Ol’Kalou Town is set to acquire special municipal status in a partnership between the County Government and the World Bank, His Excellency Governor Francis Kimemia has said.
Speaking when he launched the Christmas Tree Fund in Ol’Kalou, Governor Kimemia said the upgrade was long overdue.
“I will shortly announce the Beautification of Ol’Kalou Town Committee whose main mandate will be to oversee the facelift of our administrative hub,” he said.
The growing town, which hosts the County Government headquarters, has been the butt of jokes over dilapidated infrastructure, limited investments and underdeveloped public amenities.
An initial Kshs. 40 million has approved by the World Bank for the upgrade.
“The committee will work very closely with the recently gazetted County Environment Committee, whose members I am told will even build an arboretum in the town,” he said.
Already, he said, the Kenya Rural Roads Authority is fast-tracking upgrading of roads in the town to bitumen standards to accommodate paved parking and street lighting.
“I am directing the Department of Transport, Energy and Public Works to pay electricity bills for street lights without further delay and the contractor to stick to the works program,” he said.
The Governor said committees to oversee the upgrading of Engineer, Mairo Inya, Miharati and Ol’Jororok towns will also be set up early next year.
“I will form another task force to resolve land issues in Ol’Kalou and the rest of the County, which continue to impede development and scare investors away,” he said.
Governor Kimemia also commissioned a committee of prominent scholars from Nyandarua to revive educational standards in the County.
“As you are aware, issues of education are very close to my heart. We all remember with fond memories when the then Nyandarua District used to take position one in national exams. This is no longer the case. We must retrace our steps and find out where the rains started beating us,” he said.
The Governor further said that he will shortly unveil a team that will spearhead efforts to ensure that the first intake for the proposed University of Nyandarua is done in May, 2018 at its founding campus in the Agricultural Training Centre, Ol’Jororok Sub-County.
The University of Nairobi and the County Government have agreed to set up the university, whose main campus in Kapteni, Ol’Kalou Sub-County, will concurrently be built within two years.
“The University of Nairobi has already formed its team for this purpose. It will mentor the institution until it is fully-fledged in accordance with the relevant laws,” he said.
The Governor said that the Agriculture Training Center in Ol’Joro-orok will become the university’s Agriculture Campus.
“We are identifying land to develop campuses in Kinangop and Ndaragwa sub-counties. We will do this without compromising standards of our university,” he said.
His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta approved formation of the university.
The County head also said he will engage the office of the County Commissioner for joint operationalization of the County Policing Authority.
“I know there have been incidents of unexplained murders and other crimes in Nyandarua. I urge the Criminal Investigations Department to get to the bottom of this problem,” he said.
Present was Speaker of the County Assembly Speaker Hon. Ndegwa Wahome, senior County Government officials, elected leaders and members of the public.