Nairobi tops urban zones in IEA survey; Nakuru, Eldoret follow closely

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A new report by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has ranked Nairobi rank highest in a performance index in comparison to other cities and towns in Kenya.

The survey covered performance areas such as service delivery, conditions for investment, governance and enabling conditions.

According to the index released on Wednesday, Nairobi’s overall score of 63 per cent meant that the living standard and investment opportunity in the capital is much favorable compared to urban centres such as Nakuru, Eldoret, Mombasa, Machakos and Kisumu.

Nairobi came in first in service delivery, governance and disaster management but this did not spare the capital in coming second last in matters tax with levy rates in the county reaching an all-time high.

Even though Nairobi was ranked highest, the report subsequently revealed that unemployment levels and establishment of informal settlements was still prevalent in the city.

Nakuru came in second in the study which deemed the town as having the best water connectivity among the urban centres with about 89 per cent of domestic households having access to clean water. This is nine per cent more than the national target of 80 per cent set in 2015. According to the report water in the town is said to be available 17 hours a day.

The town was also deemed the most tax-friendly of the urban areas that the survey covered.

“Nakuru has the lowest parking fees-Sh100-among the six urban centres. Single business permits are also much easier to acquire in the town with the county charging Sh4,000 per single business unit. This is Sh1,367 less than the average fee charged in other centres,” John Mutua the Programmes Coordinator at IEA revealed.

Eldoret which came in third with an average score of 55.7 per cent performed best in the education sector while Mombasa which was fourth with a 55.1 per cent score was estimated to be the best performer in the health sector.

“Mombasa has a relatively higher number of medical personnel compared to the other regions, the delivery rate is also high at 81.8 per cent with the percentage of fully immunized infants standing at 86.6 per cent,” said Mutua.

“The only downside is that the number of people in the city affected by Malaria still remains high.”

Machakos came in fifth with a score of 53.9 per cent with the report attributing the low poverty levels in the county to favourable grants put in place by the County Government. Kisumu on the other hand came in last with a 47 per cent score.

The study subsequently ranked service delivery, resource and asset management and opportune investment environments in all of the six centres as average.

According to the index, all 6 urban centres in the survey performed poorly in public transport services, effective use of public resources and budgeting.

The Institute of Economic Affairs consequently offered recommendations to the county governments such as prioritizing investments in the provision of networked infrastructure and establishing urban area structures as provided for in the Urban Area and Cities Act, 2011.

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