My People of Kajiado County,
I welcome you all and thank you for joining us here today to celebrate this year’s Madaraka Day. This is the 55thMadaraka for the Republic of Kenya, the 6th since Devolution and the First for me as your Governor.
Our freedom heroes fought to unite us. As I have said before, my clarion call is not distinct from this. When I assumed office as your Governor, I promised to unite the people of Kajiado because I believe government cannot endure a divided people. In being united, we shall all face our common enemy that is poverty.
I deeply felt the need to restore the unity of all the political leaders of this County, creating a collaborative and cooperative leadership of working together, pulling everyone together in one direction for a shared vision for the County. We will together face the socio-economic challenges and burdens that are stumbling blocks to economic development and independence. I call on all people of Kajiado County to remain united. It is the first step towards achieving our desired developmental milestones.
Fellow compatriots of Kajiado County
Since the inception of my Administration, I have been committed to unite the people of Kajiado. I have demonstrated this through the inclusivity policy that is manifested in the appointments that I have made in the Executive. We have further demonstrated this as a government in the amicable and collaborative relationship between the Executive and the County Assembly.
I have further demonstrated my commitment to this unity through the several consultative engagements that I have had with all the leaders in the county and in bringing them together regardless of their political affiliations. I did this from the onset of my administration with a view to beginning my governance on a clean slate. As leaders, we must commit and diligently work on steering unity and integration of the people of Kajiado and eliminate earlier feelings of discrimination on account of tribe, clan, gender, religion etc. We must take our diversity as an advantage rather than an impediment to our progress and prosperity as a County. Together, we will definitely achieve more.
My fellow compatriots of Kajiado County,
In my Manifesto, in matters health, I pledged to have four sub county hospitals refurbished and equipped to standard, strengthen human resource and health management development, upgrade and strengthen ambulatory and referral systems across the County. I have had the pleasure of commissioning new and modern equipment in the renal unit at the County’s main Referral Hospital. The equipment includes a dialysis machine. This has brought services closer to the people, reaching those who need the services. Nobody has to suffer again, because of the lack of this critical part of healthcare, either from distance or cost of renal care.
To ease the cost of healthcare, my Government has rolled out the implementation of universal healthcare through the registration and use of the National Hospital Insurance Fund. This will ensure that the people of Kajiado access affordable healthcare. I have began the ‘Mbuzi Moja, Afya Bora’ initiative through which we are mobilizing our people to register with NHIF. We are encouraging every household to sell one goat so as to raise the annual NHIF fee which will cater for all their families’ medical needs .
I have also engaged over 70 nurses and engaged 5 consultants across the Sub Counties to address the major health challenges facing our County. My Government will, in the next financial year, beginning 1st July 2018, recruit an additional 100 health personnel who will be deployed to various health facilities across the County.
My fellow compatriots of Kajiado County,
Just as we continue fighting disease, we must also eradicate ignorance. I am aware that many of our people have been left behind in education. This can be attributed to our negative cultural practices and harsh climatic conditions. Quality education means the difference between poverty and a bright future. Education is humanity’s best bet and most effective means in the quest to achieve sustainable development. It is said that education is the only factor that makes all humans equal.
Our Constitution bestowed upon the County the function of early childhood education. The drafters of the constitution and the people of Kenya in promulgating the Constitution, were keen to see that education begins at the nascent stages of a person’s life hence must be molded at this very level, the County Level. My Government is keen to ensure that each child reaches their full potential in all areas of life, develop self- esteem and provide the experiences from which knowledge is constructed. My Government has introduced the School Feeding and Nourishment program in all the early childhood centers across the County.
In technical education, My Government recognizes the place of technical skills as a key creator of both skilled labour in our industries as well as self-employment. Towards this end, my Government has entered into a Sh 100 Million vocational training partnership with the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Foundation on a 50:50 basis to train 1,000 youth on various technical skills annually.
My Government has set aside Sh 50 Million for this programme, this year, and I am happy to report that 300 out of these 1,000 youth have already reported at the Masai Technical Training Institute (MTTI) which is our host institution. The other 700 beneficiaries will be recruited in September. This innovative skill development program will equip unemployed youth with technical skills that will enable them earn a living and contribute to nation building.
