Nyandarua County is achieving rapid results 28 days after the swearing-in of its new Cabinet, His Excellency Governor Francis Kimemia has said.
Speaking during Jamhuri Day celebrations at Nyakiambi Primary School grounds in Milangine Sub-County, the County head said delays in disbursements from the National Government are not holding his team back on keeping pledges made to voters.
“There has been progress in plot verification in Ol’Kalou and surrounding townships, processing of allotment letters and issuance of title deeds in 26 colonial villages and acquisition of 50 acres for the proposed Nyandarua University,” he said.
Governor Kimemia said his administration is aggressively engaging corporates and Governments to invest in Nyandarua, reporting positive outcomes from on-going resource mobilization efforts.
“The Embassy of Ireland has committed € 2 million to be invested in a three-year pilot program that supports 3,000 small-holder farmers in Nyandarua through training and facilitation of certified seeds,” he said.
The Embassy will facilitate travel for a county team for a learning visit to Ireland next year.
His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta has already committed to set up a potato processing plant in Nyandarua in the next Financial Year.
The Governor said the European Union has pledged € 1 million for potato seed multiplication, while the German Technical Corporation and Danish Development Agency have offered support for dairy production and value addition.
“Toyota Tsusho has pledged to provide fertilizer and technical support for sugar beet trials, while the Export Processing Zone will help us develop industrial parks, initially targeting pyrethrum,” he said.
The National Government will establish fisheries in Nyandarua, as part of a Kshs. 14 billion fund to be invested in aqua-culture across 14 pilot counties.
Under the Kenya Devolution Support Program, Governor Kimemia said Nyandarua County is set to receive Kshs. 40 million for capacity-building initiatives in Public Finance Management; Human Resources Management; Performance Management; Civic Education and Public Participation; Investment Management; Environmental Management and Social Safeguarding.
“A second-level grant will be provided as an investment of KShs. 250 million to support implementation of our County Integrated Development Plan,” he said.
Through the Kenya Accountable Development Program, the World Bank will also assist Nyandarua in budget preparation with a focus on public participation.
The Governor said talks have been held with the United States Embassy and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) towards possible scholarships in the United States.
“We are also looking at participation of Nyandarua youth in the Young African Leaders Programme and the Mandela Program, as well as possible support for the Central Kenya regional bloc,” he said.
With the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), discussions have been held towards support for polytechnics and skills development for youth and related projects to unlock the potential of Nyandarua.
“A JICA team will visit Nyandarua to look at the possibility of providing volunteers to selected polytechnics once an assessment has been made,” he said.
Nyandarua will benefit from the Toyota Kenya Academy on Agricultural Machinery where youth are recruited for apprenticeships.
“JICA will pursue the possibility of availing training opportunities to Nyandarua County officials once consultations have been made with the Directorate of Personnel Services Management (DPSM) on how to direct training opportunities to counties on public administration and security,” he added.
With the Embassy of Turkey, support has been agreed for scholarships, disaster risk management in Ol’Kalou, construction of cold storage and an apiculture project for women and youth.
United Nations Habitat, on the other hand, is offering support in spatial planning, waste management, urban planning, revenue automation and one-stop youth centers in polytechnics.
“The United Nations Development Programme will offer technical assistance to ensure a high quality County Integrated Development Plan, which will be harmonized with those of neighbouring Counties as we seek to collaborate in a regional economic bloc for Central Kenya,” he said.
On its part, the United Kingdom’s High Commission in Kenya and the Department for International Development (DFID) will facilitate the convening of a breakfast meeting with UK investors to meet the County Government of Nyandarua to explore possible investment opportunities.
“They are also considering support to the Governor’s Service Delivery Unit and packaging of investment opportunities for the County,” he said.
Locally, the Kenya Investment Authority will support Nyandarua County’s first investors’ conference in March, 2018 by packaging investment opportunities for Nyandarua and inviting investors to the Conference.
“We have also held agreed with Ewaso Ng’iro North Development Authority for a partnership that includes the establishment in 2018 of a multi-functional construction unit in Nyandarua County for drilling of boreholes, dams and road construction,” he said.
The unit will be equipped with self-casing drilling machines, earthmoving equipment, test pumping units, two tractors and brick-making machinery.
“More tractors will be provided in 2017/2018 and a milk-processing plant commenced in 2018/2019 financial years,” he said.
The National Housing Corporation will upgrade the design and start construction of houses in Ol Kalou town that will be completed in 18 months.
“They will also introduce low-cost housing technology in the County,” said the Governor.
In health services, Governor Kimemia noted that commitments have been obtained on a dialysis machine at North Kinangop Catholic Hospital, assignment of one medical officer for the hospital and inclusion of Ol Kalou and Engineer in telemedicine development, especially radiology.
“Upgrading of JM Kariuki Hospital to Level 6 and its development into a referral hospital; four sub-county hospitals to Level 5; hospitals in six new sub-counties to Level 4 and Magumu Hospital to Level 5 as well as its development into a trauma treatment centre is all on course,” he said.
On its part, the State Department of Interior and Coordination of National Government has offered to deploy Administration Police officers to areas identified by the County Government as suitable for establishing camps to secure people and property.
“In addition, it will deploy Administration Officers and vehicles to the newly-created Sub-Counties. I am pleased to note that the National Government has further committed itself to secondment of technical Staff in various cadres to the County,” he said.
Governor Kimemia’s administration has successfully negotiated for six additional sub-counties for Nyandarua.
It has also developed the 2017/2018 Finance Bill and conducted related public participation before presentation to the County Assembly, with no increase in taxes and reduction of tax for youth enterprises, including bodaboda.
“We have also formulated a Supplementary Budget to re-align priorities to be presented to the County Assembly with some of the key issues being the mainstreaming of a youth focus as well as the initiation of an Early Child Development feeding program,” he said.
The Governor said task forces will be put in place to for land issues, beautification of Ol Kalou, establishment of Nyandarua University, boosting education standards and preparing for the investors’ conference.
“Further, an intergovernmental committee comprising of two Members of Parliament; two Members of the County Assembly and three Members from the Governor’s office has been formed to fast-track pledges made by President Kenyatta to Nyandarua County,” he said.
These include establishment of industries for value addition; youth empowerment; 425 kilometres tarmac; Kinja, Pesi and Malewa dams construction; boreholes desilting; irrigation and water supply to all homes; university establishment; provision of milk coolers; potato packaging and processing; revival of the pyrethrum sub-sector; headquarter construction for the County Government and County Commissioner; urban street lighting and power supply to all homes by 2020.