You are on page 1of 10

1

KISII COUNTY GOVERNMENT


SPEECH
BY
H.E. HON. JAMES E.O. ONGWAE, CBS, EBS, OGW
GOVERNOR, KISII COUNTY
DURING MASHUJAA DAY CELEBRATIONS
AT THE GUSII STADIUM



ON 20
TH
OCTOBER, 2014
2


The Deputy Governor,
The County Assembly Speaker,
The County Commissioner,
Hon. Members of the Kisii County Assembly,
The Chair of the Abagusii Culture and Development Council,
Members of the County Executive Committee,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It gives me great pleasure to join you on this occasion when we mark the Fifth Mashujaa Day
celebrations.
I would like to extend my warm greetings to all Kisii County residents, those in the Diaspora
and Kenyans at large. I thank the general public, who have left their houses, out of a sense of
selflessness and patriotism, to come together to celebrate Kenyas heroes.
Today, we commemorate the immense sacrifice and heroism of many Kenyans whose efforts
won us freedom and the sovereignty we now enjoy. Indeed, this day offers us an opportunity to
reflect back on how far the country has travelled since independence, while celebrating those
who contributed to the struggle for freedom against colonial rule.
As we enjoy this freedom, we must never forget that the attainment of self-rule did not come
easy. Many men and women lost their lives during the eleven years of emergency, and these
are the heroes and heroines we celebrate on Mashujaa Day.
These visionary men and women come from all walks of life and from every community in
Kenya. From our community, we recognize the contributions of Otenyo Nyamaterere, Sirweri
Moturi, Moraa Ngiti, Ogwora Bitega, Francis Maranya, among others. The struggle they
started continued over the years into the second liberation, which resulted in the constitutional
reforms that bore the devolved system of government we have today.
3
Apart from those who struggled for our freedom, we also recognize other mashujaas like
Nyantika Maiyoro, Robert Ouko, Ben Asati, Hellen Obiri, who operated outside of the comfort
zone to work for long hours training to put Kenya on the world map.
Ladies and Gentlemen, as we honour our mashujaas, we reflect back on where we have come
from as a nation. The promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 ushered in a new
dispensation in Kenya that granted the people of Kenya the right to participate in setting their
development priorities.
As a county, we have always embraced the principle of public participation in our service
delivery plans and development initiatives. My Government is therefore committed to
implementing the development agenda agreed upon during the public hearings carried out
while preparing our County Integrated Development Plan.
As provided for in Article 46 (1) of the County Governments Act, 2012, we have
institutionalized the governance structure placing more emphasis on decentralized units so as
to bring services closer to the people. We now have an administrative structure with officers
up to the Ward level and these officers have taken up their duties to ensure quick services to
our people as provided for in the constitution.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
My government has placed high priority on the health sector. To boost preventive and curative
healthcare services we have finalized protocols and developed a teaching curriculum to
upgrade Kisii Hospital into a teaching and referral facility, in collaboration with Kisii
University.
To actualize this dream, we are modernizing this hospital by putting in place state of the art
diagnostic facilities like the Computerized Tomography (CT) scan. We now have a renal unit
with four dialysis machines. Other on-going projects at the facility include:
construction of a 150-bed ward;
construction of a modern mortuary with a capacity to hold 100 bodies up from the
current capacity of only 20 bodies;
renovation of the kitchen-from using wood fuel to using gas
construction of a new laundry with new machines;
construction of pharmacy store; and
construction of new parking lot to accommodate more vehicles that can take over 50
cars
To ease congestion at the Kisii Hospital and improve healthcare services in the Sub Counties,
we have set aside KShs.150 million to improve infrastructure at Nduru, Kenyenya, Iyabe,
Marani, and Masimba Level Four Hospitals.
4
A total of 141 health facilities in the county will undergo a facelift at a cost of KShs.2 million
each and the procurement process for this work is complete. The facilities are distributed in all
the sub counties.
