Vihiga County Integrated Development Plan portal launched

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Vihiga Governor Dr. Wilber Ottichilo (left) during the launch
Vihiga Governor Dr. Wilber Ottichilo (left) during the launch

Vihiga Governor Dr. Wilber Ottichilo has unveiled the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) web portal. Speaking before launching the portal in Mbale town, Ottichilo said that the new technology will provide an opportunity to the people of Vihiga County to prioritize development programs.

Ottichilo pointed out that the new technology will provide a platform for public participation by residents in development matters as required by the law.

He said that most of the projects to be undertaken by his administration will be guided by the suggestions fronted by residents adding that the portal will provide a forum for the same. “Vihiga is the first County to launch such a portal and I urge residents to make maximum use of it by interacting with my government on development matters”, he added.

Vihiga residents can propose projects that they feel are of priority on the portal at www.countyprojects.or.ke

Dr. Ottichilo added that in his inaugural speech he promised the people of Vihiga that development projects of his government will be driven by Information Communications Technology (ICT) and that’s why the portal has been developed to cater for the development needs of the people.

“We want to do things differently and that is why we have come up with this tool so that our decision-making process on development is not politically motivated but guided by quantitative data”, said Dr. Ottichilo.¬† He said that virtually all development projects will be driven by ICT and encouraged local residents to heavily invest in data for it guides on what to be done.

“The greatest resources for trade nowadays in the world is not gold but data,” he added.

He said the tool will also be used by Vihiga residents in the diaspora to make suggestions on development programs they felt should be given priority in their home areas. He added that the information that would be put on the portal will also be used by researchers for their development work but at a fee. “The biggest business in the¬†world nowadays is selling data. We will allow researchers from all over the world to buy our data”, he noted, “My government will set up a data centre for storing the information and later used for value addition,” the Governor explained.

Ottichilo noted that the portal will help on minimizing time and resources spent by county officers going to the field to collect data. “This tool will help my officers get data while seated in their offices thereby cutting down on costs,” he added.

He added that to ensure the new technology was effective, his government has laid down measures to ensure the majority of residents access the internet.

The County boss said his government is the process of partnering with mobile service provider Telkom Kenya to provide seamless data to the residents of Vihiga County. “The partnership will go a long way in enabling Vihiga people to communicate with the government and participate in project monitoring and evaluation,” he said.

He said in the next two to three months each County government employee will have a customized email address that will facilitate official correspondence within the government. “With such a platform, every employee will be able to be accountable for the activities he has done either individually or as a department,” said Dr. Ottichilo.

The County boss said seamless communication is key in data and content sharing within his administration Ottichilo urged technocrats from the County to come and contribute positively to the development of the County.

He was grateful to Mr. Andrew Mbuya an ICT professional who voluntarily developed the CIDP tool as part of his social responsibility to the County of Vihiga where he hails from.

Dr. Ottichilo said he is in talks with other professionals from the county to come and participate in the development of the County. He said soon doctors from the County will conduct free medical camps as part of their social responsibility.