All Leaders Present
My Fellow County Men and Women
It is indeed a great pleasure to join you today as we mark the 5th Madaraka day since the promulgation of the new constitution which ushered in the county government. 53 years ago Kenya began this important journey towards full independence. Today we join other Kenyans to celebrate this important journey. We honour our great men and women who made sacrifices for this great nation. We extend our appreciation to both those who are still alive and posthumously to the departed.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
We are three years into devolution and our strategies and plans continue to be felt in every sector, every part of the county and fundamentally impact positively on the lives of the people. This is clear indicator that the foundation that has been laid; the basic systems and infrastructure that is set and the development path we are on is indeed the one we all desire.
Our commitment to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of public service delivery system is assured. We continue to upgrade our public service delivery to improve government competitiveness in meeting the needs of citizens and stakeholders.
In this regard, we have reviewed and improved services in strategic areas that include monitoring and evaluation of programmes/projects; fiscal management to realize value for money; resource mobilization; urban and towns services; sub-county and ward administration services; quality management; performance measurement; competency based human resource management; management of public feedback and leveraging effectively on ICT for accurate integrated management of devolved functions.
These measures are further strengthened by institutions driven by solid policies and are ultimately expected to compound to reduced cost of doing business, foster citizen competence in public participation, encourage private investment and positively influence investor perception.
My Fellow County Men and Women;
My administration has continued to engage expansionary economic measures by stimulating the productive sectors of the economy that not only target huge investments by private sector but also at the micro, medium and households levels.
Our pro-growth strategy in the production sectors including agriculture, livestock, fisheries, tourism, industrialization, trade, transport and services have had significant increase in aggregate employment and wealth creation. This is as a result of a favorable business environment, and strengthened public private partnerships.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Youth unemployment continue to pose great socio-economic challenges in our economy; increasing dependency rate, social decadence, drug abuse and a possibility of increasing crime rate just to mention a few.
Addressing youth unemployment should not only be the business of county governments alone. In order to get lasting solutions, both state and non- state actors must join hands in addressing this issue.
8 of every 10 youths in the county lack the relevant technical skills and knowledge to access to opportunities for self-reliance. Over 70 percent of the workforce are youth. Implying that a meaningful growth in our economy will only be realized if the youth are proactively engaged in production.
We continue to redouble support for upgrading of our technical and vocational training institutions to not only offer market driven courses but also nurture entrepreneurship skills. This has seen enrollment increase in all youth polytechnics by over 250 percent from 800 students in 2013 to 2000 in 2015. The fee charged in these institutions is competitive and we encourage more youths to enroll.
A total of 450 youths drawn from every ward are currently on technical and vocational training programme under full scholarship by County Government and with support from our development partners.
I acknowledge the take-off programme initiated by Hon. Senator Gideon Moi that was launched recently and encourage other individuals, foundations and corporates to offer opportunities to our youths to develop.
On that note, allow me to commend our hardworking, innovative and self driven youth who have continue to put our county in the national and in the international maps through their achievements.
Today, we are proud of among others Bunifu Technologies who invested their energies in the successful development computer anti-virus software- the Bunifu Sniper anti-virus, the first of its kind in Africa; Cheboite Kigen for bagging the Photographer of the year award at the Excellence in Journalism Awards by the Media Council of Kenya; Edna Lotole for being nominated in the Rift Valley Song of the year category in the upcoming Groove Awards. I would aslo like to recognize our very own Dominic Kangor who smashed the course record at Riga Marathon in Latvia, an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race.
I challenge all of us to emulate this kind of discipline and the adoption of best practice in order to excel in what we do. I also encourage our people to to support them by buying their products and in any other way to ensure increasing number of our young people continue to be the best.
I therefore urge all youths from all corners of the county to position themselves strategically; acquire requisite skills, knowledge and expertise, be innovative, exploit their talents and sharpen entrepreneurial skills to take advantage of the opportunities that will continue to arise from growing investments in the county.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Social protection for inclusivity in development has been given emphasis in our plans, policies and laws. We have initiated robust social development programmes that have contributed towards improving welfare and a better quality of life. Our emphasis has been consistently placed on building a resilient society in order to achieve optimal balance between material growth and societal development.
Pro-poor policies that include; Youth and Women Development Fund that has already benefitted 186 groups; and Small and Medium Enterprises Fund; People with Severe Disabilities and Elderly Cash Transfer Fund of KES. 2,000 monthly remittance per beneficiary targeting 210 beneficiaries distributed equally among the 30 wards in this year.
