27TH FEBRUARY, 2019
HON. SPEAKER JOSHUA KIPTOO,
HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER WILSON SANG,
LEADER OF MAJORITY HON. DAVID KOECH,
LEADER OF MINORITY HON. ELIUD KIRONGO,
HON. MEMBERS OF THE COUNTY ASSEMBLY,
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
Allow me to take this opportunity to thank the Almighty God for keeping us healthy and safe for the last one and almost half a year in office.
As we look back over time, we have every reason to offer gratitude and state our hope for a better and brighter future as the leadership and the great people of Nandi County.
We have indeed made good progress and kept our steps in the right direction. As such, Nandi County was recently ranked second by the Office of the Ombudsman among the leading transparent counties in the country over proactive disclosure of government information to the public.
The tremendous successes and the strides we have made within this short period are a remarkable testament of the collective and patriotic efforts from all of us in the Executive as well as the tireless work of the Members of this County Assembly.
In this financial year, we are finalizing on some of the development projects that we had initiated. In addition, key flagship projects which are outlined in our County Integrated Development Plan have already taken off.
At the onset of my administration, I pledged to prioritize the improvement of health services and increase access to quality health care. I am glad to report that our government has managed to turn things around in the health sector.
We have ensured constant supply of drugs and other medical supplies and patients are now being treated in health centers within their localities relieving pressure from the Kapsabet County Referral Hospital.
At the same time, Dialysis and MRI services are now available at the Kapsabet Referral Hospital.
This has greatly reduced the distance patients from Nandi had to cover to access these crucial services.
Additionally, we have completed the construction of a new theatre at this facility and the installation of a CT Scan is ongoing. This will be operational in the next three weeks.
We have acquired an oxygen plant for the County Referral Hospital which will be installed next week. Patients in critical conditions and the children’s ward will now have oxygen supply by their bedsides. This will reduce deaths brought about by respiratory complications and lack of oxygen for other critical medical procedures.
At the Nandi Hills Sub County Hospital, an additional theatre is being completed to ease access of services. The expansion of the Out-Patient Department (OPD) to increase space for consultation services is ongoing. Power upgrade and standby generator at both Kapsabet and Nandi Hills hospitals are now fully operational.
This therefore means the frequent interruption of service provision due constant power blackouts in the two facilities will now be a thing of the past.
Emergency response is critical in healthcare provision and for this reason we are procuring 10 ICU-type ambulances that will be fully equipped to offer critical care to patients while on transit.
To further increase access to healthcare services by our people, we have advertised for a Mother and Child Hospital at KCRH, an Out Patient Department in Nandi Hills and at Chepterwai Sub County Hospital.
At the same time, the expansion of Kabiyet, Kobujoi, Mosoriot and Meteitei Hospitals is now under procurement.
Over 70 facilities including health centers and dispensaries are also set for renovation and facelift across the county. All these initiatives are meant to bring healthcare services closer to the people.
In our resolve to ensure continued service delivery are offered at our health facilities, we have since employed 10 Medical Officers, 2 Specialists, 60 Clinical Officers and 50 Nurses.
Further, our continued dialogue and progressive implementation of the CBA has ensured healthcare services remain uninterrupted in our health facilities, which is not the case in many counties across the Nation. I thank all cadres of staff in the health sector for their continued support in delivering quality services to our people.
Evidently, the County is on the path to achieving universal health care.
Agriculture remains the backbone of our economy, the solid foundation of our county’s prosperity. Agribusiness and agro-processing are the engines that will turn around our economy, and as such, my administration continues to give the sector the attention it deserves.
This sector is an important component of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda. In this regard, my administration has prioritized the institution of modern farming techniques and diversification that has seen dairy farming and horticulture take center stage. For instance, we have focused on improving breeds through subsidized Artificial Insemination Program. Artificial Insemination services are now fully operational and I am glad to report that AI kits have been supplied to various Dairy Cooperatives to help respective members improve their dairy breeds.
Similarly, my administration has collaborated with the National Government and other stakeholders to support active dairy cooperatives with milk chilling tanks to reduce milk losses and increase milk sales by farmers. To date, a number of Cooperatives have benefitted from this initiative and more will follow.
We are setting up a milk processing plant at Kabiyet as we move towards value addition of our milk that will increase earnings to our farmers. The contractor for the plant structure has already moved to the site by end of this week, while the procurement of milk processing plant equipment has kicked off.
This singular project will have ripple effects that will influence the process of economic empowerment. Cooperative Societies have since been mobilized to join the Nandi Dairy Cooperative Union to attain milk bulking.
