A civil society group in Embu has criticised failure by the county government to establish management boards to run cities and towns.
Members of the Embu Urban Forum said after the phasing out of local authorities, the Constitution provided for establishment of 11-member boards to be headed by chairmen to run cities, municipalities and towns.
Embu LUF secretary Wawira Njue said in the last five years, the county government failed to appoint the boards.
“The boards are supposed to oversee the affairs of the urban centres, develop and adopt policies, plans, strategies and programmes. They are also supposed to set targets for services, formulate and implement an integrated development plan on behalf of the governor for the benefit of residents,” she said.
Njue spoke during a workshop sponsored by the Civil Society Urban Development Programme.
She said failure to form these boards has hampered growth of Embu town.
Njue said slowed growth of towns is bad for the fast-growing populations migrating from the rural areas.
Civil Society Urban Development Programme communications officer Veronicah Machira said they want establishment of the boards hastened so towns can be planned and slums eliminated.
She said poorly planned towns have been the cause of mushrooming slums, because when migrants lack proper affordable houses, they build shanties, which in the long run turn into slums.
The group said Parliament passed the Urban Areas and Cities Act of 2011, spelling out how urban centres should be managed.
The members of the civil society said without the citizens engaging with the elected leaders, development will remain suppressed.
They said it is expected that half of the population in the next few years will be living in urban areas.