Speaker of the County Assembly Hon. Edwin Cheluget
Leader of Majority Hon. Julius Menjo
Leader of Minority Hon. Eliud Kingo
Majority and Minority Whips
Chairpersons of various Assembly Committees
County Executive Committee Members
Chairman, Kaburwo Council of Elders Mr. Benjamin Kitur
Leaders from Religious, Business, Sports and other Sectors
Members of the Fourth Estate
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Firstly, I call for one minute silence in honour of our departed Deputy Speaker and MCA of Lelmokwo/Ngechek ward, Hon. Hesbon Kiprop Metto……. Thank you.
It is with great honor and humility for me to address this special sitting of Nandi County Assembly. First and foremost, I give special praise to the Almighty God for continuing to preserve and pour His bountiful favor on our people and its leadership.
I also express my endless gratitude to the people of Nandi for giving me the opportunity to serve. This is a sacred honor and trust that I swore as Governor to always uphold.
I note with appreciation the role of the County Assembly in hastening development of the County. You have complimented our work and service delivery through legislations that guide the formulation of enabling policies crucial for the execution of development programmes.
The system of Devolution is anchored on Chapter 11 Article 174 to 200 which envisage that decisions made must ensure equitable distribution of resources and efficient delivery of service.
Devolution gives an opportunity to citizens to participate in governance and this Assembly forms an integral part for public participation through representation. It is for this reason that we are elected and appointed to provide leadership and steer progress in the society.
My administration has always sought to engage with this Honourable Assembly in the formulation, regulation and execution of policies and programmes. AS a government we are founded on the premise of regular consultations, periodic reviews and prudent management of public resources that have been entrusted on us. It is my sincere hope that the synergy displayed by the assembly and the executive will result in enhanced service delivery, rapid development and satisfaction of the electorate. Consequently, it is my hope that the cooperation and harmonious working relations between this Assembly and the Executive will be sustained in order to maximize benefits for our people.
It is my desire that each member of this Honorable Assembly shall listen more keenly to the concerns and issues that rank high in the priority list of citizens and come up with bills that seek to solve the many challenges that confront our people daily. As leaders, let us think about putting water in people’s homes, providing markets for farm produce and looking for funds to educate every child who deserve to be in school.
In the performance of your oversight role, each Honorable Member and the Assembly as a whole must make follow up of the funds appropriated to ensure accountability and fidelity to budgetary allocations.
Our development agenda is anchored on five key instruments. Namely; The Constitution of Kenya 2010, my election manifesto, Jubilee Manifesto, County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) and of course the County Government Act 2012 which empowers, defines functions and responsibilities of the County governments.
Mr. Speaker sir,
Allow me to now highlight and outline my County Government’s scores of successes. We remain committed to providing affordable, accessible and quality healthcare for all. It is for this reason that my government acquired six state of the art ambulances for timely response to medical emergencies and referrals. Our free ambulance services has had tremendous impact on the lives of far flung rural communities. In particular, infant and maternal deaths have reduced significantly. More women are now giving birth in our health facilities than it was before. I am happy that citizens have made good use of these ambulances since acquisition. In order to mitigate the shortage of accommodation and ensure proximate residence for our health staff, we have completed the construction of thirty units of staff houses at Kapsabet County Referral Hospital. As a result of this intervention, thirty families are adequately housed within the referral hospital. Additionally, we have installed theatre equipments at Meteitei Sub-County Hospital, this has alleviated the suffering of patients who used to travel long distances for simple surgical operations. We have ensured adequate and steady supply of drugs to all our 146 health facilities. Furthermore, we are now constructing a new mortuary at Nandi Hills County Hospital. In the meantime, we have advertised tenders for construction, renovation and general improvement of health facilities in all the thirty wards.
In collaboration with the National Government’s Medical Equipment Scheme (MES), we are currently installing Digital X-ray, Medical Imaging and Ultra Sound equipment as well as Sterilization equipment at Kapsabet County Referral Hospital. Maternity Wing, Laboratories, New-Born Unit, Surgical and General wards are now well furnished and offer efficient service to patients. We have absorbed more than hundred medical personnel who were previously employed contract through the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) and we will soon recruit more to meet the requisite human resource needs of the department.. All these interventions are aimed at taking healthcare services closer to the people.
Agriculture remains the backbone of our County’s economy and social security. We pride ourselves in producing quality tea, milk, maize, sugarcane and coffee and have recently diversified to aquaculture and horticulture. In order to enhance agricultural production and maximize on our potential, we have rehabilitated 142 cattle dips and supplied start-up acaricides to reduce incidences of tick borne diseases. We have also conducted training for Dip Management Committees on modern animal husbandry practices.
