Top Stories / Counties
Thursday, 05 Oct 2017 12:17 EAT
Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu has appealed to members of the County Assembly to support her government’s radical initiatives to tackle the perennial problems of water, food, health and high poverty levels.
In a passionate appeal to MCAs during the official opening of the county’s second assembly on Tuesday, Mrs Ngilu said there was need for radical approaches in tackling the needs of the people.
“Devolution was not just about putting up concrete structures – brick and mortar – but about developing people’s capacities. We must start re-thinking some of the things that we do and take for granted”, said the Governor.
The Governor said her administration would invest in an ambitious agricultural support programme that would help farmers to produce more food for household consumption and for sale.
“It pains all of us to see our women queue all day long at the Chiefs office to receive only a few kilos of maize, sometimes even without pulses. This is not only demeaning but also wastes a lot of time that can be used in other productive activities” she told MCAs during her one hour address.
She said her government was fully committed to permanently end food shortages and hunger in the county. “Mr Speaker, Honorable Members, we must now commit ourselves to be the leaders, to be the Government that ends food shortages and hunger in our community once and for all.
"We must be the Government that will reclaim the dignity of our people. I am ready to lead this transformation. I implore you to join me”, she said.
Noting that 600 acres have already been ploughed in the last three weeks under the Farm Ploughing Programme, the Governor said 4,000 acres would be ploughed this season.
She said the county government would also supply over 200,000 households across the County with certified seeds for drought resistant crops such as green grams, cowpeas, sorghum and millet.
She said a well-researched agricultural subsidy programme would be developed which will entail working closely with farmers’ cooperatives to acquire and manage tractors for ploughing and other farm machinery.
“We will also work with agricultural research organizations and private entrepreneurs to develop seed multiplication centres across the county, so that eventually availability of quality seed will no longer be a problem”, she said.
To address water shortage, the Governor appealed for more funds to rehabilitate all boreholes, construct small, medium sized, large water pans and dams to collect runoff water.
“It beats sense that in the next two months or so, we will witness billions of litres of water run off the surface of our land into the Indian Ocean. A few months later we will be trekking, along with our animals, for many kilometres to look for the same water! Let us all come together and address this once and for all by investing more resources in water storage.
In addition, she said, the government would encourage individuals to harvest rain water by legislating that housing developers include water harvesting structures in their buildings.
Noting that the livestock sector holds great potential for wealth creation through rearing beef cattle, goats and sheep, the Governor called for investment in services for animal health and breeding, securing and developing pasture land, development of abattoirs, and giving strategic support to livestock traders.
On the health sector, the Governor said emphasis will be placed on health education and information through village health volunteers as well as ensuring dispensaries have staff and essential medicine. She said a county health insurance scheme for all households would also be launched in the next one year.
To reverse high unemployment among the youth, she offered to train youth to fully participate in the production and value addition for local products such as poultry keeping, making shoes and other apparels, value addition for honey and fruits and making building materials.
She urged MCAs to support investment in production using locally available resources such as green grams, cottage industries, value addition and promotion of consumption of locally produced goods and services.
“For example, I am planning to start this coming rainy season with giving about 200,000 households each 2kgs of seed green grams. This will cost us just about Sh100 million. If each kilogram yields a bare minimum of 90kgs this will give us a total of 36 million kilos. 36 million kilograms sold at a price of Sh100 per kilo gives us a total of Sh3.6 billion!” she said.
She continued, “Why can’t our Government provide our people with skills, equipment and capital and help them produce? With all these lost opportunities and lost wealth, how do we expect to get our people out of poverty?”
On security, the Governor said a campaign was underway to forcefully evict people from parts of Tseikuru, Ngomeni, Nguni and Nuu Wards to enable the rangelands in those areas to be turned into grazing fields for camels.
She called on the security agencies of the National Government to immediately remove armed herders who are occupying parts of Kitui County by force.
“The National Police Service has also to arrest and prosecute those who kill our people. It’s a shame Mr. Speaker that most of the killers are known, and their hideouts are also known, but they have been left to go scot free”, she said.