In the 2017/18 Financial Year, we completed the renovation 59 cattle dips across the county and we are doing an additional 60 in the 2018/19 financial year. It is worth noting that we recently undertook a massive livestock vaccination exercise under subsidized terms. This livestock disease surveillance is aimed at controlling deadly epidemics in cattle.
As a County, we have also identified French beans as a potential income earner for our farmers due to the high demand both locally and internationally. Our partnership with Meru Greens has so far seen 850 farmers engaged in the contract farming. This has since culminated in the establishment of a 10-metric ton cold room at Himaki which I commissioned this morning in the presence of the Dutch Ambassador to Kenya.
In partnership with Agriculture Sector Support Program (ASDSP) and the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIG),
we want to ensure we increase agricultural productivity and profitability of targeted rural communities in Nandi. The areas of focus are implementing value chains of dairy, Irish potatoes, indigenous chicken, fish and maize farming.
The cash crop sector has not been left behind, and we have so far distributed coffee seeds and seedlings and offered capacity building to farmers on marketing strategies, financing, trading, export logistics and market intelligence.
One of our flagship projects is the establishment of a Textile and Apparel Unit. As you are aware, we signed an MOU with Rivatex East Africa Ltd and towards the implementation of this; we have already identified land where the plant will be situated.
Already, there is a tender advertisement towards the construction of a textile training and production plant.
We have also advertised for the acquisition of equipment for the same. The whole project implementation will be done under the terms of the said MOU.
Further, we want to ensure our business men and women operate in a conducive environment. To this end, my administration has constructed and rehabilitated several County markets in the financial year 2018/2019. The construction of Kapsabet and Nandi Hills Bus Park is nearing completion.
As you all know, the county prides herself as the Source of Champions, particularly in athletics.
That is a resource we intend to nurture and replenish at all times. We remain focused on developing athletic talents through improvement of sporting facilities. The Phase one construction of the Residential Training Camp is nearing completion. Phase two is under procurement and is expected to be complete in four months’ time.
I am also pleased to report that the Deputy President H.E Dr. William Ruto has reiterated the National Government’s commitment to complete the construction of the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Kapsabet.
We have recruited 400 ECDE teachers with an aim of ensuring our children access quality education in an appropriate learning environment.
We allocated Sh60 million for bursaries in the 2018/19 Financial Year, we have already disbursed Sh42 million to students in secondary schools, vocational training centres and those with special needs.
The remaining Sh18 million will be disbursed to University and College students in the next quarter. We have put in place measures to ensure that the deserving beneficiaries access the funds.
Vocational Training plays a great role in equipping the youth with the relevant skills and attitudes that would enable them gain employment. The National Government has introduced a grant to all youth who have enrolled in Vocational Training Centres (VTCs). Each student is receiving full sponsorship of Sh15, 000. We have also rolled out an aggressive campaign for more enrollments of the youth in these centers. In our supplementary Budget, we have allocated funds for the completion of 13 VTCs across the county.
Following the conferment of a Charter to the Kapsabet Town Municipality, we have received Sh177million under the Kenya Urban Development Support Program. This will be used on a number of projects including, waste management, improvement of road network, street lighting, pedestrian walkways, drainage improvement, Jua Kali and bodaboda shades within the municipality.
We have also benefited from the Urban Institutional Grant of Sh40 million that will be used for capacity building.
My administration has earmarked the Water Sector for prioritization in resource allocation with the objective of increasing sustainable access to clean portable water to all residents. To this end, we have acquired two Drilling Rigs to hasten the sinking of boreholes.
The inaugural borehole was successfully sunk at Taboiyat, in Nandi Hills. Our Hydrologists have already mapped out 26 locations where pilot drilling will be done. We are engaging partners and working closely with national government in harnessing and managing this scarce resource.
Our objective is to provide reliable water supply and establish sustainable Urban Sewerage systems to further modernize and create conducive business environment in our towns. We urge the national government to fast track implementation of the Nandi Hills water project and Keben Dam.
Our County Public Service is putting in place programs aimed at managing and empowering human resources in the county.
These programs include the development of the County Internship Policy that saw an internship program being rolled out. This has so far benefitted over 200 youth who will now gain skills and work experience thus enhancing their chances for employability.
We have also extended job contracts for over 1,300 workers whose initial one-year contracts had expired. Their terms and conditions of service have improved; hence we expect enhanced service delivery to the residents of Nandi County.
The automation of systems and ICT integration across all departments is providing an environment for efficiency in service delivery.
The roll out of the Health Management Information System will enable the Health sector improve the quality of care, patient satisfaction, improve revenue collection and reduced health care cost. The procurement of hardware and data centre is ongoing and the pilot program is expected to be operational by end of March. Revenue Collection system is also being upgraded to ensure we improve on collections and utilisation thereof.