This will generate a skilled labor for the county and the country, as well as enable our youth to cope with the fast developing economy and to gear up employment and meet the challenges of globalization. For many years, technical and vocational education and training has suffered from the mentality that manual and technical jobs are for the poor in school. This should never be the case, if at all we wish to hasten our journey towards Vision 2030.
In recognition of technical skills as a key driver to industrialization, especially in developed countries, our technical skills development will be designed to attract the best brains in the county, even as we design simpler skills development for the less educated in our village polytechnics.
My Government, in implementing the Constitution, is keen, through the Youth Empowerment Program, to dignify the informal sector by letting the Youth take the lead in technical and vocational training, by giving them the skillset needed to motivate the next generation.
Fellow Compatriots of Kajiado County,
A hungry person is not a productive person. Hunger and drought have gone hand in hand as an enemy of development in this County. In the recent past, the pastoral communities of Kajiado County lost thousands of heads of cattle to the drought situation. My Government has intervened strongly by shifting the paradigm in livestock management. Traditional livestock farming systems are based on the movements of the herds, wandering to different grazing areas that are complementary according to the seasons and, in many situations, managed as common pastures. The threats regarding land access or as the land use policies change, give priority to cropping systems depriving pastoralists of the grazing areas. This has aggravated the need to rethink our policy on livestock management.
This has stimulated my Government to rethink and improve agricultural methodologies in order to assess the quality of the forage and design new grazing practices. The policy advocates for the pastoralists to keep fewer but more economically viable heads of cattle while at the same time set aside some land for pasture. The storage of the pasture in preparation for the dry spells is also key in ensuring food security.
My fellow Compatriots
Water is life. Access to clean, safe and sufficient water resources is a critical need in this county. Our available water sources are not properly harnessed and reticulated meaning gaining access to water in our households requires infrastructural investment and connection to municipal water networks.
To achieve this, we have embarked on rehabilitation of several water systems, top among the Nolturesh Water Pipeline. Six months ago, I promised to ensure Nolturesh water flows in our homes. Today, I can report we are already living the Nolturesh water dream because Our County Headquarters and several parts of Kajiado Town and its environs are already enjoying Nolturesh water. In the forthcoming Financial Year, we have set aside Sh 30Million to upgrade this water infrastructural system.
Increased population in our county has led to a high demand for water. We had constructed several water pans across the county to supply water for agriculture, livestock and human consumption. Unfortunately, most of these small dams were washed away in the recent floods that hit the Country. We shall rehabilitate them as soon as possible.
To further address the water challenge, my Government is partnering with the National Government to construct at least three mega dams in the County to ensure we have a reliable source of water in both our rural and rapidly growing urban centres. We have grand plans on how we can utilize these dams to improve our food security through irrigation.
My fellow Compatriots,
Conserving our environment has a bearing on the quality of life we live. You recall that I issued a moratorium on logging and charcoal burning, in line with a similar directive issued by the National Government.
This moratorium is still in force. Here in Kajiado County, we have said NO to continued wanton destruction of forests and our other natural resources. Burning or trading in these products is a very serious offence, as far as we are concerned. In this regard, I have instructed the Department of Environment, together with the County Inspectorate, to continue enforcing this order. Going forward, we will involve the community forest Associations to help in this fight to conserve our environment.
My Fellow Compatriots of Kajiado County
Kajiado County is growing rapidly hence the need to create and sustain the best environment for opportunity and productivity. This entails creating an enabling environment through proper infrastructure, both policy and legal environment to foster innovation, employment creation and wealth generation. Roads open up more areas and stimulate economic and social development. For those reasons, road infrastructure is the most important of all public assets. The development of the transport road network plays an important role in the economic development of the County. Approximately 80 per cent of the roads in the County are in the rural areas. Across the County, the roads are dilapidated or poorly maintained. My Government has increased the budgetary allocation towards improving our road network.
