Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana on Monday, April 29, 2019, delivered state of the county address at ATC Kwakathoka, Makueni county.
Below is the full governor’s address;
“Ladies and Gentlemen:
1. It is an honour to deliver the first State of the County Address before this August House in the presence of the People of Makueni, in this open space which has been gazetted as the precincts of the County Assembly for this purpose. This annual address is one of my key functions and deliverables as Governor, as stated in Article 183 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, and Section 30 of the County Government Act No. 17 of 2012.
2. This occasion gives me the opportunity to reflect, review and revisit the performance of the governorship, that of our government and some of the milestones we have achieved in the implementation of devolution. It is also a solemn opportunity for self-criticism and evaluation.
3. I wish to express my appreciation of the good relations that the County Assembly under your able leadership has fostered with the Executive arm of government. More so, I appreciate you for facilitating this special sitting of the County Assembly for the people of this great county of promise. This precious moment is one of its kind and shall go down into the annals of history. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
4. I salute the people of Makueni for staying true to our patriotic duty and exercising their right to participate in their development, to hold us responsible and for utilizing the investments made available to them sustainably. It is because of the people of Makueni that we are here, even devolving the State of the County Address beyond the confines of the County Assembly to the County People’s Assembly. This county has become a bench mark destination to many counties, scholars and development partners.
5. As a county we have been trying to introduce a paradigm shift in the way we deliver citizens’ services. This state of the county address is different from the previous ones. It has been formulated in a manner informed by our past service delivery during the last five years, inward reflection of our performance and more so with a view to overcome the challenges that hamper the growth of our vision so as to usher overall county transformation. In this regard, I focus on priority areas that would mitigate our challenges and transform our county into a prosperous value-based county with high quality of life in the manner that fulfils the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.
6. The FY 2017/18 was an electioneering period, which was characterised by transitioning from the previous assembly to the current and transitioning from CIDP 2013-17 to CIDP 2018-22. The planning objectives therefore were based on the review of the previous implementation and the need for completion of ongoing, stalled and problematic projects initiated in the period 2013-17. Under the same period, we reviewed the development process for the CIDP (I) and prepared and forwarded to you for approval the CIDP (II) 2018-22. We underscore our commitment and consistency in linking the County Vision 2025 with the CIDPs. I note that the FY 2017/18 had a slow start due the repeat presidential election after court nullification of the August 2017 election.
7. Project implementation of FY 2017/18 advanced the efforts made in the last five years towards poverty eradication. We have witnessed a drop in our poverty level from a high of 60.6 per cent in 2013 to 34.8 per cent based on the last Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey (KIHBS 2015/16). This is a clear demonstration of the improved welfare of our citizens. We will endeavour to ensure that the livelihoods of the citizens are secured and sustained. In line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) clarion call – leaving no one behind, in our county we will leave no one behind in the shackles of poverty. Our rendition of this global ambition is: O Kila Nyumba Kalila or Prosperity to Each Household. We have not yet arrived where we want to go but certainly, we are not where we began!
8. The people prioritized grain value chain as a key driver of poverty eradication. This resulted in increased production and productivity of grains in the county, which was supported by distribution of 1,400 MT of fertilizers, and 46,295 Kgs of green grams planting seeds and training of 6,083 farmers on good agricultural practices.
9. To date the Makueni Fruit Processing Plant has processed 1,800MT of fresh mango into 860 MT of puree. In an effort to increase the area under mango production, Makueni Fruit Value Chain Investment Cooperative has been supported to establish a 20,000-seedling capacity nursery. Two mango orchards were established at Kikumbulyu South and Ukia wards and 13,000 fruit seedlings distributed to farmers. To meet the market standards 5,055 farmers were trained on global good agricultural practice (GAP) certification for fruit production. This training will continue as we target more farmers.
10. The access to inputs and extension services was improved through the introduction of the Digi Farm, an innovative extension programme in collaboration with Safaricom Foundation, which has so far registered/profiled 217,000 farmers in the county. This initiative is enhancing access to quality inputs, produce markets, affordable loans and leveraged on information technology to deliver extension services.
11. We invested heavily in dairy development in the upper and middle zones of the county. 6,634 artificial inseminations were administered in the year and over 2,000 farmers trained on feed, pasture development and disease control.
