The county government of Bungoma is set to make radical changes in healthcare and infrastructure .
Addressing area residents during Mashujaa day celebrations at Posta ground in Bungoma town, Governor Kenneth Lusaka stated that his administration is set to work on key projects to ensure effective and efficient service delivery.
“I have to fulfill what I pledged during our campaigns, our people have to see a working government which will serve them well, ” he said.
He added, “This will help us unlock and benefit from additional resources needed from development partners such as the World Bank,”.
On good governance, Lusaka said that as a government he will ensure that tax payers get Value for their Money.
“In furtherance to this, I initiated a number of measures in my Executive Order No.1 as part of our commitment to ensuring that our Administration adheres to best governance practices,” he said.
The order included establishment of three Task Forces to review the Pending Bills, Education Scholarship Program and Staff and Human Resource.
Lusaka noted that devolution had given him a unique opportunity to offer people services and provide solutions that will address the many problems and challenges that they face everyday.
He appealed to members of his Executive and the Assembly to diligently discharge their duties and perform their functions to the best of their ability in line with the oaths they took to respect, uphold, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.
Lusaka also called on the MCAs to help put in place appropriate legislative support or else implementation of key programs may be delayed and potential gains for the community reversed.
“We must therefore harmonize our priorities and ensure our actions are mutually supportive of each other, and that these are directed at the realization of our development goals,” said Lusaka.
He called on the Assembly to work closely with the Executive towards a positive growth trajectory of the County.
“Bungoma will be transformed into a modern County with a robust and vibrant economy if unity is put in place,” he said.
He said that Agriculture is the backbone of the County’s Economy and his Administration will therefore institute measures that will support the rapid growth and help our People embrace agriculture as a business and not just a means of consumption.
“My Administration will encourage our people to adopt an Agribusiness mindset by equipping them with the requisite knowledge and skills to practice modern farming techniques as well as promote greater value addition. We must ensure that our farmers get better returns by selling processed products,” he said.
He pointed out that there is a high expectation from the community to quickly revive the economy and restore public confidence.
“It is on this basis that my Administration has initiated the process of procuring fertilizer and seeds to ensure that our farmers plant in good time, as you will see in the Supplementary Budget. We will increase and expand the supply of agricultural farm inputs,” said Lusaka.
He hinted at his Administration committing itself to introducing new innovations such as the Agricultural Subsidy Insurance Program, that is designed to safeguard farmers from post-harvest losses occasioned by climate and weather-based risks.
“We will repair and purchase new tractors and related equipment to offer our farmers affordable farm preparation services. Additionally, we will strengthen the capacity of our Extension Workers by equipping them with new Motor Cycles to enable them reach more farmers, ” he stated.
He added, “I wish to reiterate our commitment to strengthen our agricultural value chains to make them not only efficient but also profitable. We will mainly focus on the Dairy, Poultry, Coffee, Cereals and Horticultural sectors, “.
On infrastructure he said that reliable and good quality Infrastructure system is fundamental to stimulating sustainable growth and development, without which Agriculture and Business Enterprise cannot prosper.
He noted that the County needs much more to be done to improve on the road network.
He stated that out of the existing network of over 800 Kilometres of roads, only 142 Kilometres is tarmacked. Put into the perspective that the County’s surface area of 3,032 Km, the situation is certainly not tenable.
Lusaka pledged that his administration will endeavour to rehabilitate the current road networks which are in a bad state and pose grave danger to all road users.
“We will focus on construction of new roads with particular emphasis on the rural areas. we will also remain committed to the completion of the Misikhu – Brigadier road, the Dual carriageway and all the other projects started by my Predecessor.
On the health project Lusaka stated that without good health everything else does not matter.
“The safety and well-being of our people is paramount. Access to affordable, efficient and good quality healthcare services is therefore vital,” he said.
The County boss noted that his administration recognizes the need to urgently improve and upscale the existing healthcare facilities, while at the same time continue to motivate gallant healthcare workers at all levels.
Lusaka pointed out that his administration will endeavour to improve Primary Healthcare services by upgrading and expanding all Level 1 & 2 facilities which mainly consist of local clinics and dispensaries. This facilities serve 80% of the county’s population.
Lusaka further stated that his administration will upgrade Referral Hospital to become a Fully-fledged and Well Resourced Level Five Facility.
“We also commit to ensure that our Health workers are properly resourced and well remunerated. We will in due course confirm all the health professionals who have been serving on a Casual basis and hire additional staff to fill existing gaps that have existed for a long time,” pledged Lusaka.
He added, “My Administration also recognizes the important role that our Community Health Volunteers play in our community. We will ensure that the CHVs are put on a reasonable and sustainable monthly stipend to further motivate them,”.
Lusaka confirmed that many residents have suffered because of travelling long distances to seek medical services, this has significantly drained on their scarce resources and the situation must be changed.
“We must also ease the pressure on the referral hospital by ensuring that the satellite units are properly resourced, well equipped and fully operationalized,” said Lusaka.
On water and sanitation he said that access to clean water and sanitation is basic human right.
He continued, “We shall endeavour to a place the County Water Drilling Rig, at residents disposal and working together to develop a coordinated program.
On education, Lusaka said that education is the key to unlocking opportunities for our children.
“My Administration is committed to ensuring that our children access good quality education. As you are aware in my first tenure, I initiated the employment of ECD teachers on a permanent and pensionable basis. We are committed to fast tracking and hiring even more teachers,” he said.
He added, “As I await the report on the Scholarship Fund, we wish to affirm our resolve to cascade all the available education subsidy programs down to the Ward level, additionally, we will endeavour to strengthen our colleges and TVETS to ensure that our youth are equipped with the necessary skills that are aligned to the job market,”.
He stated that his administration appreciates the need to expand Market lighting to enhance Security and Increase trading hours thus creates a 24 hour economy environment.
“It is in this regard that we are at advanced stage in planning for the procurement of flood lights for installation in the respective market centers,” he said.
Other areas Lusaka touched on included Financial management and budgeting, strengthening devolution, sports, arts, culture and entertainment and climate change.