• Allocation in this financial year to be used to improve water and sewerage, road and lighting infrastructure, solid waste management and tourism development.
• Other urban centres that were upgraded to town by the county government are Ahero in Nyando, Muhoroni, Kombewa in Seme and Katito in Nyakach.
The Kisumu government is set to spend Sh40 million in improving Maseno following its upgrade to a town.
The move to give the rapidly growing urban centre in Kisumu West subcounty a new status is aimed at unlocking untapped economic potential of the area and its environs.
Four other urban centres were upgraded to town by the county government. They are Ahero in Nyando subcounty, Muhoroni, Kombewa in Seme and Katito in Nyakach.
Governor Anyang' Nyong'o noted that the allocation appropriated this financial year to be used to improve water and sewerage, road and lighting infrastructure, solid waste management and tourism development in Maseno.
“I am aware that this is not enough but it is a statement that going forward we will have a dedicated budget for Maseno town to adequately offer services to its residents,” he said.
He said the town will also leverage its governance structures to create its own linkages and partnerships, which, in turn, will improve service delivery and accelerate its growth and development.
“We shall continue monitoring the growth of our urban centres and make appropriate plans for them to ensure that we harness the full potential of urbanisation,” Nyong'o said.
He stated that prudent and deliberate effort must be made to ensure residents harness the benefits of urbanisation while reducing possible emerging challenges.
“It is against this backdrop that my government has made the deliberate and informed decision to confer town status with its administration system to Maseno and to give special attention to its socioeconomic and environmental issues,” the county chief said.
There will be a dedicated team of staff headed by the office of the town administrator working under the oversight of a town committee put in place as per the provisions of the Urban Areas and Cities Act.
Nyong'o stressed that the growth of the towns will not only bring services closer to the people but also create economic nodes with enhanced opportunities for thousands of people and reduce pressure on Kisumu city.
“I am looking forward with excitement to the completion of the conferment exercise to the other four remaining towns of Ahero, Muhoroni, Kombewa and Katito gazetted together with Maseno.”
The governor noted the significant role played missionaries in setting Maseno as the foundation for educational institutions, which have promoted the growth of the area into "a thriving town we congregate to unveil today".
“We are witnessing the birth and indeed growth of another college town. Maseno University and its predecessor Siriba College; and the outlying educational institutions are responsible for the birth and growth of this vibrant town,” he said.
Maseno University vice chancellor Julius Nyabundi welcomed the new status, saying it will help in eliminating some of the challenges the town has been facing such as a sewerage system.
He noted that facilities in the town are overstretched by the rising population of students. The university was admitting 2,700 students annually three years ago but now admits about 6,000, bringing the total student population to about 21,000.