In addition, beginning next month the Elderly and People with Severe Disabilities will be enrolled on National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to enable them receive free medical services covering; free medical consultation, medication and hospitalization in our health facilities.
Ladies and gentlemen;
Our investment in provision of water has had unprecedented impact. Rehabilitation and upgrading of 156 water supplies together with development of other new water sources resulted to an additional 40,000 households having better access to safe water.
Additional 50,000 livestock have better access to water safe for our enormous investment in small dams and water pans.
Additional 7,400 acre of land has been put under irrigation by both county government and support from other development partners. This cumulatively increases land under irrigation to 12,800, thus improving food security and employment creation to most of our citizens.
Other notable flagship investments in water development by our partners including national government are in various levels of implementation. 70 of the 100 JICA boreholes are complete serving over 100,000 people. Kirandich dam phase II project that will see development of sewerage in Kabarnet and connection of additional 30,000 people a reality will see the contractor move to site soon, thanks to the support by the Italian government funding of KES 1.8 Billion.
Chemususu Dam Phase II treatment and distribution works which was launched recently by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto is on course to connecting additional 250,000 people to water in Eldama Ravine and Mogotio Sub-Counties. Tenders for upper Chemusus have already been advertised.
Access to basic education have registered a tremendous improvement. A total of 3,876 secondary school students have so far benefitted from the KES. 30 million County Bursary Kitty. Additional KES. 12 Million for University students and another KES. 12 Million for Vocational training students will be disbursed from next month.
Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) is a success story under my administration. Improvement of ECDE infrastructure, human resource and quality standards improvement are key areas of results in this sector.
The development of 218 ECDE centers together with employment of 1,860 ECDE teachers has seen enrolment in ECDE increase by over 18 percent in the last three years. A total of 338 ECDE will be completed by the end of this year, unprecedented in a county the entire country.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Our focus in road infrastructure development as a foundation for economic growth is to deliver infrastructure equitably and efficiently. The 765KMs of rural roads that have been opened and an additional 900KMs road networks have been improved and maintained.
This not only promote rural-urban integration but has seen many citizens access market for their agricultural and livestock products, seen many pupils and children access to education, many women can access to healthcare and trading centres within a reasonable time. The first phase of urban roads upgrading programme is complete for Kabarnet and Eldama Ravine towns and is in progress in Mogotio, Marigat and Kabartonjo towns.
The second phase will be up-scaled and will commence soon. Our towns must be well developed to keep pace with the increasing urbanization that pile pressure on demand for housing, business opportunities, basic social amenities among others. Street lighting in our major towns and trading centres continue to be improved to increase business hours and security.
We have always emphasized that we need to put money in the pockets of our people. Turning agriculture and livestock sectors into commercially driven and innovative life transforming ventures is a sure strategy to enable our farmers to take advantage of the enormous comparative competitive advantage prevalent in the sector within Baringo.
Increasing productivity, development of the value chain, promoting mechanization, improving farmers’ capacity through intensified training and extension services; and developing a reliable market are the key drivers for the sector.
Notable achievements in this sector include successful productivity stimulus for instance livestock breeds improvement programme; subsidized farm inputs; introduction of pastures in low lying range lands and comprehensive extension programmes across agriculture sub-sectors.
Coffee production has remarkably increased by over 40 percent in the last two years. This has seen export of the cash crop to our Korean Market increase twofold from 14 tons in 2015 to 32.5 tons in 2016. The Korean Market for our coffee is a huge market demanding over 200 tons annually. We therefore encourage our farmers to take advantage of this opportunity and invest heavy on coffee production.
To maximize returns and mitigate on post-harvest losses, the county in partnership with Korean government and Korean WorldBestFriend is setting up a KES. 192 Million Coffee Milling Plant.
It is encouraging to note that with increased uptake of AI services, improvement of pasture and promotion of disease control for our livestock, production of milk has doubled.
The preparation for the establishment of a County Milk Processing Plant are at its final stages and ground breaking for the construction of the facility will happen soon. Land has been identified, feasibility study has been finalized and resources have been allocated. This will not only promote value addition in the dairy sector but will also create employment and increase income for farmers among other spinoff benefits. Farmers are challenged to embrace technology in dairy farming to optimize production of milk to guarantee maximum use of the milk plant.
The county has supported 3 farmer co-operative societies with milk coolers and three more coolers will be delivered by end of this year. Additional 30 coolers funded by national government will be delivered by the end of this year as well.