Kaimosi Agricultural Training College is currently undertaking major overhaul in both curriculum and infrastructure to meet latest standards of agribusiness training. We have acquired a complete Hay making unit for both commercial activities and farmers’ training. We have also renovated a dairy unit and planted an additional 20 acres of tea to boost revenue. I call on farmers from our County to take advantage of these training opportunities in order to improve their productivity.
Other than scaling up our extension services, we have set aside K.Shs 15 million for subsidized Artificial Insemination programme to be rolled out soon. This will have a significant bearing on milk production in the near future. We also have continuous vaccination of livestock to control diseases and cushion farmers from losses brought forth by diseases.
Our efforts to project Nandi as an investment destination of choice are fast bearing fruits. Our long term plan is to package our county as a foremost investment hub. We have therefore put in place a raft of measures to create a conducive investment climate that will attract and retain investment.
In the years under review, my government organized a most successful investment conference that brought together businessmen, media and political leaders, actuarial scientists, players in insurance industry, the academia and financial institutions. During the event, we showcased our investment potential to all and sundry.
It is as a result of the investment conference that Masinde Muliro University have set up a Kapsabet campus. Similarly, MediHeal Group of Hospitals are injecting over 1.2 billion shillings towards the construction of a modern hospital in Kapsabet town whereas DL Koisagat have finalized plans to build a purple tea factory at Kaptel at a cost of 1 billion shillings. The ground breaking ceremony will be held soon. Monalisa and Montezuma are now putting up a 50 million shillings facility at Kapsabet town. These measures among others are ways in which my government has designed to increase revenue, create employment and hence reduce poverty incidences in our county.
The North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB) which brings together the 8 counties of the North Rift has limitless investment potential. The bloc has identified Nandi County as a suitable location for installation of Milk Processing plant owing to our milk production capacity, I urge you to support this vision, by passing requisite bills that will go a long way in actualizing this dream.
As a way of catalyzing sustainable development across the county we have embarked on a major roads construction program that involves expansion, grading, leveling, drainage, gravelling, compacting and culvert installation. Previously, my government had relied heavily on contracted works to improve and upgrade infrastructure. However, in this year, we opted to acquire equipment at a cost of K.shs 200 million through the department of Roads and Infrastructure. I am convinced that this departure from the preceding practice of using contractors is convenient, effective and time saving.
My government has acquired four additional graders, one excavator, 4 tipper lorries, 2 rollers and one back hoe. This has had huge impact on our roads. I wish to thank you honorable members for endorsing this plan. In order, to enhance this fully fledged mechanical unit, I will soon be seeking your approval to acquire more equipment as follows; 1 low loader, 1 Fuel truck, 2 Supervision vehicles, 1 water bowser , culverting balloons, 6 graders, 2 excavators, 2 back hoes and 2 bulldozers.
Pursuant to what I have elaborated, we shall be establishing four operation bases across the County for security of equipment, convenience and comfort of the staff. When this is done, our work output will be at its finest.
I am confident that the acquisition of this equipment coupled with prudent management will go a long way in offering a lasting solution to the problems we have experienced in the transport sector. In this regard, I appeal for your patience as we work on a program and a road map to improve all roads in the 30 wards of our County. Expect rapid results with a positive impact on the lives of our people in this new engagement
I am proud to report to this Honourable Assembly that my government has successfully completed the tarmacking of four kilometers at Kapsabet and Nandi hills towns, this upgrade of streets in urban areas to bitumen standard will be accelerated to cover more areas. In the same vein ladies and gentlemen five major reinforced concrete bridges, one foot bridge and a bus park at Ollessos town have been constructed. All these ensure prompt delivery of fresh farm produce, open up business opportunities and increase mobility of human beings. Additionally, my government has installed solar lights in various trading centres across the county. Other than being affordable, this facility is convenient in improving security, attracts businesses to operate for longer hours and requires no maintenance.
County Public Service Board is established under section 56 article 235 of the Constitution of Kenya. Their roles are to identify, vet, recruit and deploy competent and qualified staff for the county. Since inception, the Nandi County Board has recruited 1057 employees which include 824 ECDE caregivers. We have 1082 seconded staff under the devolved functions. Furthermore, we inherited employees from the defunct Nandi County Council, Kapsabet Municipal Council and Nandi Hills Town Council. Cumulatively, our total work force as a county stands at 2320 employees. The Board is currently working on harmonization of skills of service for the staff, to ensure effective and efficient service delivery.
