Nairobi tops in urban performance index report
Nairobi city has been ranked as the best performing in matters housing, good governance and investment against five other urban cities namely Mombasa, Eldoret, Nakuru, Machakos and Kisumu.
A report released on Wednesday by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) indicated that the capital city is the most populous and the place to be for residents and investors and with above average performance mean score of 63, considered the most accommodating.
The report also ranked Nakuru as the second performing town with an average of 56, followed by Eldoret at 55.7, while Mombasa and Machakos scored 55.1 and 53.9 respectively. Kisumu was ranked sixth with a mean score of 47.6.
The IEA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kwame Owino said the study assessed performance of urban areas and service delivery, provision of enabling conditions for investments and governance.
Speaking at a public forum themed ‘Launch of Kenya Urban Areas Performance Index (UAPI) report’, Kwame said the report was based on three primary clusters namely conditions for residents, conditions for investments and principles of good governance.
“The research, carried out on an urban areas survey and data analysis, was a composite index set of 67 questions and was based on 2015 data that was collected from November 2016 to May 2017,” explained Kwame.
The study further showed that Nakuru has the highest number of households with water supply standing at 89 percent which is above urban areas target of 80 percent by 2015, while Kisumu, Machakos and Mombasa water supply averaged at 70 percent below the target.
According to the report Machakos County has the best general public transport policy plus a policy on non-motorized transport which the other cities do not have.
Mombasa topped on health performance with 86 percent due to its 96 medical personnel per 100, 000 population in 2014, while Kisumu was sixth with 50 percent due to high cases of malaria with 32, 463 reported cases per 100, 000 people in 2015; high HIV incidences of 19.9 percent in 2015.
The report singled out Nakuru as tax friendly of all the six urban cities with a single business permit of Sh.4, 000 against the average of Sh.5, 367, while Mombasa was the most expensive of all urban cities with Sh.7, 000.
Kwame said that in safety disaster and management, Nairobi was the best with an 88 percent score due to existence of a plan on public street lighting and at least one functional telephone line for a specific emergency. Mombasa was second with 77 percent.
The report recommended that county governments should in the short term establish urban areas structures as provided in the Urban Areas and Cities Act (UACA), 2011.
It further urged urban areas to establish a comprehensive single functional telephone line for rapid response to emergencies and overall improvement of safety and disaster management.
They were also advised to consider instituting staff rationalization policy, wage harmonization and overall reforms to strengthen public finance management systems for better expenditure management.
By Ordiria Mutheu/Wambui Moraa