12. A total of 103,174 animals have been vaccinated against Lumpy Skin disease, Foot and Mouth Disease and Contagious Caprine Pleuro Pneumonia (CCPP) across all wards. We have also been able to vaccinate 87,500 poultry against New Castle disease.
13. Value addition and agro-processing remains key to the rejuvenation of the agricultural sector in the County. In the medium term, Makueni Fruit Processing Plant will be fully operationalized with a ready to drink juice reconstitution. Kikima and Kathonzweni Dairy Plants have been enhanced to ensure efficiency and development of backward linkages along the value chain. Kikima plant has a capacity of 300 litres/hour while Kathonzweni processes 1,000 litres per hour.
14. In order to support development of grains and pulses, which are key to the food security in our county, we are developing a grain processing plant at the Makindu Show Ground, which is expected to increase returns to the farmers through value addition activities such as cleaning, sorting, grading and packaging. This plant was made possible through a KES 168 Million grant from the World Bank through the Kenya Devolution Support Programme (KDSP). It is expected to lead to an increase of earnings to our farmers and increased production of grains bearing in mind that we are number two nationally in green grams production behind Kitui County, while Tharaka Nithi and Meru follow closely behind. This plant is expected to be ready before the next harvest.
15. The Makueni Agricultural Show provides farmers with opportunities to showcase their produce. The show has been granted new status by the Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) and is currently known as the Makueni Satellite Show.
16. We have continued to improve the infrastructure in our ECDE and CTTIs, and in the last year, we improved infrastructure in 5 CTTIs, constructed and equipped 2 ICT laboratories and constructed 9 ECDE centres as well as supplying outdoor playing equipment to all the 1,350 public ECDE centres in the county. Up to date, over 160 new ECDE centres have been constructed. In order to embrace the new national curriculum, 2,006 ECDE teachers have been trained on the competence-based curriculum and 27,000 books issued to all the public ECDE centres. In order to promote ECDE extra-curricular activities, the county clinched two trophies in the national music festivals in 2018 and had clinched one trophy in 2017. With the additional support by the National Government through the vocational grant for CTTIs, we have 4,022 CTTI trainees on capitation programme and supported 4 CTTIs to start income generating activities. In the medium-term plan, the county has developed a school feeding programme for the ECDE learners, which will run as from second term of 2019.
17. Despite the fact that secondary and tertiary education is not devolved, we have supported access to education and retention of the students in school. We have intensified the bursary and scholarship programme and to date 30,000 students have benefitted from bursary and 287 students have benefited from full scholarship. I am glad to report that we have 34 student beneficiaries of our high school scholarships in the university pursuing mostly different STEM based courses. There is no better way to empower our children and youth than through education and relevant technical training.
18. Over the medium term, we plan to restructure the vocational training in our County Technical Training Institutes (CTTIs) to ensure they provide market-oriented courses. The CTTIs will be made innovation and incubation hubs for youth empowerment.
19. We have made strides in attaining universal health care for all in the county. Since the inception of the MakueniCare in October 2016, we have witnessed 110,982 households out of the estimated 233,000 enrol in the Universal Healthcare (UHC) programme. This roughly translates to 61.7% of community-based health insurance and our vision is to ensure 100% enrolment. The 61.7% does not include those over 65 years who do not pay the annual 500 shillings registration fee for UHC.
20. Health infrastructure and staffing is critical in delivery of quality health care. Our strategy is to limit construction of new health facilities and focus on equipping the existing facilities, strengthening the county referral system as well as staffing. In the period under review, we recruited 118 additional health workers, upgraded 26 health facilities and improved infrastructure in 31 health facilities. The Mother and Child Hospital, which has been one of our flagship projects implemented over three years, was launched in December 2018. This contributes to our efforts to expand infrastructure to offer the best possible quality of care.
21. The county undertook a gap analysis to help develop a child protection policy. The county also established the child participation framework. To increase awareness and advocacy on children rights and protection, 36 child conferences, 5-child stakeholder and 1 destitute children forum meeting were held, 60 child participation forums and 4,000 IEC materials published and disseminated to 860 schools. Psychological support was offered to 30 children institutions and 720 child/elderly headed households supported with blankets. To support child protection centres, the county constructed 2 green houses and 2 poultry houses to provide additional income to the institutions.
