New Committee Appointed To Evaluate Thika City Status

Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi has made significant changes to the committee responsible for assessing Thika’s city status eligibility, removing six of the original seven members.

In an official gazette notice released on Friday, Governor Wamatangi announced the appointment of a new panel of evaluators, demonstrating his ongoing commitment to push for Thika’s city status by the end of the year.

Speaking during an event in Githunguri, the county boss stated that he had formed a select committee made up of experts from different professional organizations such as the Architects Association of Kenya, the Law Society of Kenya, the Association of Urban Areas and Cities, the Kenya Institute of Planners, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Institute of Surveyors of Kenya, and members of the business community in Kiambu to assess the municipality’s capacities.

Sylviah Mueni Kasanga of the Architects Association of Kenya, Gitu Kahengeri of the Law Society of Kenya, and Zachary Ng’ang’a Mwaura of th
e Association of Urban Areas and Cities have been selected, according to the announcement.

T. G. Ndorongo from the Kenya Institute of Planners, Jeanter W. Warigia from the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya, and Julius Macharia Chege from the Institute of Surveyors of Kenya have also been appointed to the committee, with Cecilia Wamaitha representing the business community.

Governor Wamatangi had originally appointed a different set of individuals in November 2022. The seven newly appointed members are set to begin their one-year term on March 25th, 2024.

The potential elevation of Thika to city status would be a major achievement in its progress, which began under the leadership of former Governor James Nyoro. With a population of 279,429 according to the 2019 census, Thika has been focused on improving its infrastructure through projects like the Kenya Urban Support Programme and assistance from the World Bank.

In 2022, Governor Wamatangi spearheaded administrative reforms to drive forwa
rd Thika’s aspirations, resulting in the town being recognized as a separate administrative area independent of Juja Sub-County. Plans to develop an airport in Gatuanyaga, repurposing land previously held by Delmonte, have been suggested to boost tourism, commerce, and job opportunities in the region.

Thika encounters a number of obstacles as it strives to attain city status, including inadequate street lighting, proliferation of informal street vending, inefficient transportation systems, limited parking availability, land disputes, subpar waste management practices, water shortages, and bureaucratic delays in approving construction plans.

The newly appointed committee will undergo an evaluation process that is anticipated to result in a proposal being submitted to the county assembly.

The Governor reiterated his dedication to promoting Thika’s city aspirations, citing the allocation of funds for water distribution and stressing the requirement for an additional investment of Ksh15 billion to support the
city’s development.

Lastly, Plans for municipal upgrades have also been proposed for various areas near Thika, including Juja, Gatundu, Githurai (Kahawa), Kabete, and Githunguri.

Source: Kenya News Agency