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My fellow Citizens

Ladies and Gentlemen;

I am greatly humbled, and it is with great appreciation to God to join you as we mark the seventh Anniversary of Mashujaa Day, and the fourth since the start of devolution in our great country.

The history of our country is full of Washujaas; names of great men and women who through their acts of patriotism, selflessness sacrifice, compassion and courage have continued to contribute to the wellbeing of current and future generations.As a nation and county, we celebrate and get inspired by them for they are a source of our national pride.

As we mark this Mashujaa Day, we recognize and celebrate our heroes, those who work hard to ensure that they feed their families, our gallant young men and young women who put the county and the country in the global context through their excellent performance in various fields; to cite a few, like CheboiteKigenour very own, who emerged asthe topmost Photographer in the country at the Journalist of the Year Awards and emerged Second in a just concludedCNN African Journalist Awards 2016;The Principal of EminingHigh School Mr. Solomon A. Koech who was named the Principal of the Year in the Annual Kenya Secondary SchoolsHeads Association (KESSHA) Awards 2016 held in June. Mr. JaphetKipterer the nurse in Mukutani Dispensary, through his creativity and dedication to service saved 54 patients who consumed contaminated meat.

We celebrate our tirelessfarmers whosehard work, determination and efforts not only feed, clothe and house their families and ensure their children go to school, but also ensure the rest of us have food to buy in our markets. Weare today gratefulto the philanthropists whose acts of charity saveslives and bring a sigh of relief to the orphaned and the vulnerable.

Ladies and gentlemen;

Today, we also reflect on the enormous progress we have made as well as the challenges we face as a Baringo.  The lessons we draw from the journey that has given us the courage, inspiration and resolve to face and make a difference to our common future.

We continue to take strides in infrastructure development. Our roads have been improved, our rural areas opened up, and our town roads, lightings, pavements and sanitation are being worked on.

We continue to experience better access to our health facilities, improvement in ourlearning institutions, and timely delivery of our produce to markets.

This has been made possible through our effort in road infrastructure development. Over 1565Km of new rural roads have been opened up, improved and maintained. Besides, 12Km of our major towns’ roads have been upgraded to bitumen standard.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

Water is life. I am delighted that our efforts in addressing access to water challenges have borne fruits. Currently,65% of our populations have better access to safe water compared to 25.9 percent in 2013.

This has been achieved through rehabilitation of 140 water projects comprising of pipeline repairs and extensions,pumping systems replacements, construction of water tanks, water kiosks and connecting power. Rehabilitation of other 59 water projects is ongoing. 18 boreholes likePonpon and Mokongwo in Tangulbei, Losampurpur in Mukutani,Katipsogon in Sacho, Tanyinleel in SaimoKipsaraman, Chepchomusand Kimosein Emining,Nasorot in Silale, Kagogh in Churo, Lombogishu, Noiwet and Muiya 2 in Mogotio,Belatiat and Lapkeiyet in Kisanana,Kailer in Ilchamus and Kagir in SaimoSoi and rehabilitation of Chemolingot and Kitunduny. 27 completed water pans for instance Sitewe in Kisanana, Cherotoen in Silale, Kitaima in Kapropita, Koibago in Emining, Keneroi in Mochongoi, Kato in LembusPerkerra, Parkarin in Ilchamus,Korelach in Tirioko, Barpello Pan and Korio in Ribkwo, Kalewon in Saimosoi, Sosotwo and Kisumet in Bartabwa, Lodengo, Nalukumogin and Loiyamoiin Kolowa,Enot, Chesangichin Barwesa, Kamar in Emining, Keon in Mochongoi, others are Mochowonin Tirioko, Sowoin Tangulbei, Cheptalamach in Kolowa, Kangiruru in Tirioko and Chepungus in Loiyamorock.The net effect is an additional connection to over 130,000 people and more than 380,000 livestock now have reliable source of water.

The consolidation of progress we have so far made in the 13 established irrigation schemes across the countycontinues to benefit farmers and positively impact on livelihoods within their locations in a big way. These are: Ketiptergek, Ng’enyin, Mosuro, LoboiLorwai in Baringo South, Cheraik in E/Ravine, Emsos,Emining and Mukuyuni in Mogotio, Kapkelelwa in Baringo Central, Oighony and Rebeko in Tiaty.

Ladies and gentlemen;

In regard to the water sector management in Baringo and in the Country, I wish to note the following.

