Honourable deputy speaker
Leader of Majority
Leader of Minority
Chair-Persons of Various House Committees
Honourable Members of Baringo County Assembly
I feel greatly honoured to give my maiden address to this honourable house as we mark the beginning of business for Baringo County Assembly. I would like to thank all of you for finding time to be part of this momentous occasion.
May I take this very first and privileged opportunity to congratulate all honorable members of this house for being elected and/ or nominated to the second County Assembly of Baringo. I laud the honourable speaker and the deputy speaker for their being honoured with the gallant task of steering this house.
I also appreciate all members who have been assigned different roles of representing this Assembly in national platforms and those elected to chair various important house business portfolios. The fact that you all find yourselves here today means enormous trust and great responsibility has been set upon your shoulders by the people of our county.
Let me state again here on the floor of this house that my vision is to make Baringo united, empowered, accountable, inclusive and prosperous County. The 7 pillars in my manifesto provides a transformative framework to deliver on this vision. The pillars are in line with our national development blue print - the Vision 2030 and will be an integral part of our 2nd Generation County Integrated Development Plan (2018-2022).
To realize this noble cause, a solid cordial interdependence between the Executive and the County Assembly is called for and is indeed very necessary.
We should always work together seamlessly like two different functional parts of the same machine. We should soldier on in one accord in championing the cause of prosperity for our great people. Divided we will certainly fall; but together we shall definitely thrive.
In this regard, I invite all honourable members of this house to partner with, and walk with me on the journey to making our county prosperous.
The people of Baringo have entrusted in us the collective responsibility of effecting our county’s transformation. Going forward, it must not be lost on any one of us that it is now incumbent upon us to team up, roll-up our sleeves and get down to work.
I am certain that we all find ourselves in here today because wananchi believed in the pledges we made to them. You all agree with me that there is need to re-focus our development agenda and concentrate more on providing practical and speedy solutions to the challenges that face our residents.
To deliver on our promise to transform the county therefore, we require to adopt a robust, systematic and yet practical development approach. It will never be business as usual.
Policies, programmes and projects have to be formulated based on the greater impact to a critical mass of our communities. The numerous piece-meal projects adopted in the past has been economically unfeasible, inefficient and hardly ever satisfy the intended development needs and expectations of the people.
The issue of spreading our budget too thin must be addressed. My administration will partner with this house to ensure that programmes and projects implemented have greater impact, are sustainable, efficient and most importantly, effective.
At institutional level, we must enact and implement a robust resource mobilization, allocation and prudent fiscal policies. We should accelerate structural reforms geared towards building a conducive business environment that promote investments, improve efficiency in production, and ultimately empower our people to generate income; and create employment and wealth.
Critical urgency lies in fixing the enabler sectors that are catalysts for a competitive productive sector that will spur economic growth.
I urge this house to lay focus on roads maintenance, water provision, environmental conservation and the sustainable exploitation of our natural resources. Our primary aim should be ensuring that our development in water, roads, agriculture, tourism, education; research and development; industrial investments and commercial sectors thrive.
Harnessing and managing water resources for sustainable development
I urge this house to earmark this sector for prioritization in resource allocation so that we increase sustainable access to clean and affordable water to the residents of Baringo. The best way forward is to leverage on sinking new boreholes and small dams. We need to enhance partnerships with development partners and work closely with the national government in harnessing and managing this scarce resource.
I will be pushing for the relevant National Government institutions to expedite exploitation of the existing water infrastructure such as Kirandich and Chemususu Dams.
We need to gear in a major way the harnessing of our water resources towards facilitating a shift from rain fed agriculture to irrigated, and commercialized farming activities.
We also plan to provide reliable water supply and establish sustainable urban sewerage systems to further modernize and create conducive business environment in our towns.
Poverty Reduction, Food and Human Security;
The foundation for vision 2030 is the security of the individual and property. Human security and food security should never be compromised as doing so will be at the expense of development. Security both of human life and our aggregate investments is a key determinant of our economic performance. It is an incentive to investment growth particularly in our ailing tourism sector.
Access to food in right quantity and nutritional content is a fundamental constitutional right to all citizens. We have a potential to feed our people.
As leaders we have a collective obligation. We need to speak in one language. A language of committing to transform our productive sectors using the appropriate technologies to significantly produce more beyond subsistence.
As a county we take pride in great diversity. We have enormous and diverse resources distributed in all our sub-counties. We have all the agro-ecological zones that support distinct economic activities. Indeed, we need to take advantage of this natural opportunity.
In this regard, we need to undertake a socio-economic profile in our sub-counties. The aim is to identify areas of comparative production advantage in order to target our resource allocation to optimize productivity in those sectors for sustainable income, employment and wealth creation.
Quality Education for a transformative human capital and sustainable future;
Skills development is significant in building a strong knowledge economy as the engine to spur economic growth. Emphasis will be on profiling the county skills inventory for each sector and upgrading our vocational training institutions to match the requirement.
