Friday, May 09, 2008

New Master Plan for Kisii Town in Kenya

Kisii Town authorities have blamed the its congestion on lack of a master plan.

Mayor Samuel Nyangeso made the claim during a workshop sponsored by UN-Habitat to develop a new master plan for with the town.

Since the previous plan expired in 1971, buildings have come up haphazardly, leading to congestion and pollution. Squatter areas and slums have grown larger than the town, while pressure on sewerage systems leads to pollution due to bottlenecks caused by unplanned connections, Mr Nyangeso said.

Progress in realising a strategic urban development plan for the town includes mapping of the existing situation in terms of developing base, thematic, and issue maps through satellite imagery, field surveys, and geographic information system (GIS) techniques.

Development of the town's profile covering socio-economic, environmental, and structural aspects is complete.

Prof Jossy Materu, senior human settlements officer, urban development branch of UN-Habitat, said his agency was at the last stage of developing final plans in terms of recommended land use, infrastructure and services development.

He said UN-Habitat was preparing strategic urban development plans for towns in Lake Victoria region which covers Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

This was occasioned by the need for strategic urban development plans to guide development and environmental strategies. None of the towns in the region has up-to-date development plans capable of providing the required guidance, Prof Materu said.

Lake Victoria region is home to an estimated 25 million people. The towns currently receiving support from UN-Habitat include Kisumu, Homa Bay, Kisii and Bondo.

The workshop will be followed by development of functional layouts of the proposed land-use, followed by approval from relevant authorities.

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