The Constitution introduces fundamental changes to the water and sanitation sector. It places county governments at the centre of delivery of water and sanitation services with national government largely retaining policy formulation and regulation of water and sanitation sector.

Ladies and gentlemen;

Investment in healthcare has an unprecedented multiplier effect on economic growth and prosperity. Therefore, recognizing the interdependence of health and development is central in contemporary economies. Our performance in provision of health care is unmatched.

Our people no longer travel long distances to seek specialized treatment. Our average distance to health services currently stand at an impressive 5km compared to over 15km in 2013. There are 24 new dispensaries and 4 renovated in the county 15 in Tiaty, 6 in Baringo North, 2 in Baringo South and 2 in Eldama Ravine. Among them are Nakoko, Topulen,Chepturu, Chemoril, Akwichatis, Orus, Chewara,Katikit, Nasur,Nuregoi,Kipkaren, Longeiwan, Loropil, Mogotio Hospital, Kipsogon, Kabiyet,Toniok and others.

Our dream to have a functional county referral hospital is now a reality. Services offered in Kabarnet Referral hospital match those at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Nakuru PGH and Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi.

The Kabarnet Referral Hospital is now offering dialysis services, CT scan, oxygen plant, refurbished wards, maternity ward, and administration block and this will make the facility one of the best referral hospitals in the North Rift.

We have qualified personnel than yester years, morefunctional health facilities than before, and we now boast of state of the art facilities more than ever before. This, notwithstanding the staff shortage challenges in some of the facilities, supply in pharmaceuticals and non-pharmaceuticals. These challenges are being addressed and more budgetary allocations in the health sector, this will be a thing of the past. More importantly, 643 of our health staff have been promoted, 200 confirmed those who were on contract terms and now re-designation is going on.

May I therefore register my appreciation the entire health staff for their dedication and embracing dialogue while the issues of promotion and confirmations were being addressed and therefore services our facilities continued undisrupted. I thank you.

We have made tremendous achievements in our efforts to ensure that no woman dies while giving birth and no child should die during birth and between the age of 0-5 because of preventable diseases and conditions.

To make provision of health care affordable and accessible, we shall introduce a pro poor scheme to offer subsidized specialized health services to our citizens aged over 65 yearsand our brothers and sisters living with disability. I urge all of you to register with NHIF to lessen the burden of healthcare emergencies.

Fellow Citizens;Ladies and Gentlemen;

My administration is working overtime to make sure that we transform our local human capacity to provide the necessary opportunities to our youth to prosper.

Our upgraded vocational youth training centres popularly known as youth polytechnics currently match other tertiary institutions. I urge many of our youth to register on various courses in any of these centres.

The good news is that thegovernment has subsidized training fees and often offers scholarships that are open to everyone.

I am pleased that the 450 youth who are receiving specialized artisan skills in our various vocational training institutions are guaranteed of opportunities in the booming construction industry, the upcoming investments in the energy sector and most importantly for self-employment.Upon graduating they will also be eligible for enterprise loans.

In promoting talent development in sports especially in athletics, the county has set up talent academies in Talai and Torongo. An additional one in Mochongoi will be established in this financial year to offer opportunity for our youth who travel to Nyahururu and other areas outside the county for specialized high altitude trainings.

Of great significance is the youth empowerment and innovation centres established in each sub county. The centres will serve as business innovation and incubation hubs for our youth.

The youth will access free internet services that will enable them undertake online assignments, research, develop and design business concepts and products that will generate income.

Fellow Citizens;

As we address the numerous impediments to youth and women advancement in business, I urge this segment to comply with the requirements especially on access to our Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Fund to be effective in reaching everyone who deserves.

The fund is based on revolving principle. We continue to inject more resources into the kitty. However, if those who access do not repay on time, then it will delay others to benefit.

It is worth noting that the Kes 20Million Baringo Business Enterprises Fund has since benefitted over 95 Women Groups and 120 Youth Groups in 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 Financial Years.

We must therefore tap into the vibrancy of our youthful population, their talents, intellect and innovation. I also issued directive to the procurement department to ensure that the minimum 30% threshold of tenders to youth, women and PWDs is achieved.

Access to quality Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) for a holistic child development from the formative stages is the solid foundation of every society. Our milestone in this sector once again is inspiring.We experienced a remarkable increase in enrollment of over 12,000 pupils in the last three years and now 54,550 ECDE pupils are class. We have also invested in over 334 ECDE centersand employed over 1833 ECDE teachers.