22. In an effort to reduce the dependence rates among the elderly in the society, the county facilitated a consultative forum with senior citizens’ representatives, with 60 fora for the elderly held and 6 organizations for elderly supported with chairs and tents for income generation. Moreover, 200 elderly persons were enrolled into the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) scheme. We will integrate the empowerment and social assistance initiatives along the economic productive sectors. Emphasis will be given to empowerment of youth, women, people with disability and other marginalized groups. We have initiated a programme working with Mau Mau war veterans to honour and recognize their sacrifice in the liberation of our country. We uphold the application of not more than two thirds gender affirmative action in our public service. We have committed and set mechanisms to implement the 30 per cent affirmative action on government procurement.
23. We have earned an unqualified/clean audit opinion from the Auditor General for the 2017/18 Financial Year. We appreciate the County Executive Committee Member for Finance and Socio-Economic Planning, Mrs. Mary Kimanzi, the entire County Executive Committee, the Chief Officers, the County Audit Committee, the entire finance team and the County Assembly.
Issues/Challenges and Commitments
24. One of the key pillars of any successful institution is effective organizational structures. As a government, we have learned a lot over the last five years on what kind of structures we need to establish so as to ensure effective and timely service delivery. At the inception of county governments we struggled to gain acceptance from the former local authorities staff and those devolved from the national government. We have come a long way in ensuring that all the members of staff feel they are part of one government, and that their contribution is appreciated and as we work together towards a common goal.
25. Last year we procured consultants to review our organisational structure and make recommendations on what we can do to improve our existing structures. The consultants have presented their final report and we are in the process of implementing it. We reviewed the constitution of our departments vis a vis the functions of the county government in a bid to ensure that our departments are well formed and have synergy in the delivery of services to the people. To this end we transferred the function of sanitation from the Department of Health Services to the Department of Water, the function of market cleaning from the Department of Health Services to the Department of Water and Environment, the function of irrigation to the Department of Agriculture and the function of livestock yards from Department of Trade to the Department of Agriculture.
26. Our County Public Service Board has been very instrumental in ensuring that our Public Service is adequate and equipped with the necessary skills to serve the people of Makueni. For the last six years, the Board has worked tirelessly and diligently in setting up and strengthening our public service from infancy towards maturity. We can now confidently say that we have a relatively mature, working public service. But this is not to say that we have actualized optimal state, no. We still have a long way to go. We continue to carry out staff assessments to ensure that we don’t accommodate non-performers. We also endeavour to facilitate training for our staff to enhance their skills. The Board has formulated a training manual for the county government/employees.
27. This coming August the term of the County Public Service Board will come to an end and we have already started the process of recruiting new members of the Board. We would like to thank the outgoing board for the exemplary work they have done. They have served with honour We wish them the best as they leave later to pursue other interests.
28. Our Government is committed to providing opportunities for the youth and integrating them in all government processes. My belief is that in order to effectively work with the youth, you must take time to know them. We have engaged the youth in several forums in order to understand them and their needs. This is necessary to ensure solutions that are youth driven for the benefit of the youth.
29. We have been working on a Makueni Youth Empowerment Programme (M-YEP) that once approved by the Executive Committee will be the blue-print for youth engagement and empowerment in the county. The program aims at ensuring that all the county government departments integrate the youth in all their activities. The programme also undertakes to train the youth on skills that will empower them socially, economically and politically. We have collaborated with organizations that champion youth empowerment including:
a. Youth and Success Association (YASA), which is an organization that empowers girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The STEM Makueni Chapter was initiated this year and our young girls are benefitting considerably.
b. Emerging Leaders Foundation has been conducting trainings on leadership for our youth.
c. The World Food Programme (WFP) has been training and supporting our youth on agribusiness.
d. KCB Miramar hydroponics programme which has been training our youth on unique agricultural technologies.
Mr. Speaker Sir,
30. Policies and laws are the backbone of any government. We have struggled as a government in the development of the necessary legal framework for the implementation of the functions of the county government. To date about 17 laws were enacted. We have faced serious challenges in the implementation of these laws because some of them passed between 2013 and 2017 do not relate to the specific circumstances of Makueni County, while others propose organs we have no resources to fund.
