This article was pulled from the website of Taita Taveta Think Tank (follow the link to see who they are) and captures a process whose climax was on 11th March 2011 when a vote was taken to decide where between Voi and Mwatate would the County HQs be.
As we embarked on the mission to identify our county’s headquarters we targeted to get a proper headquarters for the benefit of all in the county. The people of Taita Taveta County settled on Mwatate as the Headquarters in a process that was democratic, peaceful and acceptable to all.
Deciding on a suitable location for Taita Taveta County Headquarters
Following steps helped to determine suitable headquarters for the county in an objective manner.
Deciding the basis on which to choose a location:-
- Communication / infrastructure, distance from different corners of the county
- Whether to locate the headquarters on either an existing town or on a green field site
Considering the factors that would affect the choice of location:-
- Accessibility ( county/external )
- Land availability
- Proximity to major towns
- Water supply
- Existing offices
- ICT Infrastructure
Using a map of County’s transport and administrative networks people chose four possible and valid alternative locations, namely Taveta, Voi, Mwatate and Wundanyi. The purpose of choosing four was to enable evaluate them against each other to determine whether the best location would actually be the best for headquarters.
Based on factors spelled on Steps 2 and 3 people chose Voi and Mwatate as preferred top two locations
Discussion ensured on different choices, stating advantages and disadvantages of each location.
A vote was taken on the top two locations and Mwatate was voted in as County Headquarters on 11th March 2011 during meeting of 11th March 2011 that was chaired by Taita District Commissioner.
There is need to agree upfront that as a county there is need to decentralize key economic functions for the benefit of all residents of the county, as follows;
- Industrial Centre – Mwatate, due to its proximity to minerals
- Agricultural Centre – Taveta, due to its potential agricultural potential
- Tourism Centre – Wundanyi, due to its scenery, hills, water catchment area
- Commercial Centre – Voi, due to its commercial activities, positioned on main highway.