Governor Sakaja’s Sh2bn plan to split Nairobi into 5 boroughs

April 14, 2023

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja plans to spend up to Sh 2 billion to fulfill one of his main campaign pledges.

In his manifesto, the then-Nairobi Senator pledged to split Nairobi into five administrative units to ease service delivery.

The administrative model is similar to New York City, divided into five boroughs: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.

Governor Sakaja, through Acting Boroughs and County Administration Acting Chief Officer Lydia Mathia, has since tabled the proposed budget estimates for his ambitious plan before the County Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs committee.

Should the Nairobi county assembly approve the budget proposal for the financial year 2023/2024, the county will spend a total of Sh2.039 billion to establish and run five administrative boroughs.

Sh540 million of the amount will be spent to establish the units while Sh1.4 billion as salaries and allowances for those who will be working in the units.

The document further shows Governor Sakaja will spend Sh100 million on operations and maintenance of the boroughs.

The county also plans to spend Sh850 million to acquire five acres of land to construct the five borough offices.

The construction of the offices will cost Sh500 million while the fencing of the offices with a perimeter wall, a gate and sentry house will cost Sh125 million.

Rebranding the borough units is estimated to cost taxpayers a total of Sh166 million for the next five years.

Further, the Nairobi county government will hold stakeholder forums on the establishment of the boroughs. This will cost Sh50million.

The boroughs will consist of five city boards and governance structures to be established at a cost of Sh95 million (Sh50 million for the financial year 2023/2024, Sh20 million for the FY2024/2025 and Sh 25 million for the FY2025/2026).

It is expected there will be a total of 71 staff who will be recruited to the boroughs and other administrative counties. This will cost Nairobi county Sh52 million in FY2023/2024, Sh52 million in the FY2024/2025 and Sh54.6 million in the FY2025/2026.

Furnishing and equipping the borough offices will cost a total of Sh100 million (Sh50 million for the FY2023/2024 and Sh50 million for the FY2025/2026).

The rest of the funds will be spent on the construction and equipping of 4 new sub-county and ward offices as well as maintaining the existing sub-counties and wards.

Currently, Nairobi City County has a total of 17 sub-counties and 85 wards. City hall is also currently carrying out renovation and refurbishing of city hall and the City hall Annexe at a cost of Sh320 million.

Acting Boroughs and County Administration Acting Chief Officer Lydia Mathia said the county plans to have three or four sub-counties in each of the five boroughs.

The Southern borough will comprise four sub-counties in Embakasi, the Eastern borough will have 4 sub-counties in Kibera, and the Northern borough will have three sub counties in the Kasarani and Roysambu region.

The Central Borough will be made up of three wards in the city center while the Western Borough will have three wards around the Westlands area.

Mathia said the purpose of the boroughs is to enhance service delivery to the public and create a city of order in line with Governor Sakaja’s vision.

“We will have boroughs established as administrative units to enhance public service delivery. We will amalgamate the sub-counties and have a few of them become a borough. Each of them will be having borough managers who will handle services such as garbage collection among other functions,” Ms Mathia said.

There will be public participation for the proposed changes before they are presented to the county assembly for approval.

Ms Mathia said they expect the boroughs to be operational by June this year.

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