31. Through a county executive and county assembly collaborative framework, we have identified the common challenge in the development of policies and laws as the lack of synergy between the two arms of the Government in the process. There is no doubt that the Assembly has the legislative role in the county government but there is need for both arms to work together in the development of policies and laws in order to come up with norms which establish the necessary structures for service delivery in our county.
32. To this end we are in consultation with the county assembly towards establishing a working system of drafting policies and laws for the county government to ensure that what goes before the county executive committee and the county assembly is well drafted and has input from not only both arms of the county government but also from all the necessary stakeholders. We also noted that the county government uses considerable funds in the process of public participation for policies and laws and hence discussed ways to avoid double public participation by the two arms of county government.
33. We agreed to form a county legislative committee comprised of membership from both the Assembly and Executive, which would spearhead the drafting process of policies and laws. The committee developed the County Legislative Agenda Report, which documented what has happened since the inception of county governments in terms of legislation, the challenges, the implementation status of enacted laws and the way forward. The Report was forwarded to both arms of the government for their input. The committee also developed a work plan for the development of the necessary legal framework for the county government.
34. The Legislative Agenda is a flagship project and we aim to have laws that have synergy, that ensure that the citizens of Makueni County get the best services, that protect the rights of the citizens, that balance competing interests and that organise the society. I believe the best legacy we can leave the people of Makueni County is by embedding structures that work in law and protecting them. It is our intention that working together with the Assembly we will have the necessary legal framework in place by the end of FY 2019/2020.
35. We are also undertaking consultations in order to embark on formulation of The Makueni County Constitution that will encompass the virtues, unique characteristics and aspirations of the people of Makueni County. We envision that the Constitution will act as a unifying factor for the people of Makueni County.
36. Mobilization of own source revenue is critical in actualization of our development agenda. In the past year, we collected Kshs 322,104,226 in which we recorded an increase of 47 per cent compared to Kshs 219,073,188 in the FY 2016/17. Although we have made some meaningful strides in mobilizing own revenue from Kshs 189,187,741, we collected, in FY 2013/14, many challenges remain. These include; aging staff in revenue mobilization, we inherited from the defunct local authorities and the fact that we have not been able to fully integrate our revenue streams in the automation process. There were some areas of leakages, which we have over time endeavoured to seal. This is indeed a priority as we move forward. Our people still don’t pay land related taxes even after offers of interest relief.
37. Over the medium term, we aspire to ensure that at least 10 per cent of our county budget is funded through own source revenue. We are cognizant of the fact that one of the key considerations by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) is allocating resources to the counties which demonstrate fiscal discipline and effort in mobilization of own source revenue. To achieve this, we will: re-engineer the revenue administration process, ensure full automation of the revenue streams including land and other property. We are working on a mechanism to employ young staff to complement the existing workforce. I must thank the County Assembly for their great role in oversight related to revenue matters. In the regard we are working together to establish a committee to oversight revenue matters.
38. Our resolve and commitment remain steadfast in ensuring that our county is firmly on the journey to self-sustenance and reduced dependency on national government transfers. I therefore direct the Department of Finance to work jointly with the Department of Devolution to prepare and roll out a comprehensive civic education curriculum on revenue. This will greatly help in empowering the citizens on their civic duty in revenue mobilization and empower them as watchdogs in matters revenue.
South Eastern Kenya Economic Bloc (SEKEB)
39. Our county does not exist in a vacuum; it is obviously not an island. We have numerous interactions and interdependence with our neighbours. In this regard, we have committed to establish a regional economic bloc with our neighbours – Machakos and Kitui counties. This is aimed at fostering social and economic integration of our region. Through this integration, we hope to leverage on the regional opportunities to boost inter-country trade investments and development initiatives. Towards this end, we have established an interim secretariat comprised of both executive and legislative arms of the three counties working under the leadership of the Governors. To insulate SEKEB from political conflict and to guarantee inclusivity, the current convening is under Arch-Bishop Timothy Ndambuki. The secretariat is already working on establishing the necessary structures and systems for the regional outfit. We hope to sign a constitutive agreement soon and forward it to the county assemblies for due processing. I call upon all the members of the three county assemblies to support this great initiative for the sake of our people. I also appeal to the great people of the Southern Eastern Kenya Economic Bloc to embrace this potentially unifying and life changing union.
