Peri-urban service provision planning: Challenges and prospects in Eldoret municipality, Kenya
Letema, Changwony Sammy
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Eldoret municipality, like any other principal urban centres in Kenya, has experienced phenomenal expansion over the last four decades coupled with deterioration in environmental and social services. Service provision has become a major challenge to the local authority and government agencies, especially in peri-urban areas where development is rapid. Peri-urban areas suffer from acute deficiencies in service provision, with unplanned settlements being the most affected. The situation seems to grow day-by-day, spreading to new sites and degenerating in the earlier settlements. Little information is known why this scenario persists in peri-urban areas of principal urban centres. This study was designed to explore service provision planning in view of the severity of urban service provision difficulties in peri-urban areas of Eldoret. To achieve this effectively, first, it examined developmental trends and patterns in the context in which service provision planning problems can b, understood. Second, investigated impediments to service provision planning. Third, assessed attempts made to enhance peri-urban service provision coverage and finally, provided framework for enhancing peri-urban service provision coverage. Data was collected through questionnaires and urban report cards administered to peri-urban residents, interviews to key service providers, self-help groups, associations and community leaders, traverse observations and selection of secondary data from relevant sources. Stratified random and purposive sampling was used in primary data collection. Data was analysed using content analysis, descriptive statistics and ANOVA tests. Service provision has lagged behind peri-urban development due to lack of planning. Service providers have failed to cope up with demands imposed by rapid population increase, peri-urban intensification and boundary extensions. Attempts to provide services to peri-urban areas were plagued by ineffective planning, inefficiencies and resource constraints. Development in Eldoret peri-urban areas therefore proceeds in total disregard of planning regulation, infrastructural facilities and services. The study recommends a comprehensive service provision planning which include among others replanning of informal settlements, spatial decentralisation of public facilities, capital projects development, upgrading. municipal service capacities and land use planning.