Over the years we have strived to stimulate the county economy by focusing on infrastructural development, prioritizing the welfare of the people and shielding the poor from over taxation. You play a critical and pivotal role in advancing policies and strategies to grow enterprise, create jobs and ensure prosperity for all. One indicator of growth in our County’s economy is the fact that our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) have gone up from K.Shs 132, 376, 395 million in 2013-2014 to KShs 209,774,762 million in 2014-2015, representing 58% increase. This tremendous rise in internally generated revenue has been occasioned by the adoption of automated revenue collection system, decentralization of revenue collection centers, introduction of monthly PSV operation stickers, formation of revenue inspection teams together with staff training and capacity building. This will seal all loopholes and leakages in revenues leading to sustained growth in revenue pool. As you are aware, we have requested this August Assembly to consider and debate on our County Supplementary budget proposal to enable our County meet the emerging realities of this year’s financial appropriation.
I urge Honourable Members to expedite the passage of the amended budgetary estimates so as to enable us pay and fund contingencies in particular pay outstanding monies owed to women, youth and people with disabilities who were contracted to construct ECD centres and cattle dips. Our development towards this end is hinged on this budget before you.
This annual briefing on my stewardship accords me an opportunity to expound on our score card of progress thus far. Our county would thrive well if we placed education of our children in the apex of our priorities. It is instructive to note that notable developments worth reporting have been made in the education department. Namely, the employment of 824 Early Childhood Education caregivers, therefore lifting a huge burden in the form of levies from the shoulders of struggling parents and giving our young children equitable access to pre-primary education. This has also ensured retention of these young children in school and hence promotion of quality teaching. Construction of over one hundred ECDE centers is ongoing across the county and some for instance Kapngombe, Kapkilel, Mosobecho, Kapkelele, Kapsasur and Chepsangor are complete and are now in use. The rest are in various stages of construction and will be ready by May 2016 as stated in the Contract documents.
Our youth play crucial roles in the development of our society. The policy thrust of my government is to strive to equip all young people with life skills so as to produce high caliber manpower able to fit into the world of work and participate positively in our transformative agenda. It is for this reason that we are constructing new youth polytechnics, we have disbursed seventeen million shillings to various polytechnics to compliment tuition fees for our youth and furthermore we are constructing new workshops at Serem, Sirwa-Yala, Meteitei, Kipsebwo, Kurgung and Sigilai Youth Polytechnics. Our intention is to make these Vocational training centres attractive to many unskilled youth thereby giving them expertise needed in the job market.
The Nandi County Education Fund Act 2014 was recommended for amendment by the controller of Budget to conform to Constitution of Kenya 2010, Public Finance Management Act 2012 and other existing legislations. The amendment bill is currently before this Honourable Assembly and I urge to accelerate its passage so that needy students can access the bursary kitty. When the bill is operational, K.Shs 60 million will be available for this noble course.
My county government has made great strides in provision of clean, piped water to homesteads. We have recorded tremendous success in improving access to this service. Currently, we have at least four projects going on in each of the thirty wards in the county. The projects are in advanced stages of completion and when ready, our piped water intake will rise from the current 17% to 37%. This will have massive impacts on the socio-economic status of our county. The huge Kimaren water project that uses Ram Pump technology from New Zealand will be commissioned next week. Other than the cost of setting up this water supply technology, operation and maintenance is convenient to the consumers. This project will serve over 1,000 households of Kimaren, samitui, Chepturer, Ariok, Kipsiis, Kapchemochei, Kipkonga, Kabianga, Chepkisingiin and Chepkoiyo villages.
I want to thank our partners in the water sector for their moral and material support particularly; Water Services Trust Fund, Lake Victoria North water Services Board, Lake Victoria Environmental Management Programme (LVEMP), Lake Victoria South Water Services Board, , SNV Netherlands, World Vision and Lake Basin Development Authority. These partners have given us both financial and technical support for improved access to clean water and I sincerely appreciate their efforts. . I have great confidence that the partnership will result in adequate provision of affordable water for our people.
Similarly, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has offered to support our County in the upgrade and digitalization of our lands registry for ease of access to land records. When this is done, Nandi County will have a model, state-of-the-art registry, open to all at a click of a button. This will be a turning point in land management and record keeping
Additionally, Nandi County residents have for a long time been without title deeds for their land. My County government has since assuming office been able to physically plan, survey, sub-divide and prepare 21,000 title deeds ready for issuance soon. Residents of Chebarus A, Koibarak B, Chemursoi, Legemet, Kamwega and Bonjoge new scheme will be issued with the titles shortly. These documents are very critical to our people as they will have sanctity of land ownership and will use the same as collateral and therefore access bank loans and thus improve their economic fortunes.
Other partners working with my government include GIZ in energy saving and solar lighting and Kenya Water Towers Authority whose efforts is to champion for climate change resilience for sustained environmental protection are fast bearing fruits.
Tourism presents great opportunities for our people owing to the huge potential in this sector. Our county is strategically perched in the North Rift Tourism Circuit that brings together eight counties. In our County however, we have our own Nandi Tourism circuit that stretches from Chepkiit water falls to the East to Bonjoge game reserve to the west. This is a route that is yet to be tapped and this explains why as a county we are using many resources to brand and market our County as an investment destination. We have already identified 66 tourist sites and working in partnership with the private players, we are developing these sites to meet International standards. This is aimed at diversifying the revenue source of the County as well as creating employment and investment opportunities for all those willing to seize the opportunities that abound in this sector.
