SPEECH: MASHUJAA DAY 2015
Speech of H.E Prof. Kivutha Kibwana, Governor, Makueni County, Mashujaa Day, 20th October 2015
Honourable Elected Leaders of Our People,
The County Commissioner, Makueni,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am very pleased and honoured to preside over this celebration of the gallant fighters of our people who have bequeathed us independence from colonial rule. I specifically recognize the veterans of the Mau Mau liberation struggle among us here today. We celebrate you, our Mashujaa, and look forward to having your story told and entered into the national repository and history on the Mau Mau liberation struggle.
On a number of occasions I have purposed to listen actively and keenly to the moving stories of your experience in the liberation struggle and indeed the rich narrative from your recollection deserve proper attention and documentation. On behalf of our government and all our people, I extend our heartfelt appreciation to you all and assure you of our support.
Since we attained political independence through the selfless sacrifice of our gallant heroes, we have as a country been seized with dealing with the three key challenges of poverty, disease and illiteracy. County governments have come into being and continued to grapple with the same challenges at independence. There is need therefore to make a resolve to systematically address these among other development challenges in order to lift our people from the yoke of poverty, disease and illiteracy.
My government has involved you, our people, in a process of discernment of the priority needs in your wards and other levels. This has informed our plans and budgetary allocations for the projects being implemented throughout the County. We assure you that it is our desire to have all projects expeditiously implemented, completed and handed over to you. We desire change in the livelihoods of our people.
In order to ensure effective coordination of government business through out our County, we have established and staffed 6 Sub County offices and 30 Ward offices. Wananchi are encouraged to seek services and general information from these offices. My government has achieved a lot, some of which include:
- In education, we have so far employed 900 Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) Teachers and 129 Community Technical Training Institutes (CTTI) Instructors. We have also awarded 43 scholarships to our youths. 15 Community Information Centres have been established and are operational. This year, the government provided mock examinations for standard 8 and Form 4 candidates to support them as they prepare for their national examinations.
- In the health sector, tremendous growth has been witnessed, some of which include: the government has modernized health facilities by purchasing medical equipment worth 70 million Kenya Shillings; modernized the radiology department in Mbooni Hospital and purchased 12 County Ambulances which have greatly improved access to emergency treatment.
We have also purchased medical drugs worth over 275 million Kenya Shillings to ensure that no stock outs occur throughout the year; constructed theatre blocks at Tawa Sub County Hospital, Makindu Sub County Hospital, Sultan Hamud, Kilungu Sub County Hospital and Kibwezi Sub County Hospital.
A trauma centre has been established at Makindu Sub County Hospital and also an ambulance communication centre established. X-ray blocks have been constructed at Sultan Hamud and Kilungu Sub County Hospitals.
A facelift was done for Makueni County Referral Hospital while a Mother and Child Healthcare Centre was established in the same hospital. We have employed 156 nurses, 17 doctors, 29 clinical officers, 22 pharmaceutical technologists and 13 Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) to enhance service delivery in the health sector. We have also renovated facilities all over the County and constructed maternity wings in all our health facilities.
3.e intend to ensure maximum water harvesting throughout the County. To realize this, we have so far, purchased 6 Tippers, 3 Excavators and 1Dozer. We have also purchased hydro geological survey equipment and biological water analysis equipment and reagents to enhance provision of quality water for human consumption. In total, 9 new boreholes have been drilled, 8 of which were successful. We have also rehabilitated 14 water projects and made them operational.
So far, construction of 9 dams is complete. These are: Kwa Mbila earthdam, Kwa Ndulu earth dam, Kwa Luma earth dam, Kwa Kalii earth dam, Mukulu Earth dam, Mwea Earthdam, Ngaamba Earthdam, Kwa Kakui Earth dam and Kulumbus dam that is almost complete. We have constructed/rehabilitated 14 earth dams and established 6 irrigation projects. These are in: Mwinzeni, Kilome, Kithalu, Kikuu, Iuani/Yathonza/Muiu and Sikika.
- The youth department successfully organized a County marathon which was graced by several international marathoners. Our football and volleyball teams were facilitated to participate in inter-County games held in Laikipia and the Women volleyball and men volleyball teams went up to the semifinals. The department has so far levelled and erected goal posts in 10 sporting grounds across the County. The government has supported and empowered groups with materials such as water tanks, green houses, drip irrigation kits, tents and chairs to enhance their ongoing economic activities. 12 different self-help groups and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) have been supported with 100 seater tents and chairs, 25 groups have been supported with 5,000 litre water tanks and 1 group has been supported with a car wash machine.
1,270 business men and women were trained on entrepreneurship/business skills while the gender directorate facilitated the assessment and registration of over 4,230 Persons with Disabilities. Further, it supported 150 Persons with Disabilities with assistive devices while 139 Persons with Disabilities were facilitated to access artificial limbs and wheelchairs from Jaipur Trust. 8 institutions of Persons with Disabilities were supported with 5000 litre water tanks for roof water harvesting while 14 institutions were supported with green houses.
