Five counties get Sh5b to spruce up towns

By E. Wambwa

The Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) has recommended that 5 counties – which host five of Kenya’s largest urban areas – receive an additional Sh5 billion to enable them provide urban infrastructure and services. The counties include: Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Uasin Gishu.

Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Eldoret are recognised as cities using criteria provided by the Urban Areas and Cities Act (UACA) enacted in 2011. In September 2017, the Cabinet approved the elevation of Nakuru and Eldoret to city status and the two are expected to receive charters.

CRA in its recommendations to the government for the allocation of funds to counties in the 2020/21 financial year said despite growth and the contribution to the economy, the towns have been in neglect with minimal investments to enhance service delivery to cope with growth in population.

City status

“These five cities require additional funding to enable them provide urban infrastructure and services to promote higher levels of productivity, service delivery and economic growth.” said CRA. “Based on the foregoing, the Commission recommends a new conditional grant of Sh5 billion per year to the five cities beginning in the financial year 2020/21.”

Nairobi is the largest contributor to the economy and accounted for 21.7 per cent of the gross domestic product as of 2017, according to the Kenya Bureau of statistics, followed by Nakuru (6.1 per cent). While Kiambu County was ranked third, accounting for 5.5 per cent, it might not pass for a city status due to size of Kiambu Town as well as proximity to Nairobi. The other cities that also made significant contributions include Mombasa accounting for 4.7 per cent of GDP, Kisumu (2.9 per cent) and Uasin Gishu (Eldoret) – 2.3 per cent.

Combined, economies of the five cites accounted for 37.7 per cent of all products and services that the Kenyan economy produced in 2017

“Despite their economic significance, the delivery of basic urban services in the cities as required by UACA has deteriorated and they are not able to meet the rising demand exerted by growing urban population,” said CRA.

Tags: Kenyan Cities, Kshs. 5bn Budget city growth

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