My fellow compatriots of Kajiado County
The question of land remains an emotive factor in the County and Countrywide. In Kajiado County, the issues surrounding land include illegal sale and transfers, disputed and contested ownerships, and conflicts between seller and buyer as well as issues of encroachment. The significant increase in settlements as a result of land fragmentation/ subdivision in sections of Kajiado County has led to decrease in food production and unsustainable land uses. My Government has digitized all records for land and plots and securely captured and stored them in the workflow system. My Government has also set aside funds in the next financial year beginning 1st July 2018, to conclude the County Spatial Plan. This plan is a broad policy framework that will guide land use within the County.
Apart from Land, Kajiado’s urban population is growing at a high speed. This can be attributed to the spill over from our neighbor, Nairobi City County. My Government has received conditional grants from the World Bank that will go towards upgrading of two towns into municipalities. My Government has conferred the status of two towns, namely Ngong and Kajiado to municipalities. This will positively impact on development of these areas and their neighborhoods. My Government has also commenced the preparation of local physical development plans for several towns as well as zoning and part development plans for public utilities within the County.
My fellow compatriots
Economic growth is essential in order to reduce poverty and to improve people’s living standards. Trade and investment play an increasingly large role in the economic growth of the County. My Government and with the support of World bank has embarked on construction of a market in Ngong and fastening pace for completion of various other markets across the County. The Ngong Market will provide shops and spaces to over 1,200 traders. The improvement of the market infrastructure will provide opportunities for the exchange of goods and services by producers and consumers and will also provide an important means of generating a diversity of retail outlets by supplying low cost space for street vendors who use stalls or carts and do not therefore require buildings.
My government has also developed strategic interventions towards women through trade with the aim of improving the lives of the women, which in turn cascade to positive benefits to households. This has been done through the engagement of women through groups commonly known as“Chamas” and providing them with incentives and opportunity to offer unskilled labor services to the County Government in an attempt to realize the 30% procurement rule in favour of women, youth, and People Living with Disability.
My People, Culture ensures unity in diversity, influences identity, debate and dialogue.Culture is the fountain of our progress and creativity and must be carefully nurtured to grow and develop. I hold the Maa culture close to my heart. I have therefore set aside funds in the next financial year to document and articulate the specific ways in which the Maasai culture can contribute to sustainable development and our national pride.
These funds will also go towards the establishment and equipping of a cultural museum. Yesterday, I appointed a task force to carry out this mandate and will be chaired by one of our eminent female scholars, Dr Naomi Kipuri. This will be an apt opportunity for the Maasai people to tell their own cultural story.
My fellow compatriots
My government has aligned governance, management and service delivery structures in all departments to ensure full accountability and efficient delivery of services to the people of Kajiado County. Towards this end, we have started a functional exercise of Human Resource Audit and Skills gap analysis. This encompasses physical head count, payroll cleansing, biometric registration and verification of employees to ensure that the county carries out accurate planning, performance evaluation, development and organization of its manpower resources. Given the severe pressures on available public finances, there is immediate necessity to ensure that the numbers employed in the County Public Service are not more than necessary to deliver services and to address the overall levels of wage bill expenditure. Retention in the work force will be purely based on performance.
My fellow compatriots
As we walk this journey of transforming Kajiado County, it is important to remember that in everything we do, let us do it with integrity and honor. The people of Kajiado County are at the heart of all developmental activities. All the resources that are invested in the County under my governance must be managed in a prudent manner. My government will not tolerate theft, waste and mismanagement. The people have bestowed trust in me and I give my commitment to serve the people of Kajiado based on professionalism, diligence and integrity.
I have begun a rigorous exercise of ensuring that we provide efficient services to the public. Beginning 1st July 2018, all financial systems will be automated. The IFMIS, the E-citizen Government Digital Payments Platform, E-procurement, and the digitization of registries at the Department of Lands will restore efficiency and credibility to all county government Departments. In addition, my Government will roll out a Performance Management System that will commit everyone in government to account for results and delivery on the government plans and programs target set.
As we end here today, receive my highest assurance that my Government believes in you and cares for youand will not waver from the mandate of servitude.
Finally, we owe it to our founding fathers, who fought for our Independence. We also recognize those who fought for the new constitution which brought about devolution. Through devolved governments, we can say it is Madaraka again. Let us today commit to work together to make our County and Country great.
Thank you very much. God bless Kajiado County, God bless Kenya.
H.E JOSEPH OLE LENKU,