Ladies and gentlemen, under my administration, the year 2016 holds great promise for all people of Nandi County through improved access to basic commodities and greater attention to positive infrastructure development as a precursor to the turn-around that our County desires.
As a County, we are scaling up our efforts to improve sports facilities so as to make our county a hub of sports, recreation and innovation and hence cement our stake as the Source of Champions. This has been reinforced by the fact Nandi County has from time immemorial been regarded as the traditional home of sportsmen and women. However, the discovery, development and nurturing of talents is a huge investment. It calls for improvement of standards of coaching, modern facilities and financial support to harness talents from the grassroots. Our athletes are our brand ambassadors and therefore require sustainable support to realize their potential.
I therefore call upon you Honourable Members to come up with policies and legislations that will enable us support the growth and maturity of talents in our county. Kipchoge Keino stadium is in its second phase of construction so is the Nandi Hills stadium. Furthermore, we have identified several schools as our talent development centres for instance Kosirai Girls’ School for incubation of volleyball players.
It is worth noting that sports have shaped the history of this County from the days of the legendary Kipchoge Keino to the now sensational “YouTube” athlete JuliusYego and the Marathon great, Eliud Kipchoge for his latest exploits in winning 2016 world Marathon Majors. Their talents have strategically placed our in the world map.
The County Assembly of Nandi passed a motion urging the County Government of Nandi to pursue the matter of historical injustices that the Nandi people suffered in the hands of British colonialist. In the motion which was tabled in the assembly by Kaptel/ Kamoiywo Ward member of county assembly Hon. Amos Korir, it was noted that for more than 100 years the Nandi people whose leader Koitalel Arap Samoei together with his entire cabinet of advisors as well as warriors were brutally murdered in 19th Oct 1905 have been living in abject poverty.
However, through the constitution of Kenya 2010, the Nandi people now have unprecedented opportunity to pursue justice not only in local and international courts but also in Independent Constitutional Commissions especially the National Lands Commission.
Article 40 of the constitution provides for the protection of rights to property. However there is a proviso in article 40 Cap (6) which states that the rights under this article do not extend to any property that has been found to have been unlawfully acquired. It is our strong believe that the land which belonged to the Nandi people and which was forcefully taken by the British settlers was indeed unlawfully acquired and as such the protection of rights to property do not extend to such lands.
Article 174 of the constitution enumerates the objects of devolution. Sub article (e) provides that one such object is to protect and promote the interest and rights of minority and marginalized communities. Sub article (g) provides that devolution ensures equitable sharing of national and local resources throughout Kenya. It is in this regard that the government of Nandi County following the passage of the motion in the county assembly has resolved to facilitate the process of seeking justice for the Nandi people who have suffered continued marginalization due to the fact that the colonialists took away their ancestral land, banished them to uninhabitable portion of their land and forcibly occupied their fertile arable land.
Consequently I have formed a committee bringing together elders, professionals and researchers who will work with a secretariat made up of lawyers from Nandi County to spearhead the process of collecting evidence in preparation for filling a case in the United Kingdom court in pursuit of justice for the Nandi people. Among the counts which we intent to present in court are; Murder, Torture, forceful eviction, forcible transfer of population and occupation, Destruction of property and persecution.
Going forward, my government shall be engaging lawyers of international repute with high experience on both criminal, constitutional and land matters to ensure that the intended suit is successful. To firm up our case we shall be relying on precedence among them the Mau Mau case against the British Government, the Endorois case against the Kenyan government that was filed at the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Aborigenes case against the Government of Australia. We have a water tight case in the offing.
As we collectively face the challenge to make Nandi County a better place to live in, we must recognize our strength in diversity. A common County identity where everybody counts. I shall run an open government of inclusion that will bring everybody on board irrespective of age, gender, tribe or Status; as long as you reside in Nandi County we will make Nandi your safe home. Let us march towards prosperity in unison and in the pursuit of progressive ideals for a brighter future.
On the same note, I wish to singularly invite you to the inaugural Nandi Tea- Sameer/ Nandi County half marathon to be held on Sunday, 20th March 2016. The event will kick off at Namgoi and end at Nandi Tea’s Kapsiwon primary school grounds. Please come participate in this sports event whose theme is “Nurturing Champions at the Source”. Several prizes will be won in this competition.
With those few remarks, I wish you all God’s abundant blessings during the forthcoming Easter holidays.
Thank you for your attention.
H.E. DR. CLEOPHAS K. LAGAT
GOVERNOR, NANDI COUNTY.