7 social halls have been constructed to completion in Ukia, Kee, Ilima, Kako/Waia, Thange, Masongaleni and Ivingoni Wards and over 4,000 girls in the County have been provided with psychosocial education and sanitary towels.
- In the lands department, 5,000 free hold title deeds have been issued in Kyuu, Yandue, Uvete, Kai A, Syumile, Mbui Nzau and Kisingo. 700 cadastral survey files have been submitted to the Director of Survey for issuance of leasehold titles. Physical planning has been completed in 60 markets while development plans for Wote, Sultan Hamud, Mtito Andei, Ukia and Mukuyuni have been implemented.
- The Roads, Transport and Infrastructure department has purchased equipment for road construction which includes: 2 Graders, 2 Backhoes, 2 Rollers and 3 Tippers. Over 1,400 new roads have been opened while over 1,500 kilometres of light and heavy grading has been done. Over 200 kilometres of roads have been gravelled and 0.6 kilometres of road cabro paved at Wote Town.
- In Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries development, great focus is on fruits and vegetables production. This is the production of pulses like green grams, cowpeas, dolichos, pigeon peas and beans. The department aims at tapping the high potential for irrigation as well as dairy production, poultry production and beef and meat goat production. Currently, the government is modeling three flagship projects, namely, fruits value addition project at the Kalamba Fruit Processing Plat, dairy development project which has seen formation of dairy clusters, procurement of 8 milk cooling units for 8 cooperative societies, 1 mini-milk processing plant at Kikima, transportation support with 2 motor cycles and 2 pick ups and subsidized affordable artificial insemination scheme for improved breeding for increased dairy productivity. A County dairy strategic plan is underway to streamline the industry. The department has adopted an improved extension delivery service with deployment done up to sub location level at a cost of 7.5 million Kenya Shillings.
We are committed to availing access to 30% of the procurement opportunities in our government to youth, women, people with disability and minority and marginalized groups in the County. It is our hope that this will stimulate the development of the second economy and slowly deliver economic independence of our people through wealth creation.
We celebrate our youth, women and people with disability who continuously keep seeking to improve their lot through coming together, organizing and seeking out opportunities for enhancing their businesses and livelihoods. We especially celebrate boda boda riders who have come together and established savings and credit cooperative societies (SACCOs) through which they continue to get support from my government. We implore our people that delayed gratification leading to increased savings will enable access to credit for entrepreneurial and other development engagements that will slowly lift us all from poverty in our journey to economic independence. The boda boda riders in the County are saving 540,000 Kenya Shillings per year through their SACCOs.
My government is in the process of establishing a microfinance institution that will seek to facilitate access to affordable credit to our people through ‘Kũtwĩĩkany'a Mbesa’. The success of this institution will depend on your savings and uptake of its services. The social transformation agenda of my government cannot be realized without the individual efforts of all of us. Let us seek to be heroes, Mashujaa, at our families, groups and places of work and other institutions where we belong.
You are aware of the expected El Nino rains and have received information from my government on how to prepare for the rains. Through our ‘Kũtwĩĩkanya Kĩwu’ agenda we are seized as a government with making huge gains from the anticipated rains. We call on you to harvest as much of the water as you can so that you can use it for domestic and agriculture purposes. A government-wide committee has been put in place to deal with all eventualities related to the El Nino rains and we appeal to our people to contact our administration whenever there are challenges and emergencies related to the rains.
We however have some challenges that should be brought to our attention. These are:
1. Deliberately Delayed Release of Funds:
This has resulted in delayed payment of salaries and bills thereby causing anxiety among workers and suppliers. The delays occasioned since July 2015 are grounding Counties to a halt. Salaries need to be paid on time as the contrary will mean social unrest amongst County Public Service and stagnation in the provision of essential services to the citizens. The National Treasury must treat this issue with utmost urgency and seriousness and release County monies immediately.
County Governments are calling for an urgent Summit meeting by the end of the year to discuss thorny issues including the state of the economy and the slow implementation of previous Summit resolutions.
3. Transfer of Functions:
The Council of Governors has noted that the timeline that had been allocated for the complete transfer of all functions assigned to County Governments lapses in March 2016. The limited transfer of functions to County Governments will inevitably culminate into a constitutional crisis if not remedied within the mentioned timeframe. At the moment, the inordinate delays occasioned by the various National Government institutions in the transfer of the remaining County functions have compromised implementation of the same.
First, functions must be properly transferred through the recognized legal framework if they are to be effectively implemented. Unless the Transition Authority gazettes for the transfer of a function, a County Government cannot proceed to perform that function. Subsequently, any form of service delivery and revenue collection attendant to the pending function(s) becomes impeded. Second, we must remember that our governance system is founded upon the ‘funds follow functions’ principle. As the ground is laid for the transfer of the pending functions, so must the resources be availed for the performance of those functions.
I assure you of our resolve to expeditiously implement all development projects and call on you to play your role and hold us accountable to our promises and plans. I wish you a happy Mashujaa Day.
I thank you for your attention.
Happy Mashujaa Day.