TEXT OF SPEECH DELIVERED BY H.E. DR. CLEOPHAS LAGAT, GOVERNOR NANDI COUNTY DURING THE 51STANNIVERSARY OF MADARAKA DAY CELEBRATIONS AT KIPCHOGE KEINO STADIUM, KAPSABET
I am pleased to join you as we celebrate the 51st Anniversary of internal self rule. This is the day that 51 years ago, we assumed the responsibility over the affairs of our Country. It is at this time that we have to pause and reflect on the sacrifices of those who were at the forefront in the struggle for the freedoms and privileges that we now enjoy. Of utmost importance is for the current generation to embrace the ideas of patriotism, handwork and selflessness that underpinned the struggle for our independence.
Ladies and gentlemen, Nandi County’s story is closely knit with that of the struggle for attainance of Kenya’s independence and Nandi’s resistance to British occupation is well documented in the annals of history. This should not be in vain. Its for this reason that my County Government has designed key projects earmarked to transform this County into a sustainable economic hub. Being at infancy, this county, a product of Constitution of Kenya 2010, needs to be properly looked after so as to serve both present and future generations. As a County we have made great strides in the past one year but a lot lies ahead. We are in a high pedestal for take-off and our journey to a bright future is now gaining momentum. I appeal to you the residents of Nandi County to be actively involved and take a united front in the development of our motherland; confronting the challenges head-on and re-drawing the growth path of this County.
Allow me to now state that our development strategies are mainly guided by the need to cascade resources to each and every corner of the County and consequently ensure equatable, sustainable and people-centred growth. Having said that, my county government is soon launching a very comprehensive and interractive website to enhance communication between the County and its residents. Additionally, we are developing our county ICT masterplan which will be an enabler of e-application in accessing essential public services on the county government’s stable. We are aslo set to establish incubation hubs for ICT-Start-Ups in each sub-County headquarters and connect the same to the fibre-optic to boost internet connectivity. Furthermore my County Government is setting up e-libraries with latest electronic books and past papers for both students and adults pursuing higher education and research. We are also working strategic on plans for various departments to guide on specific development targets. Monitoring and evaluation will form key components of these development plans.The various developments being implemented at various stages and we have injected sizeable amount of our development funds for the benefit of Nandi residents.
Ladies and gentlemen, Nandi County’s development strategy is anchored on the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) in consouance with Kenya’s Vision 2030, and Millenium Development Goals(MDGS). Armed with these ambitious strategies we seek to transform Nandi County into a modern, competitive and prosperous County by harnessing its agricultural, sports, tourism among other pillars for socio-economic growth and wealth creation.
My county government has successfully implemented the first phase of routine road maintainance targeting 450km; 15km in each ward and additional 276.2.km that were subjected to a competitive tender. The whole undertaking was hugely successful and involved culvert installation, murraming, gravelling, unblocking of drainages and bush clearing. Its our intention that in the fullness of time 70% of the 1,851.9km of road that are in earth pavement condition are made motorable round the year. The economic benefits of which cannot be gainsaid.
Additionally, we are focused on an urban renewal strategy that has already began with the tarmaking of both Kapsabet an Nandi Hills town urban link- roads. I must inform you that this work has already began with contractors on site. Its aimed at making our towns attractive to investors, clean and well planned. It includes among other key activities a comprehensive waste management plan complete with new seven-acre landfill, , installation of Solar-powered street lights, food paths and walk-ways, modern packing bays, and new bus/matatu termini in Kapsabet and Ollessos.
At this juncture, I wish to personally commend those who located voluntarily when we embarked on constructing roads in Kapsabet. You heartily heeded to our request and took it in stride. Thank you for supporting our objectives aimed at making this County a better place to live and invest.
The investor confidence currently being witnessed in Kapsabet, Nandi Hills, Maraba, Kobujoi, Kaptumo, Mosoriot , Kabiyet and Kaiboi is an indicator that indeed devolution particularly in Nandi has worked magic; reinvigorating and reinforcing the belief that devolution will breath a new lease of life to the respective units.
Ladies and gentlemen, my County Government will as a way of building capacity for small and medium enterprises organise seminars and workshops for them to acquire hands-on business skills, undertake facelift of market plots through fencing and establishment of modern stalls and will soon patent all County trademarks to boost County image and position the Nandi brand positively. We are also set to revamp all coffee factories in the County that include: Kamanyinya in Mosop, , Kapsaos in Aldai, Kabunyeria in Tindiret and Kemeloi in Aldai among others. This is in our bid to add value to our agricultural produce, create employment and heighten income for farmers and revenue for the county.