My administration is committed to accelerating development through the empowerment of women in the society. Thus, we have initiated the Korge Arise program spearheaded by our Deputy Dr. Yulita Cheruiyot.
Women now have an opportunity to be trained on various topical issues like education, nutrition, family values, poverty eradication, women empowerment and medical issues among others.
Through the program, a number of women have been trained on entrepreneurial skills to strengthen their financial muscle in our families.
We have also partnered with Hope for Change in Kenya to also ensure women attain economic independence geared towards boosting societal economic growth.
The ‘Sponsor a Heifer’ initiative targeting women groups through distribution of heifers is empowering and touching the lives of many.
These programs will ensure women attain economic independence geared towards boosting societal economic growth.
Our road network continues to expand and its arteries have reached far and wide in the rural settlements that had remained unreachable. Road construction machines have opened up new roads which have been dozed, graded, graveled and compacted to ease movement of both goods and people.
So far we have graded 750 kilometers, graveled 320 kilometers and opened up over 150 kilometers of new road.
We have done several bridges, culverts and footbridges to connect our people living on either side of rivers and streams. Our engineers have devised and supervised drainage systems that prevent flood damage on roads.
Contractors have played a major role in the road construction industry, and I want to give my commitment to this honorable house that we will endeavor to pay our contractors and suppliers on time as much as possible.
However, and I want to make this crystal clear; anyone who seeks to work for the people of Nandi must be ready to deliver quality.
Last year, we launched ‘The land rights and land justice program’ in Nandi Hills, a multi-pronged approach towards addressing Present and Historical Land Injustices in our county once and for all. One of the approaches was to prepare victims of various injustices to present claims before the National Land Commission.
The Commission held sittings Nandi to listen to a number of claimant groups with the Nandi County Government being admitted as an ‘interested party’. Today, I am happy to report to this house that the National Land Commission has made its findings and recommended redress on a number of these claims.
The Commission has allowed some of the claims and made far reaching directives and recommendations. Notably, the Commission has ruled that the Former and current Kimondi Forest Squatters, the Tindiret Forest Dorobo Squatters – Kosabei and the Pemja Community be settled.
The Kenya Forest Service has been ordered to complete the degazettement, excision and survey of the promised parcels of land for purposes of settling the claimants.
Kimasas Co-operative Society members also have a reason to smile after their claim against EPK and the Chief Land Registrar was allowed. The Commission has ruled that all resultant subdivisions were done illegally and should be cancelled. Land L/R No. 9285/2 has been given to Kimasas Co-operative Society Ltd. and the Chief Land Registrar has been directed to implement the decision.
Perhaps the most significant finding and recommendation by NLC, is that which concerns the Talai Clan. After 113 years since the murder of our hero Koitaleel Araap Samoei and the forcible transfer of the Nandi population from their fertile land, a constitutional body has ruled that a resurvey be done on lands held by Tea Estates to establish if there is any residue to be held in trust for the community by the County Government for public purposes.
NLC has also directed that a scholarship fund to educate the Talai children be set up by the Multinational Companies holding the land. Additionally, the Commission directed that the County Government and the Multinationals do sign an MOU for the Multinationals to provide public utilities to the Nandi Community. Further, NLC recommends that renewal of the leases to these lands be held in abeyance until an agreement is reached with the County Government.
With regard to rates and rent on such lands, the Commission recommends that they be enhanced to benefit the County Government, at the same time reiterating that all 999 year leases be converted to the Constitutional requirement of 99 years.
Regarding the various claimant groups in the sugar belt, NLC recommends that the Privatization Commission do consider setting aside land to settle the Titan Squatters, Timur Nandi Community, Nyando Valley Association and Nandi Kaburwo Council of Elders.
The Commission advises the Nandi Royal Trust to await the establishment of the Independent Boundaries Commission as proposed under the County Boundaries Bill, 2015 so as to present their claim before it.
In summary Mr. Speaker, it is encouraging to observe that out of our efforts and those of the various claimant groups, NLC has largely agreed with us on the many aspects of Present and Historical Land Injustices meted out against our people. My administration is committed to see that we work with the various stakeholders cited by NLC, namely Kenya Forests Service, Chief Land Registrar, the Multinational Tea Companies and the Privatization Commission to ensure that these rulings and recommendations are fully implemented.
Finally, I want to reiterate our commitment and dedication to service delivery to the people of Nandi. Personally, I pledge to continue working tirelessly for the people of Nandi.
God Bless Kenya, God Bless Nandi County. Thank you, Asante Sana!
HON. STEPHEN K. ARAAP SANG