My Fellow Citizens;

The challenges that our farmers struggle with in agriculture have been associated with subsistence production and productivity, livestock and crop diseases, low value addition, limited access to markets and inadequate capacity of farmers to adopt better farming techniques.

We have renewed hope for our farmers to excel in Agriculture and Livestock production. Increasing productivity in agriculture and livestock development through value addition; disease control in livestock and crops; revitalization of farmer cooperatives; promotion of modern technologies in farming; embracing water fed agriculture through expansion of land under irrigation and improved access to reliable and stable market, have been the core business of my administration. To this end, 72 new cattle dips have been constructed, 180 renovated, 33 AI Kits, 14 Milk coolers, vaccination programme rolled out together with partners, 50 drip irrigation and green houses to women groups and schools and many more programmes. With these, 673,629 animals now access dipping services, 500,862 animals vaccinated and a drop in disease reporting occurrence by 40% from 20 cases to 12 reported cases last financial year.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

The Council of Governors would,however, like to point out that the agricultural sector’s performance has been affected by the continuous encroachment of county functions by the Agriculture and Food Authority created in 2013 and its functions under the Crops Act, 2013. The Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) has largely undermined and interfered with county functions. This is because the AFA has discharged functions that are beyond the scope of agricultural policy formulation. AFA must be restructured to be in accordance with the devolved system of Government and in line with the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution. It is imperative to ensure the principle of distinctiveness as an indicator of devolved governance is adhered to, in the Agriculture sector.

To date, no policy and legal reforms have been achieved to conform to the devolved governance due to stalled amendment and review processes. The overarching agriculture policy is still at draft stage. The Council urges the Ministry of Agriculture to fast-track the policy and also review of the other existing policies, laws and regulations to conform to the Devolved system of Government.

This will enable harmonious participation of all stakeholders in undertaking their mandate in the agriculture sector.The principle of distinctiveness as an indicator of devolved governance has to be adhered to in the Agriculture sector.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

Generally, Peace and security is central to sustainable development. The prevailing peace and security at this point in time in our county is a clear indication that our communities have embraced peaceful coexistence and diversity within the realm of scarce resources.

The Lanina prediction of a dry spell between the month of November 2016 and March 2017 should not provide an opportunity for conflict amongst our pastoral communities.

As a county we are prepared to intervene especially in areas that will experience acute water shortages.

Ladies and gentlemen;

You will all agree with me that the devolved system of government has indeed been a revolution and must be protected at all costs.

It is unfortunate however to note that over 30 Laws and proposed Bills which are unconstitutional and seek to claw back Devolution have been developed and enacted. Apart from the Water Act 2016 which I mentioned earlier, there is also the Land Laws Amendment Act which seeks to amend the National Land Commission Act by abolishing County Land Management Boards. This means all matters of land shall be managed and run from Nairobi by the Cabinet Secretary. This denies County Governments a role in land management matters a function bestowed to County Governments by the Constitution.

Further, there is a practice to use the Statute Law Miscellaneous Amendment Bill to enact laws that claw back on devolution.

Traditionally, the role of the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) is to make corrections on several statutes, all at once. These are supposed to be minor anomalies, inconsistencies, outdated terminology or errors which are non-controversial. The Miscellaneous Amendment Bill has however been used to make extensive amendments to laws and in the process reverse devolution as envisaged in the constitution.

There is a proposed Health Bill that proposes to create a Health Authority that will interfere with provision of health services and the proposed Roads Bill that seeks to recentralize management of rural and urban roads. These are county roads which have been devolved by the constitution.

Challenges to devolution abound but in the four years County Governments have been in existence major strides have been made and today we celebrate Devolution Heroes and Heroines.

Ladies and gentlemen;

Let us never forget that our unity as a people determines our success. To achieve the best results and lasting benefits from the implementation of devolved functions require participation of all people.

Together let us join our hands, let us be of one accord,and let us listen to each other as we walk the path to development. I am certain that it is possible, that it is achievable and that it is sustainable.

Finally, to our beloved students and pupils; the 2016 KCSE and KCPE candidates, I wish you SUCCESS in your forth coming National Examinations.

THANK YOUAND HAVE A BLESSED MASHUJAA DAY.TUKO PAMOJA

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