With the advance in technology, it is now possible to share and exchange patient information
with other doctors worldwide for quick diagnosis and treatment through telemedicine. To
afford this opportunity to residents of Kisii County, we have set aside KShs.25 million to
digitalize medical records and interconnect our health facilities through ICT. This will enable
our doctors to refer and share complicated cases with their colleagues in other hospitals
including those abroad for specialized diagnosis and treatment at no extra cost to Kisii County
residents.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
To ensure adequacy of medical supplies in our health institutions, we intend to spend KShs.120
million for the purchase of drugs and non-pharmaceuticals up from KShs.54 million spent in
the last financial year.
A study that we undertook recently indicated that only 80,000 people out of the 1.3 million in
the county have access to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF). As part of our social
protection programme and being mindful of the disadvantaged in our society, we have set
aside KShs.40 million to be used in paying NHIF subscription for the elderly poor in the county.
As you are aware, we have a functional Emergency Ambulatory Service in collaboration with
Kenya Red Cross, which has boosted our healthcare system. We have trained Emergency
Medical Treatment staff and set aside funds to purchase six (6) state of the art ambulances.
This will allow us run the ambulance service independently to cut costs.
In the area of preventive medicine, we have problems with HIV and AIDS, malaria, maternal
and child mortality, water borne diseases and others, which poses a threat to our socio-
economic development. Statistics released recently indicate that the prevalence rate for Kisii
County stands at 8.9 per cent, way above the national average. In the face of this challenge, my
Government will intensify and scale up HIV prevention efforts using rights-based and
evidence-informed strategies like awareness creation to reverse the worrying trend.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Turning to roads, public works and transport, we have prioritized infrastructure development
throughout the county. In the past one-year, we built over 400km of roads up to compacted
murram standard, easing transport problems in rural areas.
To boost efficiency in road construction, my Government has acquired equipment including
graders, drum rollers, excavators, tippers, shovels and bulldozers that are available to
contractors on hire. We have finalized the processing of purchasing two additional motor
graders and a bulldozer to supplement the existing ones.
5
We recently advertised in local dailies tenders for the construction of 72 roads spanning over
500km across the county. I trust that the youth and women came forward to apply for these
tenders since 30 per cent of these tenders were reserved for them.
In the last financial year, we reached an agreement with the National Government on re-
classification and transfer of resources for the management of roads under classes D and E. I
urge the national government to fast track this reclassification to make it easier for us to
construct and maintain critical roads in the county for example Kisii-Nyatieko-Kegogi road
and others. We have also finalized mechanisms for making the road works labour intensive
thus creating jobs for the youth and women.
Ladies and Gentlemen: In agriculture, we must transform the sector from subsistence to a
modern, innovative and commercially viable industry. Indeed, our vision is to promote food
security and self-reliance through sustainable agricultural growth.
Our focus is on implementing agro-processing, improving access to agricultural inputs like
seed, fertilizer and pesticides by reducing their prices through subsidies; improving
agricultural marketing for our produce; improving agricultural extension services and
improving governance in the area of cooperatives.
Turning to the area of value addition, I would like to see farmer groups and cooperatives
venture into not only value addition, but also into branding, packaging and marketing. Only
then can we create jobs and boost earnings to farmers.
As you are aware, I recently commissioned a KShs.40 million tissue culture banana
multiplication laboratory situated at Nyamataro area to be used to multiply the cooking variety
of banana. Ultimately, my goal is a banana factory in Kisii County.
On the area of agricultural inputs, we are concerned that the prices remain high and that the
quality of seed available to farmers is not good. We are working on a bill to be tabled in the
County Assembly with a view to subsidizing these critical inputs. My government has also
scaled up monitoring and compliance to set standards to rid the sector of fake inputs and
conmen who are out to fleece farmers of their hard earned cash.