Provision of clean water remains cardinal to my county government and following the launch of water provision programme a month ago, 187 projects have undergone procurement process and the tender will be awarded soon. Water once supplied to all households will stimulate economic growth, improve sanitation and ultimately ensure food security. Every household counts in this noble objective of connecting one family at a time to the water grid. I am looking at Nandi residents diversifying their farming activities into horticulture, floriculture, green houses and aquaculture with the assured access to clean, adequate water.
My fellow County men and women, Nandi County has a tree cover of 19% my county government is set to plant over 500,000 tree seedlings in schools and public place in areas that were not covered during the last season of rain. We are also set to purchase seeds and nursery materials for youth and women group as a way of economic empowerment. Our intention is to thrust this tree cover to 50% by the year 2020 which will translate into hygienic, habitable and conducive living environment and therefore restore Nandi County’s ecosystem for biodiversity.
Agriculture is the economic main stay of Nandi County owing to fertile soils and reliable rainfall. Maize being staple food occupies 70,300 HA, though the maize lethal Necrosis disease (SMLND) is threatening the success stories ever told of maize production. My county government has undertaken to mitigate its effects so as to cushion farmers from unforeseen losses. As a County government we are keen on food security for our residents and have 50,000 bags in our strategic food reserves. I appeal to our residents to broaden their menu so as to avoid overreliance on maize for food by trying other delicacies that of equally higher nutrient value.
As a way of reducing post harvest losses on perishable farm produce we are constructing additional markets in Kaptumo, Serem, Labuywo and Kibiok to ensure opportune access to markets without compromising on the quality of produce.
Our milk production has improved drastically owing to superior animal husbandry practices at play, regular tick control and high pedigree of animals being reared. Nandi County producesapproximately 120,000,000 litrers of milk annually translating to billions of shillings in income to our farmers. Nandi is home to 251,455 dairy cows according to our latest statistics with potential to grow even further. I urge our farmers to take advantage of our intervention in cattle dip management and Artificial Insemination so as to enhance their production. Other animals and products fueling Nandi County’s agricultural economy include rabbit rearing, hides and skins, pigs, exotic and local chicken, sheep, goats and donkeys. We should purposely practice agriculture as a business and not a tradition so as to break the circle of poverty.
Talapia fish species has for long time done very well in Nandi County ponds, rivers and streams and as a County we are introducing Clarias, a new highly productive, delicious and highly profitable species. The County has 1550 fish ponds in 93 acres whose income annually amounts to 90 million shillings and rising.
Since the onset of foot and mouth disease outbreak in March, our livestock markets have been closed following a quarantine that was imposed. It is my hope that this will be lifted soon when the disease will be brought under control. Vaccination is now ongoing in Emgwen and Mosop Sub –Counties in a bid to rid the county of this very deadly disease.
Accaracides were provided to 200 cattle dips as a way of putting tick borne diseases at bay. We have employed 40 dip supervisors to assist in management of Catlle dips as a way of professionalizing the management of these crucial facilities in animal keeping.
Nandi County is set to host the first ever County Education Day in our calendar on 6st June 2014, this is an opportune time to reflect on our past achievements and chart our academic way forward with a view to improving the county education prospects. I urge you to turn up in large numbers and participate proactively in this all-inclusive, prized and treasured matter, come let’s put our hearts and minds together for the good of Nandi County. We have to buttress the fact that Nandi County is a force to reckon with in education issues and bequeath our children a bright future. I wish to commend our County Assembly members for their objectivity in debating and adopting the Nandi County Education Fund bill No. 4 of 2014 and Pre-Primary and Early Childhood Education and Care Services Bill No. 2 of 2014. Once I append my signatures these bills will becoming County Acts and will be key in policy formulation and direction. While the former will enable my County Government to offer bursaries and loans to students from the County, the latter will facilitate the provision of quality education and services to pupils in the ECDE. It will also clear the way for us to employ ECD teachers once the case currently before court is decided. The setting of a public university in the County dubbed as Koitalel University of Nandi is at advance stage.
Ladies and gentlemen, Kapsabet Medical training college to be situated at Kapsabet County referral Hospital will open its doors in September pursuant to our vision of expanding the facility’s mandate into a teaching and referral hospital. Upgrading of other core facilities within the hospital has also gathered pace in our progressive plan to raise the hospital’s profile. It is also worth noting that redesign and improvement of in- patient wards in the hospital are almost complete and renovations of mortuary coolers are underway. 50 million shillings have also been set aside to complete the construction of staff quarters which will ultimately boost productivity among the staff and ensure rapid response to medical emergencies.
