Govt Proposes New Rules to Govern Kenyan Cities

  • The national government through the State Department of Urban Housing and Planning has proposed new regulations to govern all cities and the establishment of urban areas in the country.

    Through a draft regulation published on Tuesday, February 1, the government has released a wide range of rules that will act as the point of reference in the formation and establishment of all urban areas. The general public and other stakeholders have been given seven days to submit their comments on the proposed changes.

    According to the draft regulations, all cities and urban areas would be required to establish a register of all registered neighbourhood associations operating within their jurisdictions. The register is supposed to be updated after every financial year.

    Expensive house in Nairobi Suburbs

    File image of an Expensive house in Nairobi Suburbs


    All neighbourhood associations would be required to reapply for registration every year at a cost of Ksh500. The registers, according to the new law, will be managed by the town manager or their appointed representative.

    For an area to be considered for recognition, it must provide proof of registration by a recognized body including its

    members which shall comprise at least 25 per cent of the residents of the neighborhood, minutes of its meetings and active participation by a sizable proportion of the residents, existence and operation for at least two years.

    The town manager according to the draft laws would be expected to facilitate the establishment of clusters within the neighbourhood. Each cluster within the urban areas will also be expected to have chosen officials including a chairperson, secretary, and treasurer.

    Apart from small cluster areas, the state department has also released rules that will guide the establishment of cities.

    Before consideration, formal requests must be made by the sitting governor detailing the area set to be reviewed, committee members of the committee, and commitment to supporting the logistics of the process.

    On receiving the request referred to above, the Cabinet Secretary shall within 3 weeks notify the nominating bodies to make their nominations.

    A committee will then evaluate all the documents presented before submitting the report to the Cabinet Secretary for gazettement.

    Before consideration, an urban area would be vetted depending on various factors including existing paved roads, waste and refuse management, street Lighting, public spaces (parks and recreational areas), cemetery, water, Storm water Drainage, and sewer.

    “The process of the establishment of a Special Purpose City shall commence with a proposal by the National Director of Urban Development (NDUDD) which shall be endorsed by the Council of Governors. The proposal referred to above shall be presented to the Cabinet Secretary who shall in consultation with the Governor(s) where the SPC falls shall appoint a task force to evaluate the proposal by NDUDD and make the necessary recommendations to the Cabinet Secretary who shall proclaim the SPC,” part of the draft document read in part.

    A Special Purpose City shall be managed in accordance with Section 12 of the Urban Areas and Cities Act.

    The new draft regulations further outlines guidelines that will inform the running of businesses within the urban areas, from registration up to the last step of the operation.

    A file aerial view image of Nakuru Town in Nakuru County taken on June 3, 2021.

    A file aerial view image of Nakuru Town in Nakuru County taken on June 3, 2021.

    Nakuru County Government

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