40. We remain committed to the goal of public participation for sustainable development. We envision enriching the practice through best practices from India, Porto Alegre, Brazil and South Africa, including the integration of open government practices for improved transparency and accountability. I specially congratulate the development committees, project management committees, community resource persons for volunteering to serve and pioneer the participatory development model in the past. I am deeply impressed by the community resolve to voice their needs and follow their development to conclusion.
41. It is in our interest to strengthen participatory development through capacity building of these committees, strengthening of the community feedback mechanism from the village to the county and back, finalization of the grievance redress mechanism alongside the establishment of the office of the Ombudsman for the cases against public service.
42. We envision deepening community participation through community action planning at the cluster and village levels, ensuring exercise of powers and functions at the community level to deepen people’s sovereignty in the exercise of devolution. Further, the participation will be deepened through strengthening community-based resource mobilization that would ensure that communities through their representatives could lobby with donors, non-state actors, and the national government and private partners in the drive of their development. The optimization of community social halls into integrated community resource centres at the sub ward level is to strengthen the institutionalization of the people’s government, ensure access to information at the grassroots, and enhance community libraries and centres within the people’s framework. We must continue to provide leadership in the practice of public participation through encouraging peer learning, research and development.
43. The establishment of the Village Councils is expected to strengthen the county’s administrative units at the sub-ward level. It is envisioned that their operationalization is key in facilitation of government decentralization, grassroot capacity and co-ordination of government.
Strengthening Project Management and Implementation
44. In the context of the paradigm shift, we envision that every player shall conceptualize the shift from small projects to results and high impact projects, move from projects to programmes, defining of the real beneficiaries of a programme and increase the staff’s capacity in the development of quality Bill of Quantities (BoQs), contract management and environmental safeguard.
45. I have put measures in place responding to the slow implementation of projects. The truth is that any delayed project implementation is delayed development to the people who so much need it. On the 27th March 2019, I launched a Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) to facilitate the implementation of all stalled, problematic and ongoing projects from 2013-2019 within 100 days. Further, the RRI was initiated as the county government’s response to increasing complaints from the members of the public on projects that are of importance to them. The main objectives of the strategy are:
a. To create a platform for the collaboration of county officers to work together in the delivery of stalled, problematic and ongoing projects.
b. Demonstrating urgency of delivering and reporting development to the people in regard to the aforesaid projects.
c. Establishment of committees, structures and the mechanisms of the implementation of the RRI strategy through the various teams.
46. It is important to mention that the RRI ends on the 5th July 2019. There are dire consequences for departments that do not deliver by the end of the 100 days of the RRI. I shall duly report to the people of Makueni about this RRI.
47. The project management committee guidelines development through devolution will go a long way in strengthening project management committee functioning, reporting mechanisms, and community-based monitoring and evaluation initiatives and their capacity building. This applies to the project sustainability committees that are expected to enhance the operationalization of the projects handed over to communities and their sustainable utilization. It is envisioned that the community resource volunteer strategy provides the basis for open data, suitable for community decision-making.
48. I do appreciate when communities raise their views concerning project implementation. In our county when the people speak, the official government listens. We must wage concerted war against corruption in all its manifestations. Makueni is a no corruption zone.
Engagement with The Private Sector, Development Partners and National Government
49. In the face of limited resources, engagement with other actors will enhance our ability to meet the over-expanding needs among our people. There are different actors working in the county in different sectors ranging from health, agriculture, livestock and water. We acknowledge the supportive role played by these actors and we will endeavour to strengthen the institutional arrangements to create an enabling environment for the actors to complement our government in service delivery.
50. We continue to work with our professionals in the County Budget and Economic Forum (CBEF) and in other engagements as advisors in project implementation and management.
Collaboration with National Government Agencies
51. We note the great support and collaboration we have had with the National Land Commission and the Ministry of Lands in areas of urban development especially Wote Municipality, land titling in Nguu Masumba Ward and resolution of land disputes. It is important to note that the key flagship projects by the national government in the county are taking shape and it is our hope that they will be speeded up to benefit our citizens. We are also collaborating with the national government in the following projects: Konza Techno-City, Thwake Mega Dam and the Nairobi – Mombasa Expressway. Previously we were part and parcel of the construction of the Mombasa – Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway.
