new metropolitan areas similar to the Nairobi Metropolitan Area.
According to a notice by Ministry of Housing dated Monday, January 31, the government is looking for a consultant to help in the execution of the plan.
The government is considering creating five metropolitan areas by merging key towns and cities into zones in a bid to boost urban services and planning.
Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary Charles Hinga Mwaura appearing before the National Assembly Transport Committee.
Among the towns named in the new plan are Mombasa, Kisumu-Kakamega, Eldoret-Nakuru, Wajir-Garissa-Mandera, and Kitui-Mwingi-Meru that are set to be grouped if the idea is approved.
This is after the national government obtained some funds from the International Development Association (IDA) towards the cost of the Kenya Urban Support Program (KUSP) which it intends to channel towards the new metropolitan plan.
“The government has obtained a credit from the International Development Association (IDA) towards the cost of Kenya Urban Support Program (KUSP) and it intends to apply part of the proceeds toward payments under the contracts for consultancy assignment for the development of National Metropolitan Development Strategy for five designated metropolitan growth areas in Kenya,” the Principal Secretary State Department for Housing and Urban Development, Charles Hinga, stated.
In the notice, the government is seeking to bring on board a consultant to develop the national metropolitan development strategy that will prepare the master national metropolitan development strategy for Kenya as well as the metropolitan development strategies for each of the five designated metropolitan regions.
The consultant will be tasked with preparing integrated spatial development plans and further propose strategic development and investment for each metro with a complete implementation plan.
“The consultant will be selected in accordance with the quality cost-based selection (QCBS) method set out in the consultant guidelines,” the department stated.
The idea of introducing metropolitan areas was hatched in March 2013 through a document titled Spatial Planning Concept for Nairobi Metropolitan Region. The document had six thematic areas aimed at recognising economic activities around the city.
The document was launched by the then Minister for Lands, James Orengo. The launch of the document saw the development of the Nairobi metropolitan development ministry.
According to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, if the idea sails through it will help address those towns that are currently grappling with housing, road, and public transport systems.
The project has been highlighted as key to boosting infrastructural investments in the 11 towns set to be merged, reducing mass migration to cities that have hindered them from developing.
Matatus caught up in a traffic snarl-up at Tom Mboya street near Khoja/Old Mutual terminus