Nyandarua Governor H.E. Daniel Waithaka Mwangi and Deputy Governor H.E. Waithaka Mwangi Kirika in a chat during this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations in Ol’Kalou town.
SPEECH BY H.E. HON. DANIEL WAITHAKA MWANGI, GOVERNOR OF NYANDARUA COUNTY DURING THE 52ND MASHUJAA DAY CELEBRATIONS – OCTOBER 20TH, 2015.
My fellow county-men,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to join you today in commemorating the 52nd National Heroes’ Day celebrations here in Huruma Primary School grounds, Ol’Kalou town.
First, I wish to send my warm greetings to every family in our county and other Kenyans wherever they may be.
Mashujaa Day is an important event in our annual calendar, when we celebrate the achievements of our patriots who fought for the independence of our country.
It is also a day when we remember the many modern-day heroes, who have played a sterling role in the growth and development of our county Nyandarua and Kenya as a whole.
Mashujaa Day reminds us of the struggle and suffering of our National Heroes who sacrificed their lives so that successive generations of Kenyans can live in freedom and dignity.
I want to thank all of you for turning out to pay tribute to the courageous men and women who fought for our country’s independence. I also convey our appreciation to our friends and well-wishers who have joined us in celebrating this important national occasion.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I wish to call upon our people to rededicate themselves to hard work in order to secure the future of our children.
My administration has worked hard during the past two and half years to initiate development projects geared towards uplifting the lives of our people.
Apart from upgrading roads in rural areas and urban centers, we have also carried out reforms in agriculture, the co-operative movement, health, land and water, just to mention but a few.
My administration shall continue to work with all elected and community leaders in the implementation of various development projects across the 25 wards in line with the provisions of the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) of 2013.
We are undertaking key projects in partnership with the national government and other development partners. Such projects include tarmacking of key roads, construction of mega dams in Pesi, Malewa and Kinja rivers and provision of Artificial Insemination (AI) services to farmers.
In the health sector, my administration is partnering with Schneider Children Hospital of Israel in the construction of the first ever pediatric hospital in Ol’Kalou.
We have already finalized the paper work with officials from Schneider Hospital and I expect the project to take off soon. The proposed hospital will cater for children not only from Nyandarua County but also the surrounding region.
I wish to assure you that service delivery in our health institutions has improved tremendously through the constant and sufficient supply of medical products, namely, drugs, laboratory reagents, patient linen and uniforms. All our health facilities are now well stocked with essential medicines and hospitals have adequate supplies of other medicines for special cases.
The patient referral system within and outside the County is continuously being strengthened through maintenance of existing ambulances. The County Government has purchased an additional five ambulances.
The acute shortage of health workforce has been addressed and the County Public Service Board (CPSB) has hired an additional 136 middle-level cadre health professionals to fill critical gaps.
Also, cleanliness in our urban areas has been a challenge but the process of garbage collection has been streamlined. The County Government has purchased three new garbage collection trucks for the purpose. We have also purchased four dump sites in strategic urban centers.
Health infrastructure has been factored in major capital development projects in the County budget and various projects are currently ongoing. These include Engineer District Hospital, which is being upgraded to be a County Referral Hospital.
A modern, state-of-the-art maternity unit and X-ray block are under construction as well as a laboratory. Also, a mortuary is under construction and hospital will get a major facelift to reflect its new status as a Level 4 health facility.
On the other hand, JM Kariuki Level 4 Hospital is being upgraded to Level 5 status with a new operating theatre, a laboratory, installation of modern equipment and a Renal Unit.
We have already established medical training facilities and recruited medical specialists. An accident and emergency center has been factored in the current financial year.
The on-going construction of the Nyandarua County Headquarters is progressing well and we expect to begin occupying the new offices in the next two months.
Recently, my administration hosted a special committee of the Senate whose mission is to identify counties with such inadequate infrastructure as offices.
The committee has listed Nyandarua County as top among the list of other counties that are in a dire need of infrastructure. It is my hope that the national government will fast-track the release of other funds to help us put up other offices not just in Ol’Kalou headquarters but in our sub-counties.
Allow me, ladies and gentlemen to conclude my remarks by highlighting reforms undertaken in the education sector.
During the 2013/2014 financial year, the County Government disbursed Sh7 million for bursaries within our 25 wards. In the year 2014/2015, Sh 65.7 million was disbursed in two installments of 25 million shillings in November, 2014 and 42.5 million shillings in June, 2015.
In the current financial year, the County Government has set aside Sh. 67.5 million to be allocated to needy students within the county. I appeal to all ward bursary committees to exercise fairness while identifying beneficiaries of this kitty.
Nyandarua County has 14 functional youth polytechnics and my administration has embarked on improving their infrastructure through construction of modern hostels and twin workshops which is already underway.
Three more new youth polytechnics, namely Kanyagia, Munyaka and Shauri, are ready for opening by early 2016. We shall establish production units in each polytechnic to improve productivity and sustainability in the youth activities.
In the Early Child Development (ECD) sector, my administration has constructed 69 modern classrooms all over the County which are now complete and ready for use.
In the current financial year, the County Government has set aside funds to construct an additional 75 classrooms, which translates to three ECD classrooms in every ward. This will help improve the learning environment of the young learners and increase enrollment in the public ECDs.
Already, my administration has engaged 400 Preparatory Assistants who are on the County payroll. During the current financial year, my government will recruit an additional 200 Preparatory Assistants to be distributed in other ECD centers across the County.
In conclusion, allow me to address a small matter that has been raised by the Council of Governors (CoG) touching on the release of funds to the counties by the National Government.
It has a matter of concern that national government has not released monthly allocations to the counties since August this year. This has resulted in delayed payment of bills thereby causing anxiety among suppliers.
The delays in remittance of funds is grounding Counties to a halt. Salaries need to be paid on time, the contrary will mean social unrest amongst county staff and stagnation in the provision of essential services to the citizens. The National Treasury must treat this issue with utmost urgency and seriousness and release all accumulated county monies immediately.
County Governments are calling for an urgent Summit meeting by the end of the year to discuss thorny issues including- the state of the economy and the slow implementation of previous Summit resolutions.
The Council notes that the timeline that had been allocated for the complete transfer of all functions assigned to County Governments lapses in March 2016.
The limited transfer of functions to County Governments will inevitably culminate into a constitutional crisis if not remedied within the mentioned timeframe. At the moment, the inordinate delays occasioned by the various National Government institutions in the transfer of the remaining County functions have compromised implementation of the same.
To start with, functions must be properly transferred through the recognized legal framework if they are to be effectively implemented. Unless the Transition Authority gazettes for the transfer of a function, a County Government cannot proceed to perform that function.
Subsequently, any form of service delivery and revenue collection attendant to the pending functions becomes impeded. Second, we must remember that our governance system is founded upon the ‘funds follow functions’ principle. As the ground is laid for the transfer of the pending functions, so must the resources be availed for the performance of those functions
Finally, I wish to thank each and everybody in this county for giving us support as we carry on with the gigantic task ahead of us.
I wish to particularly appeal to fellow leaders to shun political bickering and focus on issues that will help our people uplift their standards of living.
This county has immense opportunities in the co-operative sector, food production and processing, value addition for agricultural products, information and communication technology, tourism, sports and trade.
As leaders, we should encourage our youths to exploit available opportunities in the informal sector instead of wasting valuable time pursuing limited chances in the formal sector.
Once again, I wish all of you happy Mashujaa Day celebrations.
Thank you and May God Bless us all.