We need to increase the bursary kitty to be able to target bright and talented youth for scholarships to pursue skill sets that will guarantee them employment. This is one of the surest ways of addressing the unprecedented youth unemployment in the County.
We will upgrade our current ECD classrooms to ECD centers by equipping them an providing additional facilities to cater for all aspects of early childhood development.
We are very keen on enabling our youth to leverage on ICT in skills as a driver for enterprise development. In this regard, we intend to work with partners to roll out free Wi-Fi in all our urban centers, starting with Kabarnet and Eldama Ravine.
This is fundamental if we are to enable our people to take up offshore business and employment opportunities and keep up with the contemporary world.
Unlocking our potential in tourism;
Tourism sub-sector is not only under developed but uncompetitive. Our tourism destinations; products and scenic features; the lakes; the game parks are enormous but under-utilized.
We need to tap our potential in eco-tourism and cultural tourism, sport tourism, safaris, business and conference tourism; and build on new products. Our national reserves require a face-lift in infrastructure and facilities to be fully operational.
Partnering with all the stakeholders and charting a clear roadmap to drive tourism as a business is the way to go. The role of the private sector in tourism development must not only be embraced but also enhanced.
On access to a sustainable, quality and affordable Healthcare;
I wish to observe that as we embark on addressing the issue of access to healthcare, attention should be on investing more in preventive healthcare rather than curative for the simple reason that ‘prevention is better than cure’.
Healthcare spending has persistently remained high consuming on average over 40 percent of Baringo County’s annual budget. In the long run, if we focus on preventive health measures, we shall definitely reduce a substantive portion of the health budget.
Let me observe that expansion of infrastructure in the health sector in the recent years has been significant. However, it has not been proportionately matched with equipment and personnel to fully operationalize them. This calls for an urgent budgetary intervention to address the shortfall in human resource and acquisition of requisite equipment.
Embracing good governance, social inclusion and wellbeing as a foundation for growth;
I wish to reiterate my commitment to uphold the principles set out in our Constitution in my execution of the County government functions. Our citizens from all walks of life MUST access public services in an inclusive, equitable, transparent and accountable manner.
As state officers we should lead by example. We must uphold integrity in delivering and management of public affairs. We must fight corruption and discrimination in all forms. We must exercise prudence.
My administration will initiate bold but sustainable measures aimed at combating corruption, promoting good governance and instilling a sense of financial discipline, prudent use of available resources and prioritized management of the economy.
We will embrace citizen engagement through active participation by all in moving our development agenda forward.
As a constitutional obligation, we must engage every women; young people; persons living with disability; the senior citizens and the minority groups in all levels of decision making.
Let me summarize by touching on a few critical emerging issues of concern to our nation.
I am deeply concerned about the ongoing national strike by nurses which has crippled service delivery in our health facilities.
Although the strike has since been declared illegal by the courts, this impasse need to be looked into urgently and resolved with finality. I call upon the relevant institutions, mainly the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to expedite the consideration of pay packages for nurses and give a clear way forward.
As the governor, I want to assure our nurses of my commitment to working not only on the continuous improvement of their terms of service, but also to the provision of necessary work equipment, material and the improvement of their respective working environments.
On this note however, I would like to call upon our nurses to heed the notice by the Council of Governors which required all striking nurses to have returned to work by 8th September, 2017 to avoid necessitating the implementation of drastic administrative actions. Our nurses need to be considerate enough to resume duty so as to ease the suffering of patients in our hospitals even as we commit to addressing their grievances.
On the 8th of August 2017, Kenyans braved the sun, rain, stood in long queues for hours on end, and performed their civic duty of democratically electing their leaders for all levels of Government. It is through this election that you and I find ourselves in the positions we currently hold. It is through this election that our Parliament, both National Assembly and the Senate was constituted.
As we are all aware the elections were declared by many including international observers as the most transparent, free, fair and peaceful elections in our history as a country.
It came as an unfortunate shock to majority of Kenyans when the Supreme Court made a ruling that effectively overturned the will of the Kenyan people who hold the ultimate supremacy, on grounds of minor clerical errors by electoral officials.
We feel that the decision by the court went against our constitutional democratic principles and expectations. But to reaffirm our commitment to democracy and the rule of law, we respect and abide by the ruling.
In this regard therefore, an enormous duty lies before us. It is time for all of us to hit the road, embark on the campaign trail, and mobilize our voters to come out in large numbers to vote in President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto in the repeat Presidential Election on the 17th October 2017. We need to reclaim our victory and affirm that indeed it is the Kenyan voter who is Supreme.
As I conclude I would like to strongly request this house that when the time comes, you move with speed in approving the county executive committee members and other state officers who will be appointed shortly.
This will go a long way in effecting a speedy transition and avoiding delay in the process of implementing actual development and delivering services to our citizens.
Thank you and God Bless you all