Residential estates and housing in Kisii county.

Kisii is a key urban center in south-western area of Kenya. It is the headquarters of Kisii County. Its population according to the Kenya National Census of 2019 was 1,266,860. It serves as the major urban and commercial hub in the larger Gusii highlands and the South Nyanza region. Kisii county is the second largest major town in larger Nyanza after Kisumu City.

It is an active town and houses several businesses, organizations, educational institutions and government agencies. It’s located centrally in the western Kenya tourist route that accesses the Tabaka Soapstone Carvings, Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Lambwe Valley Game Reserve and the entire Lake Victoria basin.

The town still serves its former districts, the larger South Nyanza Counties and the Trans Mara area of western Narok County commercially. Kisii town links the Great Rift Valley to Nairobi to Migori and the Kenya-Tanzania Isebania border. Economically, it is home to a manufacturing industry dependent on agriculture majorly plantation farming.

Demographically, Kisii municipality town is mainly inhabited by the Gusii community (also known as the Kisii). Also, the Luo, Luhya, Kuria, Asians and Kalenjin make up a minority of residents.

The health amenities serving   Kisii Include the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital (Level 6) the biggest public health facility in the county. The town has a good number of private hospitals and medical centers. They include Oasis Specialist Hospital, Hema Hospital, Getembe Hospital, Christa Marianne Hospital, Nyangena Hospital, Bosongo Medical Center, Kisii Eye Hospital, Ram Hospital and the Agha khan only a year old in the town

Residential Estates in Kisii Municipality.

There is a notable lack of urban planning considering the land shortage within Kisii county. Nevertheless, other than the municipality owned housing estates and private owned homes, there have been a number of upcoming housing estates such as Nyanchwa neighborhood owned by the government’s housing agency.

The major estates are in either in organized suburbs or municipality wards such as Milimani, Gesonso, Itierio, Nyangena, Nyamataro, Mwembe Tayari, Gekomu, Menyinkwa, Nyabururu, Embassy and Nyanchwa. These are categorized as middle- to upper-middle-class environs consisting of a number of modern private homes on own space areas and apartments. The lower- to middle-class neighborhoods and outlying residential areas include Suneka, Jogoo, Getare, Menyinkwa and Nyankongo which comprise of a diverse and mixed population.

Kisii is a preferred residential town as it did not get badly affected by the post election violence that hit its neighbour counties like Kisumu, Sotik and Kericho except for its border area town off Nyangusu and Chebilat. Kisii county experienced a mass exodus from these towns and diaspora residents fleeing persecution fearing inter-tribal stigmatization into the town for their own safety. Consequently, lead to the large shortage of land being witnessed now.

Most estates don’t have access to piped water and sewer system and the existing ones are unreliable. The local authority is working on infrastructure and security to enable good living conditions for its huge population. Lack of street lights, which are a threat to security has so far been improved by the county government but there is more to be done..

Milimani, Mwembe Tayari, Jogoo  and Nyanchwa residential estates witness the highest rent figures due to their proximity to town, availability of water and sewerage services. A two bedroom self contained apartment in these estates goes for between Sh16, 000 and Sh25,000. Nyamataro and Gesonso, Menyinkwa, Suneka, Itierio, estates charge lower rates as they are situated far away from town and lack piped water, currently anywhere between Sh 10,000 to sh16,000. Rents go as high as Sh30,000 in the region’s upmarket residential areas like Milimani and Nyangena. Obviously depending on distance from the highway and the features of the structures you go for, it could be higher or less.

Before 2007 post election violence, rent wasn’t this high but now tenants pay double. The increased demand for both commercial and residential buildings has led to escalation of rent.