52. Specifically, I must thank the Members of the National Assembly and the Senate who have been supportive and have believed that we can join forces to deliver a new Makueni. I call upon all the leaders elected or non-elected irrespective of political affiliation to join hands because when we are united with our people, nothing can defeat us. Service delivery by the national government, CDF, county government and all other development actors goes to the same citizenry.
53. Although we have made strides in working harmoniously with the national government agencies, we have encountered obstacles with the County Commissioners’ office. On many occasions, we have had our development initiatives being thwarted by his office. In the spirit of delivering to the citizens as one, we urge the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government to urgently work to resolve these deliberate efforts to sabotage our work. We would request the national government to allow the executive to remain in the county headquarters block until 30th September 2019 as we acquire alternative offices.
54. Our people have clearly prioritized key interventions and needs for which we require collaboration with the national government. These include: tarmacking of Emali – Ukia Road, electricity connections through-out the county which now stands at a paltry 25% connectivity, support for UHC and construction of major dams
Working with Development Partners and the Private Sector
Mr. Speaker Sir,
55. We have made strides in working with development partners in order to ensure effective service delivery for the people of Makueni. Towards this end we have entered into MoUs and other forms of engagement which stipulate the areas of cooperation, the expected results and the obligations of all the parties. Despite the above achievements, our engagement is not well coordinated to deliver the results we desire.
56. I wish to take this opportunity to thank our development partners who have believed in us and agreed to walk with us on this journey of improving the lives of the people of Makueni and ensuring sustainable development.
57. It is our desire to work with the local, national and international private sector. We will also seek to support more small and micro enterprises (SMEs) through the Tetheka Fund. We are in the process of instituting a legal framework for the establishment of market committees and encourage business with the county. We will continue to support agri-business along Athi River. We are yet to actualize the development of our industrial zones and therefore we are open to facilitate national government agencies and other investors to seize the opportunity and break ground in our industrial park.
58. I wish to take this opportunity to appreciate the sacrificial work and contribution of our county First Lady to the county development agenda. Her initiatives include maternal health, family planning and reproductive health, mentorship programmes targeting the youth, establishing of libraries, social safety work and resource mobilization for county projects.
59. Makueni Citizens have been migrating in large numbers to different parts of the country and the world to acquire better training, education, job opportunities. In this regard, the Makueni County has established Makueni Diaspora Chapters in Mombasa, the UK and Nairobi. The Mombasa and Nairobi Chapters are already launched while the UK Chapter is in process of being launched. We are in negotiations to also establish a USA Diaspora Chapter. The Makueni diaspora contributed immensely in times of emergency/disaster. In the flood disaster of 2017/2018, the Mombasa and the UK Makueni Diaspora contributed 81 iron sheets and 5 bags of clothing and 300 iron sheets respectively which constituted 65% of all the donations.
60. Despite the critical role played by Makueni County Diaspora in the transformation process of the County, the County continues to face many challenges in harnessing their potential due to lack of a comprehensive framework to fully integrate them in County development. We are in the process of finalizing such framework.
Leveraging on ICT to Deliver More Development Results
Mr Speaker Sir,
61. The role played by ICT in facilitating development cannot be wished away. We firmly believe that if there will be meaningful, accelerated and sustainable development; ICT must be at the centre of such development. We have not maximised on the opportunities available to fully integrate technology in our county service delivery process. I have therefore directed the County Executive Committee Member in charge of ICT to prepare an assessment of the county readiness for automation as well as prepare a whole government approach automation process flow. This will guide in rolling out our automation process and ensure we automate over sixty percent of our services by the year 2022.
62. During the 2013-2017 government cycle, the government rolled out performance management without a lot of success. During that period, we recorded the following challenges: more emphasis was given to development projects than on service delivery; delays in the development of a policy to guide on rewards for best performers and sanctions for poor performers. It was noted that some contractors took too long to complete projects leading to targets not being met during the contract period; and inadequate capacity by the beneficiaries of the AGPO arrangement to deliver results in time for some specialized items awarded to them leading to low achievement of set targets.
