The recent announcement by the Nakuru County government that Gilgil and Molo towns will be promoted to municipalities is both welcome and timely.
Elevation of the two towns is important because it reflects that their populations have risen to the point that they must now be awarded municipality status. With this elevation, the county government can increase the funding necessary to give their residents a higher quality of service delivery.
According to the Urban Areas and Cities Act 2011, for a township to qualify to be awarded charter for municipal status, it must have a population of at least between 70,000 and 249,000 residents.
Key areas that the Nakuru County government should now invest in to ensure that the residents of Gilgil and Molo residents have a higher quality of services delivery is water and sewerage infrastructure, which will be a boon for residents and the local economies.
As the urban planners begin working on how to implement the water and sewerage infrastructure that these two towns now deserve, it will be in the best interest of citizens for them to make long-term investments that are sustainable. This will ensure that governments do not have to redo projects every couple of years, which is essentially a waste of taxes and disruption to service delivery.
There is normally a boom in local economies when municipalities get water and sewerage infrastructure. Jobs are created during the construction phase of such projects and additionally, there are capital inflows, courtesy of the supply of locally available building materials.
Employing the local labour force also allows technological and knowledge transfer through training and upskilling. This will further benefit the local communities when future construction projects in these towns are implemented.
Even more important is the fact that, once water and sewerage infrastructure is up and running, municipalities often see reduced cases of water borne diseases associated with pollution of water resources. Water quality improves because there is reduced pollution of natural river systems.
Furthermore, such investments trigger development of modern infrastructure including residential, commercial, retail, and industrial properties.
One way this goal can be achieved is by using modern building technology like Weholite HDPE pipes, which offers a service life of over 100 years and has extremely low maintenance costs.
The light nature of Weholite technology also makes it easy to use in heavily built-up areas with minimal disruptions to communities, a lack of which has been a challenge for large infrastructure projects.
Nakuru and other county governments that are elevating towns to municipalities, should be proactive in adopting modern technologies such as Weholite HDPE, as these have proven to offer durable and sustainable solutions to today’s water and sewerage challenges.
By Simon Thomas, international consultant, and board member of Megapipes Solutions Limited