West Pokot governor Simon Kachapin has assured residents that his administration is on the right track to ensure meaningful and sustainable development.
The Governor said he is committed to ensure devolution gives the region a new face from that of marginalized community.
Speaking Tuesday 31st March 2016 during the third state of the county address, the governor highlighted some of the milestone achievements made by his government.
Kachapin observed that before devolution the county was tagged as one of the most insecure county in Kenya and this by itself shunned away a lot of potential investors.
“With the incoming of devolution our county has been rated as one of the safest counties in Kenya. This is proof to the doubting Thomas’s that we have shade off the tag of hostility and other bad attributes that has snared us for a long time,” said Kachapin.
Kachapin said that the county is on the move and elevating from being a marginalized county to a developed County that in the near future will compete with the giants.
He said that this year the county government has given over 400 contracts to local contractors who in turn employ local people thereby increasing job opportunities.
“This is in addition to the direct job opportunities offered by the county government and the indirect job opportunities provided by the joint County- national government projects such as the Muruny-Siyoi dam, Weiwei phase 3 irrigation projects, KETRACO high voltage lines and other infrastructural development that have provided job opportunities to many of our youths,” he noted .
The Governor pointed out that the revenue department has always met and surpassed the targets for three years in a row.
“ In 2013-2014 financial years our target was at 38 million but we managed to collect a total of 56 million. In 2014-2015 the target was at 96M we managed to get 105 M. In this current financial year our target is 177 M and we are very much optimistic that we shall surpass the target. All this have been through automation of revenue collection which has enabled real time monitoring and evaluation,” he said.
Kachapin added that the increment in revenue collection, shows a positive indicator how the economy of the county is growing.
“We have also introduced a 24 hour revenue collection; this is in line with 24 hours economy system,”said Kachapin.
Health in the county
In the health sector, Kachapin said that the county has doubled the number of dispensaries in the entire county and the county is set to construct more so as to meet the international standards of a radius of 5 Kms.
“We recently installed new machines in the theater. Our referral hospital can now handle up to 100 operations per month; this includes emergencies and elective,” said Kachapin.
He said that the number of deliveries in hospitals has gone up and initially the county used to have less than 200 deliveries per month but now there are new deliveries ranging from 350-400 per month; 24 percent of which are through caesarian sections.
“To minimize the number of referrals to Eldoret, the county is making an ICU operational including the casualty unit. The provision of ambulances that have always responded in time and saved lives is a major contribution to the sector.” He observed.
Kachapin further said that the county government have continuously recruited health staff in 2013 we had 13 doctors in the county hospital.
“We have employed 13 more to make it 26 doctors. As a result, Nurse Population ratio has increased from 1: 2,996 in 2012 to 1:2,725 in 2015. In addition, the doctor population ratio has increased from 1:46,095 in 2012 to 1:26,939 in 2015. Kachapin said.
“We are making a face lift to the county referral hospital. The outpatient department is 75% complete, ward 1-7 is at the tendering process by the national government in collaboration with the Italian government,” the Governor said.
Road sector improvements
In the road sector, he said that county government has opened up new roads a total of 1250 Kilometers, which include Kamla- Kasei road, Sakat- Tokolto- Safari hotel road, opening of Mokoyon- Cheparten road.
“The county government is also in the last stages of adopting Road maintenance Bill which will ensure that our roads are well maintained throughout the year,”added Kachapin.
Employees warned against engaging in politics
However the County boss gave a stern warning to employees of the County government against engaging in active politics but instead focus on achieving the development goal of the county.
Kachapin said that the county government will not condone matters of indiscipline among staff members.
The county boss asked youths in the county not to misuse social media.
“Social media is the new platform of interactions, accessibility of cheap smart phones have transformed almost all youths to become news makers and news reporters. It is good for the development of our county and country at large. But if not used in a proper manner it can become disgrace to our society,” he said.
The Governor cited that criticism is part of a democratic process and it is healthy to critic but it should be not be an opportunity to hull insults to the democratically elected leaders.
“I would want to caution the county government employees who are busy puncturing the tires of the bus they are traveling in, that their days are numbered,” said Kachapin.