By H.E Joseph Ole Lenku,
Governor, Kajiado County
The rationale behind devolution as envisaged by the Constitution of Kenya (2010), was to
take services closer to the people and allowing them time
and space to chart their own development agenda.
Decentralization enabled counties
to identify problems, make policies,
enact legal frameworks, plan and
execute development plans agreed
upon in citizen participation.
Legislation and policy is another
area that counties have made great
strides. For instance, Kajiado is the
first County in Kenya to develop and
launch a robust policy designed to
end FGM at the community level. The
Facility Improvement Fund (FIF) is
established through legislation and
has greatly improved the running and
management of health facilities in the
Over the years before devolution,
policy makers far away in Nairobi formulated policies for places they knew
nothing about with the resultant consequence being that certain areas became more developed than others;
with some such as Kajiado and many
pastoralist regions, becoming marginalized. For the first time, since independence, citizens had a say in what
the Government wanted to do with
Devolution was therefore considered
the governance system that holds the
cure to this skewed allocation of resources and, by many accounts, it has
achieved quite a lot.
The gains of devolution dot every
corner of this country. In Kajiado,
for instance, some of the milestones
include the building and equipping of
health facilities closer to the people,
thus reducing logistical costs
associated with seeking medical
care far away. Specialized services
such as surgeries, cancer and kidney
treatments are available down there
at Sub County hospitals.
Previously impassable roads have
been upgraded and others tarmacked,
opening up initially inaccessible areas.
It was common for people to spend a
night on one side of a river at the onset
of rains. Some places, some endowed
with arable land, saw a grader as recently as five years ago.
Devolution has led to building of infrastructure for early childhood education facilities, which is solely the mandate of counties, setting up of feeding
programmes and the introduction of
bursary schemes which has proffered
a critical lifeline to children from poor
Because of devolution, counties have
increased the numbers of residents accessing clean drinking water closer to
their households. The land reforms,
normally a partnership with the Na
sands of land owners acquire title
deeds and valid allotment letters.
To elevate our urban centres and position them better for the emerging
economic opportunities that come
with devolution, we launched Kajiado,
Ngong and Kitengela municipalities.
Through the Municipalities, the government has increased investments in
our towns which has improved service
delivery, infrastructure and expanded
spaces for business.
Following a thorough process of consultation and wide citizen participation, we now have a clear vision for Kajiado County which can be realized
through a four-prong vision of; Modulated pastoralism, Livable towns, Climate proofed physical environment
and Equitable access to quality education.
Devolution has enabled us to re-organize government systems and programs aligning them to our legacy vision upon which my development
agenda is anchored on.
This Vision addresses the challenges
in our inevitable two faced county (the
rural and the urban) and seizes the
economic opportunities that accrue
from our economic diversity;
(I)Modulated pastoralism: This vision sets out to treat livestock keeping
not just as a cultural lifestyle but also
as a high yielding commercial enterprise. This will be achieved through
adoption of modern farming practices
which entail planting of high yielding
and drought resistant seeds and rearing of high quality breeds of livestock.
This will be capped by participating
in the agricultural and livestock value
chain to boost earnings at household
(II) Livable towns: The vision is dedicated to our rapidly growing urban
centres. It has an eye on improved
amenities and infrastructure to make
town life more habitable and comfortable. We recognized that towns are the
engines of our economic development
hence the need to improve their access
to water and good roads, proper waste
management and street lighting to
boosta 24 hour economy.
(III) Climate-proofed physical Environment: This vision seeks to address the impact of climate change
by conserving and restoring our environment which has been degraded through irresponsible human activities. It aims at greening the county
through tree planting. It also seeks to
protect water sources from encroachment so that our rivers can flow again.
(IV) Equitable access to quality
education: This vision safeguards the future of our children. It seeks to
create education opportunities for our
youth by exposing them to training
and skills that are aligned to the
demands of the fluid job market, both
locally and internationally. It further
seeks to build up a student population
who are job creators rather than job
seekers. We have already embarked
on various strategies to ensure this
legacy vision of a Transformed and
Sustainable Kajiado lives on upto 2027
I welcome all Kenyans of goodwill,
the National Government, the
donor community, both local and
international, to join me and the
people of Kajiado in realizing this life