My fellow County Men and Women;
Upgrade of both Kabarnet and Eldama Ravine Hospitals to level 5 referral hospitals is on course. The delivery of KES 300 Million worth of medical equipment with support from Vamed, an Austrian based company and the managed equipment scheme by national government will enable us to realize this dream in the short term. The capacity of these facilities to comfortably accommodate the modern state of-the-art equipment is also being enhanced by the County Government.
A number of staff are in Austria receiving specialized training to effectively utilize the equipment. Renal Units; Specialized X-ray, ultra sound and CT Scan rooms; expansion of theatres; ICU Units; modernize maternity wing and improving patients privacy are being finalized.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
We are on course in marketing Baringo County as a global tourist destination. We have carried out extensive profiling of our major attractions sites. We have put up 22 direction signage as per World Tourism Organization Standards and developing a tourist and business information centre in Mogotio that will soon be inaugurated. Road infrastructure to Lake Bogoria, Baringo and Kapnarok national reserves are being improved to promote tourists.
It is a pleasure to note that our county has attracted an increasing number of visitors and notable events like the Rally Raid that was held recently in parts of Baringo South and Tiaty.
Feasibility of a cable car across Baringo and Elgeiyo Marakwet has been advertised and if finalized and developed, it will see Baringo and the region attract unprecedented number of tourists.
My Fellow Citizens;
My government endeavors to manage and conserve our environment and natural resources in a manner that supports sustainable economic growth and development. Tree planting is an important undertaking which contributes to environmental conservation.
Vision 2030 requires the country to work towards achieving forest cover of 10% of land area to ensure sustainable resource use. However, to further improve, then human activities that are detrimental to the environment for instance charcoal burning must be discouraged.
I encourage you to seek for alternative livelihood to charcoal burning for example embrace bee keeping, a venture that has more returns and environmentally sustainable.
To attain effective solid waste management, the county Government has initiated clean ups in towns and urban centers. Adequate litter bins have been installed in our towns to maintain tidiness. Sewerage works for Kabarnet town will commence soon.
Ladies and gentlemen;
My government is supporting the fast tracking of land adjudication and the issuance of titles deeds. This is informed by the fact that Land is one single most important factor of production and therefore need to fast track its documentation and efficient management is imperative.
A total of 8,111 land title deeds for Marigat/Maji Ndege, Salawa and Morop/Riwo have been recieved. The town development plans for Mogotio, Marigat, Chemolingot, and Koloa have been approved. Barwessa, Kabartonjo, Kipsaraman, Kabel and Emining centres are being revised and others in progress.
National Assembly departmental committee on Lands, Housing and Urban development recently visited Mochongoi to collect citizens’ views and opinions to degazette Mochongoi Forest to pave way for settlement of our people. I am informed that the report is in the National Assembly and will be approved anytime soon.
Ladies and gentlemen;
Concerted efforts, multi-agency and inter community strategies that we have embraced in handling issue of insecurity for the last three years have borne fruits.
I commend our communities, my fellow leaders, Jubilee Administration and all of us who have continued to support the quest for peace for embracing peace and harmonious co-existence. Let us work together as one people, one county and one leadership.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Strengthening family unit is paramount in building a peaceful, prosperous and stable communities. Family as a social priority and fundamental unit of society should be supported by state, community and non-state actors.
I challenge Community Based Organizations, Faith Based Organizations and local leaders to develop integrated development programmes at village level where various preventive and advocacy activities for instance: creating awareness on importance of happy and harmonious family; advocacy for change of mind set towards self-reliance, and helping families cope with changes in the living environment. This is the only way to build a strong, resilient and prosperous society, address the rising social vices, and guarantee sustainable future generations
Ladies and Gentlemen;
May I conclude by observing that devolution continues to shape the way public affairs are conducted, how decisions are made, and how public resources are utilized. We the people have the constitutional mandate to not only identify our problems but also suggest for the best remedy to our development challenges. As your leaders we continue striving to meet the promise - delivering services to you citizens. To fulfill this promise we both have a duty.
We call upon you to proactively engage government. Our approach to public engagement shall continue to provide a seamless and efficient multi-channel government – citizen interface.
On this Madaraka day, I wish to challenge everyone from all walks of life to reflect upon yourself as an individual; as a family or a community on whether you have attained independence.
Kenya’s independence is a sum total of every citizen’s independence. It is not about independence from colonization by foreigners. It is about independence of your mind; independence from dependency; independence of your thoughts and ability to make rational decisions; independence from all manner of vulnerability; both social, economic and political.
THANK YOU AND HAVE A BLESSED MADARAKA DAY.