63. In the second government cycle, a pilot was done covering four months from March to June 2018 and whose report I have forwarded to this assembly as required by law. I am glad to note that the County Assembly has taken a keen interest in it and I look forward to feedback that will help us improve the process further. The 2018/19 Performance cycle is under full implementation and the County Executive Committee Members, Chief Officers and Directors; Chairpersons and CEOs of county agencies have signed performance contracts while the rest of the staff have signed staff performance appraisals. We will continue to strengthen the performance management systems including the development of a policy framework to ensure it is institutionalized. I will personally follow and act on the performance management results.
Land Survey, Titling and Urban Development
Mr. Speaker Sir,
64. The fact that land is a key factor of economic production in any economy cannot be overemphasized. We have, in collaboration with the National Land Commission and the State Ministry of Lands worked to fast track resolution of historical land issues as well as issuance of title deeds. The County has used our resources to fast track such issuance and other related matters. However, we still face challenges relating to grabbing of public land and unresolved land disputes between large land holders and the communities living around them.
65. We are happy to report that recently we were given over 25 acres and an additional 380 acres by DWA Estates that we will use for the establishment of an industrial park and settlement of designated squatters. This is strategically located along the SGR corridor and the ongoing Kibwezi – Kitui road that will rapidly open up the area for investment besides expanding the land available for growth of Kibwezi town.
66. The future driver of our economy will be anchored on urbanization. Wote town was conferred municipality status and the importance of this milestone cannot be underscored. The role of municipalities in economic planning and growth is enormous. A strong municipality is able to play a key role in creating a conducive environment for investment through the provision of infrastructure, economic friendly policies and quality services.
Infrastructure Development (Water, Roads and Energy)
Mr. Speaker Sir,
67. Provision of water to our people is a key right and as a government we have struggled to deliver water to the people of Makueni. We have over time since the inception of our county government promised to deliver the water agenda. On this I must note that the dream may seem to be elusive, however, it is important to highlight the major obstacles we have encountered on our way. We inherited a water sector which was faced by a myriad of challenges including poor governance mechanisms, inadequate policy and legal framework and inadequate staff capacity. The sustainability mechanism of many water investments has been a great challenge.
68. The water harvesting agenda (Kutwiikany’a kiwu) has been renewed to address the many problems facing the water sector. We have finalized a county water policy and prepared a county water bill which we will soon be presenting to our County Assembly. Additionally, we will promote increased participation of communities in water governance and management.
69. We are working on environmental protection efforts including: tree planting, protection of water catchment and riparian areas and conservation of forests. To enhance the resilience and adaptive capacity of our communities, climate change will be mainstreamed across the different sectors. I, therefore, direct the Climate Change Fund Board, the Sand Conservation and Utilization Authority and the mother department to provide guidelines in mainstreaming climate change as soon as possible.
70. We have recently recruited more staff for the water department to help solve the crisis although our wage bill is already bloated. We have also engaged development partners who have water projects in the county in order to harmonise our various initiatives and ensure cohesion.
71. Access to improved road and affordable energy is a key enabler for county development. We will not achieve any meaningful development if we do not have the facilitative infrastructure in place. In the medium term, our focus will be on; road network development and energy development and promotion. We also would like to develop a mechanism of shared responsibility with KENHA, KERRA, KURRA and all other state actors in the roads sector.
Enhancing Inclusion, Equitable Development and Social Protection
Mr. Speaker Sir,
72. It will be unfair to focus on economic empowerment and the productive sectors without having consideration for the vulnerable and marginalized in the society. We will integrate the empowerment and social assistance initiatives along the economic productive sectors. Emphasis will be laid on empowerment of youth, women, people with disability, the aged and other marginalized groups. The marginalized who live in absolute poverty, are unemployed and are limited to access of basic social amenities. The people living with disability form a critical constituency of the vulnerable in the society and thus the need to catalyse their empowerment so that they actively participate in economic activities by removing the barriers that compromise their effective participation.
73. Despite the efforts in enhancing inclusion in development and bringing on board the marginalized, we are faced with challenges that include: gender inequality cemented in our strong cultural beliefs, stereotyping and stigma of the people with disability, stigma on aging and ageism, increasing cases of gender based violence, sexual harassment and defilement of children.