In my speech last year, I did tell you that we were to work closely with an investor to set up an
avocado factory. I am happy to report to you today that the KShs.300 million avocado factory
set up in Kisii Town has started operations. We are now working with the investor on
modalities for collection of the crop from farmers as well streamlining payments of farmers for
deliveries to the factory.
Agricultural extension services, is a critical service in the sector. However, we face challenges
regarding staffing and lack of equipment especially in the dairy industry. To address this
challenge, we are creating a value addition department in the appropriate ministry with
experts in marketing and food processing.
6
Ladies and gentlemen, in the area of trade and industry, we are determined to transform Kisii
County into a middle-income economy so as to create jobs for our young people, ensure food
security, and provide quality education and healthcare among other services.
As part of youth and women empowerment, we have set aside KShs.33 million for the Kisii
County Credit Scheme and already a Bill has been prepared for debate in the County Assembly
to operationalize the disbursement of these funds.
In this financial year, we are refurbishing three markets at Ramasha, Nyakoe and Etago at a
cost of KShs.1 million each. Itibo and Marani markets are also being constructed at a cost of
KShs.8 million each.
Turning to Daraja Mbili Market, we are modernizing the facility at a cost of KShs.600 million
in partnership with the National Government. Tenders for the consultancy on preparation of
architectural designs and bills of quantities have already been done.
Ladies and Gentlemen: In the area of Education, Labour, ICT and Manpower Development, I
am proud to report that we continue to break new ground as we strive to actualize our
manifesto and County Integrated Development Plan.
Although education is not a fully devolved function, we have instituted deliberate measures to
see that the county gets involved in matters of education. Recently, we successfully held the 1
st

Kisii County Education Conference at the Kisii University grounds.
The conference brought together over 60 professors and accomplished academics as well as
key stakeholders to discuss academic performance in our beloved county. The conference came
up with a number of proposals on how to improve education standards in our County, which
we are committed to implement.
In this financial year, we plan to build more ECDE classrooms; workshops in youth
polytechnics; procure and distribute teaching and learning materials; recruit instructors for
our youth polytechnics; and equip our polytechnics with Information and Communication
Technology (ICT) infrastructure.
To boost transition rates, we have established the County Bursary Fund with KShs.90 million
leading to each ward receiving KShs.1 million in the last financial year. This kitty will be
tripled in the current financial year to KShs.135 million, with each ward set to receive KShs.3
million for the bright and needy students.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Turning to culture, youth, sports and social services, we have made
significant strides.
It is worth noting that some of the functions in this sector are still with the national
government meaning we cannot initiate any activities as funds for this are with the national
government. This notwithstanding, we have initiated a number of projects including the
construction of youth empowerment centres at Kenyenya and Keumbu which are on-going.
7
In sports, I am happy to report that our staff took part in the Inter-County Sports tournament
in Nakuru where four qualified to represent the county in the East African games in Kampala
Uganda, where the team won three medals. Hongera to all participants and our medalists! This
is part of the heroism we are celebrating today.
Recognizing the need to address issues related to Persons With Disabilities, we recently held a
three-day conference in Kisii Town bringing together over 300 participants. Although
disability is not a devolved function, members were sensitized on various national government
funds available for them as well as the 30 per cent affirmative action provision in public
procurement. Already, some have started benefitting from these funds.
In the area of alternative medicine, we have started a school of herbal medicine at the Kisii
cultural centre to train traditional herbalists on best practices in their trade. This will boost the
use of alternative medicine among our people.
To boost literacy among our people, my Government is building community libraries at
Kenyenya and Ogembo Towns. We also intend to put in place a library at Kiamokama. The
Zephaniah Anyieni library at Kenyenya is nearly complete and we expect schools in these areas
to benefit from these libraries once complete.
