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Why Kiambu might have the highest number of cities under new law

Ndung'u Wa Gathua.
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A section of Ruiru Town. The town is likely to be upgraded to city status under The Urban Areas and Cities Act. [Source/kiamburentals.com]

Kiambu County may have as many as five cities after President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law The Urban Areas and Cities (Amendment) Bill 2017 which redefines city status.

President Kenyatta, while signing the bill into law at State House, Nairobi, on Tuesday said the new law is intended to accelerate efficient and quality services to urban areas residents.

Under the new law, the county governments will now be able to review the criteria provided for classifying an area as a city, municipality, town or market centre.

An urban centre shall require to have at least 250,000 residents to be upgraded to city status which has been reduced from 500,000.

A town, on the other hand, will be upgraded to a municipality if it has a population of at least 50,000.

An urban area will be declared a town if it has at least 10,000 residents while a market centre will require at least 2,000 residents.

Going by the new law, it is evident that Kiambu is likely to have the highest number of cities if the 2009 census figures are anything to go by.

Below are five Kiambu county towns/municipalities likely to be upgraded to city status in the near future.

1. Ruiru - 238,858

2. Kikuyu - 233,231

3. Kiambu - 188,869

4. Thika - 139,853

5. Karuri - 129,934

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