74. We have dared to follow the uncharted path by deliberately pursuing equitable development and allocating resources to the Ward level. When we began in FY 2013/14, we allocated Kshs 18.5 Million per ward, which has tremendously grown to Kshs 33 Million per Ward. Overtime the communities have reaped the benefits such as addressing equity and there is increased demand to have evenly distributed development. Gradually, we have witnessed communities prioritizing high impact projects over small and micro-projects.
75. From implementing the Ward Development model, challenges are emerging, and we are learning critical lessons in the process. These include: the need to maximize development outcomes in light of diminishing resources, design and implementation of cross-ward projects as well as flagship projects at the Ward and Sub-County levels. To this end, I have directed the Executive Committee Members in Charge of Finance and Socio-Economic Planning and Devolution to work on a framework to enhance and entrench the ward development process.
76. We committed to enhance access to financial services by our citizenry by increasing the availability and equality in access of financial services. The process of acquiring of licence from the Central Bank of Kenya has been lengthy given the prevailing banking move to consolidate and benefit on economies of scale with huge customer and capital base. This has motivated us to also seek a potential existing bank which we can invest in to ensure a two track strategy so as to guarantee our people financial inclusion. We have also supported our Financial Services Associations whose number is the highest in Kenya.
77. Food security is synonymous with national security. In the last year, we experienced above normal rainfall across the county and bountiful harvest by our farmers. This translated in improved food security and equally improved pasture and water for livestock across the county. However, due to delayed rainfall, some areas in our county are currently affected by drought, increasing water and food scarcity. The key drivers of food insecurity in the county are: poor performance of the rains, high day time temperatures, maize crop failure, post-harvest loses, non-mechanized agriculture, poor market access, lack of adequate extensions services and human-wildlife conflict.
78. We are working with all stakeholders; national government agencies, non-state actors and organized groups to reach out to the affected population. One of key goals remains food security and until every household is food secure, we will not rest.
Investment in Technical and Higher Education
Mr. Speaker Sir,
79. We have invested to establish a technical training institution in Gigiri, Nzaui-Kalamba Ward. This is meant to train CTTI and ECDE teachers. Over the medium term, we will operationalize the institution as a premier institution in training and building the capacity of such teachers. On building the capacity of our staff and other citizens, we will establish a Makueni School of Development Studies.
Shift from Politics of Populism to Politics of Development
80. We are committed to establishing a new culture of evidence-based development that benefits the people as opposed to continuous sterile politics. As we work on our second term in government, we are privileged that the citizens accorded us the opportunity to serve. For this reason, we promise that together with you, we will deliver the development agenda and forever change the development pathway of our county. We are doing this for posterity; this is our biggest motivation to continuously improve our systems and our way of doing development. For the record, I want to appreciate the cordial working relationship with you and my Deputy Governor. Our team work is envied by many in the country.
81. We should embrace modesty and hard work and not at any time start a culture of self-congratulating and boasting, thinking that we are better than our predecessors and other county and national leaders. History will judge us by our actions, achievements, and not those of others. In short, we must remain true to ourselves and to the people of Makueni County. Our battleground for development is Makueni; together with our people this is where we shall ensure our collective legacy by 2022.
82. Let us remain united and avoid divisions that are only meant to get our eyes off the target of quality service delivery. Let us find common and lasting solutions for the problems and challenges that face our people. I believe this can be done effectively without interfering with our respective functions as
envisioned in the Constitution and the County Governments Act. And that is why I cherish the constructive oversight role of the second County Assembly.
83. When my time to leave the leadership of Makueni arrives, I would like to leave behind a citizenry who are masters of their own development agenda and have the skills to incrementally create wealth for themselves. Citizens who essentially direct their government on what to do and are themselves authors of their own progress. I would wish them to know that no future government can negate their sovereign power critically, the citizens will always act as if the government and other development partners at all levels have a minor role in the citizen’s governance and life. Nay sayers may say this is a dream. It has been done elsewhere, and even next door in Bishop Masika’s Yatta Farm Initiative.
84. I call upon you the people of Makueni: Let us dream together and live this dream together. And I assure you that I will be around – God willing – to watch your steps. And who knows: I may come back in another reincarnation to still give a helping hand. Only God knows.
Thank you for your attention.”