As part of our plan to upgrade sports facilities in the county, you can see for yourselves that
construction work at the Gusii Stadium is progressing well. In the first phase, we are
renovating the stadium up to international standards to allow us generate revenue and this
includes construction of a perimeter fence, three new pavilions, new toilets, offices and
changing rooms as well as a separate warm-up field to ensure the facility meets international
standards.
Once complete, the facility will host games for Shabana FC that is poised for a return to the
topflight league. Shabana FC, which produced prodigious talent in the likes of Henry Motego,
Henry Nyandoro and Mike Okoth (our heroes in the field of soccer), remains the pride of Kisii
County and we shall support efforts to help it regain its stature.
Ladies and Gentlemen: My government appreciates the importance of water as a basic need
and is committed to improving water reticulation services in the county. As a temporary
measure, over the last financial year, we protected at least five springs per ward to promote
access to safe drinking water.
In Kisii Town, we continue to face challenges in water supply due to an ageing supply system
that was installed back in 1932. The reticulation system from Kegati and Nyakomisaro intakes
is dilapidated occasioning underground leaks that ultimately affect the quantity and quality of
water available to residents.
While we are expanding the water supply network to Botori and Nyabururu areas, the supply
system remains the same forcing Gusii Water and Supply Company to resort to rationing.
Improving this system requires massive investment.
8
I am delighted to report that the German Bank (KFW) will invest KShs.1.2 billion to
rehabilitate and expand the water supply system in Kisii and Nyamira Counties. The
rehabilitation work starts early next year and will include modernization of the existing
intakes at Kegati and Nyakomisaro and re-laying the pipeline to reduce wastage.
The African Development Bank has also invested KShs. 400 million to rehabilitate the water
supply system in Keroka Town to increase the capacity from the current 6,000 litres to three
million litres a day. Work on this project has started and will end in December next year.
As I have said before, the existing design capacity in Kisii County is 6.5 million litres per day
but only half of this is produced due to the aged production plant and distribution network.
The demand for Kisii Town alone is 20 million litres of water per day.
With the help of the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation Agency, we are
restructuring Gusii Water and Sanitation Company to enable it provide services in both urban
and rural towns.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
We all appreciate the critical role Kisii Town plays as a gateway and commercial hub for the
South Nyanza region and that is why my Government continues to invest in improving its
stature.
Since I assumed office over a year ago, the issue of frequent power outages in Kisii Town and
its environs has continually troubled my Government. This is because disruptions in power
supply affect business and provision of services in government institutions besides increasing
operational costs.
It also makes it difficult for the County Government to attract investors who are critical in our
efforts to create jobs and wealth for our people. It is for this reason that we have engaged the
National Government and Kenya Power in a bid to seek a lasting solution to this challenge.
Indeed, when H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta visited Kisii recently, I presented a memorandum,
which, among other things, identified challenges in power supply as one of the issues that
required urgent attention. I am happy to note my engagement with Kenya Power has borne
fruits hence the recent upgrade.
Estates in Kisii Town like Mwembe, Nyamataro, Nyanchwa, Milimani, Jogoo and Gesonso and
other town centres will experience improved supply and quick responses to emergencies.
Importantly, large power consumers like Kisii Hospital, Kisii University, Gusii Water and
Sanitation Company, bakeries, supermarkets, banks and tea factories will also experience
improved power supply.
Ladies and gentlemen, on street lighting and security:
9
My government has installed high mast streetlights in Kisii Town and at seven Sub County
headquarters; Suneka, Nyamarambe, Masimba, Marani, Keumbu, Keroka, Nyamache and
Ogembo. For Kisii Town, we have installed high mast streetlights (mulika mwizi) at the main
market, Nyankongo, Jogoo, Mwembe, Getembe Primary, Soko Mjinga, Daraja Mbili and at the
main bus park. We expect the Towns to be lit any time from now.
To supplement the existing street lighting system in Kisii Town, we reached an agreement with
an investor who is putting up over 200 solar powered streetlights in Kisii Towns CBD.