Ladies and gentlemen, My county Government has spent 37 and 25 million shillings in the first and second batch of medical supplies respectively to all public medical facilities in the County. Health facilities are also set for major expansion and include; Kapsisiywo dispensary, Ol’lessos dispensary, Serem Health centre, Kabiemit Health centre and Nandi Hills sub -county hospital which will be upgraded to level IV and an 80 metre driveway leading to the hospital will be tarmacked.
Keteng dispensary will receive grants from my government to ensure that it is complete and operational to benefit the neighbouring communities and tea estates. Whereas, Meteitei Sub – County hospital will be supplied with theatre equipments to aid in surgical operations. This modern theatre will be opened soon.
In order to provide its services efficiently, my government has decentralized its functions to be easily accessible to the residents. Administrative structures of sub- counties and wards have been put in place to facilitate successful service delivery to citizens; we have allocated funds for constructions of sub- County and ward offices throughout the County as this will ensure timely, hands-on service to wananchi.
Urban centres being nucleus of innovations, enterprises and source of employment in both the formal and informal sectors, are earmarked for major improvement so as to adequately play their part as economic hotspots. Stalled housing projects in the sub-counties will be completed to serve their intended purpose. We are also strengthening our disaster response strategies so as to respond in time to any emergency and avoid destruction of lives and property
Pursuant to this, the department of devolved units and special programmes has engaged the Kenya Red Cross to develop a disaster management policy that will consequently yield to county disaster management bill. This shall ensure effective and timely response to urgent situations for instance the most recent case of Lelmokwo boys that lost two dormitories in an inferno and the County Government donated 1 million shillings to assist the school in rebuilding. In addition t this, we are set to acquire state-of-the-art firefighters. Ladies and gentlemen, my county government recognizes the importance of sports in our County hence the tag ‘Source of Champions’. It is for this reason that modalities for training of coaches and teams at the sub- county level are at an advanced stage and will be concluded before the end of the year. Addtionally, the county is procuring equipment for all wards to be used in identifying raw talent in football and volleyball for both boys and girls which will culminate in a countywide sporting tournament.
I am pleased to inform you that construction of Kipchoge Keino stadium, Kapsabet is on going and the contractor is on site. With regards to Nandi Hills stadium, the tendering process is almost complete. All these interventions are aimed at giving our youth adequate facilities to train and compete.
Recently the County held succesful special Olympic games at Aldai Girls and the team shall be proceeding for regional competitions in Nakuru. Arrangments are underway to form a County team to participate in the inter-county sports competition.
Ladies and gentlemen, my County government has successfully sponsored fourteen persons with disabilities to be fitted with artificial Limbs (Jaipur) in Nairobi and we have plans to sponsor more amputees in future. I appeal to you to inform those in need so that they can be considered in this noble calling.
My County Government through the department of Youth, Gender , Sports and Social Services is in the process of identifying business 10 certified people with disabilities in each ward with a view to empowering them through capacity building and monetary incentives that will boost their business enterprises. The key criterion for qualification is for one to have an operational business be theycobblers, tailors, mama mbogas, mitumba sellers and shop operators. Youth and women will also be considered in this category of unwavering empowerment plan.
Tourism is a budding sector in Nandi County and we have identified 66 tourist sites set to be developed under the ‘Nandi Tourism Circuit’ stretching from Chepkiit water falls in the east to Sheu Morobi suicide cliff and Nandi rock in the west. Our attention is now focused on development of tourism infrastructure, marking and branding of tour sites and posting tour maps on website and other geo-information platforms. This is in the realization that tourism is key foreign exchange earner, source of employment and wealth.
Ladies and gentlemen, in order to enhance the growth of these sites lets encourage domestic tourism and instutional parties so as to open up these facilities to external markets. From the winding caves of Ngabunat, Kiplolok springs, Kingwal swamp, the hope of Sitatunga to Songhor pre-historic site, Tabolwa rock site, upcoming Kamatargui animal orphanage its tendering process is ongoing and bird watchers’ paradise in Nandi forest, these are Nandi County’s famed tourist destinations whose potential we are considering for exploitation.
Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished residents of Nandi County, as I conclude my remarks, may I remind you of your civic duty as a resident of this county, to always contribute in the affairs and destiny of your county; be conscious of what goes on in the county and guard jealously the peace and tranquility that we enjoy as an enabler of development. In our bid to enhance security, we are soon setting up the County Policing Authority as envisaged in the County Government Act number 17 of 2012 section 54 (6) and section 41 (1) (d) of the National Police Service Act 2011 once the guidelines on members’ terms of engagement are published. Remember the security of our residents remains paramount.
Finally, let me wish you fruitful Madaraka day celebrations. May you live through to the ideals, aspirations and thoughts of our founding fathers.
May God Bless you and Bless Nandi County.
H.E Dr. Cleophas Lagat
Governor, County Government of Nandi.