Foundations for these streetlights have been done awaiting installation. The installation will be
done in the month of November, and this will go a long way in boosting security in the urban
areas as well as attracting investors to our region.
I want to assure residents that we are committed to decongesting Kisii Town and in this regard,
we have put in place measures among them training and re-organization of boda boda
operators. 220 operators have completed training at the Kenya Institute of Highways and
Building Technology, Kisii training centre on traffic law, safe riding and first Aid. We have
purchased 1,000 helmets to be issued to each boda boda rider upon graduation.
To further improve the working conditions of boda boda operators, we are building five
motorcycle shades at a cost of KShs.5 million within Kisii Town that will serve as waiting and
pick-up points.
A major challenge that has plagued Kisii County for long is that of solid waste management.
Disposal of waste from septic tanks continues to be a challenge not only to homesteads, but to
institutions as well. I was indeed saddened to learn that in one school, students were being
used to remove solid waste from their latrines as there was no other means available. To
address this challenge, my government has purchased an exhauster, which will be available on
hire to help manage solid waste disposal. Further a refuse compactor and collection bins have
also been procured to enhance waste management in the county.
Ladies and gentlemen:
The reorganization of Kisii Town has been going on despite several challenges relating to lack
of space and interferences from local political leaders. We have since relocated vegetable
vendors and seedlings sellers to a common place and cleared the irregular parking at
Mashauri. Construction of a walkway from Mashauri to Cooperative Bank is almost complete.
In the past one year, we have been opening up urban roads within Kisii Town among them
Nyanchwa-Mwogaro road, Kianyabinge-Getare road, Rianyankabaria-Bomatara road among
others. More will be done this financial year.
As part of our social programs, we are rehabilitating street children by placing them in home
within Kisii Town. So far, a total of 52 such children have been removed from the streets. We
also formed a taskforce to look into the issue of commercial sex workers in Kisii Town and
once they table a report, we shall implement its proposals to give a sustainable solution to the
challenge.
10
On the area of disaster preparedness:
To ensure the county government is prepared in the face of disasters like fires and accidents,
we plan to build a disaster response station at a cost of KShs.30 million to house the fire
engines. I am happy to report that the large capacity fire engine that has been under repair has
been delivered and we shall purchase an additional one this financial year.
Ladies and gentlemen, on revenue collection:
I wish to remind our people that all these planned developments require substantial financial
resources. Article 207 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 provides that the capacity of counties
to carry out their functions is dependent on their ability to collect revenue. The fact that
counties with a smaller revenue base can collect more revenue than we do is a challenge to
every patriotic resident of Kisii County. (Machakos collected KShs.1.2 billion against
KShs.250,000 for Kisii County).
In our 2014/2015 fiscal years Finance Bill, we have mapped out our revenue sources and
indicated rates payable to the county treasury. Most of the rates in the Bill are old rates, and we
have not increased them. The Bill has been going through public participation and can be
accessed through our website: www.kisii.go.ke. I urge you to submit your views to be
incorporated in the final Bill.
To ensure prudent financial management, planning and budgeting, we have automated the
revenue collection system for Kisii Town parking. I urge those of you who use this service to be
true mashujaas by dutifully paying your dues and those who collect to faithfully remit what
you collect to the county treasury.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
In conclusion, I wish to urge all Kisii County residents to become heroes and heroines in their
individual ways, remembering that if each one of us lit the little corner in which we are, then
the whole of Kisii County will be lit.
As we do this, let us unite in our common goal of building a prosperous, just and equitable
County for the welfare of all. This was my pledge to you when I took up office, and I wish to
renew my commitment to serve the people of Kisii County with total dedication and
impartiality, honouring the trust that you bestowed upon me by electing me as your Governor.
Finally, I convey my best wishes to KCSE and KCPE candidates as they prepare to sit for their
national examinations. I wish all of you success in your exams.
I thank you and may Gold bless you all!