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Tuesday, 18 Oct 2016 20:33 EATrosemukonyo@yahoo.com
Governor Kivutha Kibwana has unveiled a strategic plan that is aimed at improving the living standards of Makueni residents within the next ten years. Speaking at Unoa Grounds in Wote Town at a ceremony that was attended by his Kitui counterpart Julius Malombe, Kibwana said the vision aims at achieving accelerated and inclusive economic growth and development through a sectoral approach to allocation of resources to prioritized activities.
He highlighted some key components of the plan which include water, education, healthcare, infrastructure, energy, food security, trade as well as value-added agricultural activities. “These are components of sustainable development goals including combating poverty, hunger and food insecurity, illiteracy, inequality and disparities, climatic degradation and social conflicts,” he said.
He added that the vision will also look into the challenges that have hindered development at county level and come up with ways to counter them. Prof. Kibwana said his government was committed to giving all its citizens opportunities to live a quality life within a clean and secure environment as envisaged in the Kenya Vision 2030, and in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He said the plan will be implemented by all actors of development including the County government and its agencies, the community, National Government, donors, development partners and the private sector.
On healthcare, Prof. Kibwana said the county plans to invest more resources in primary healthcare to prevent common infectious diseases and draw up a framework to tackle increasing cases of non-communicable diseases. Last month, Prof. Kibwana launched a universal healthcare plan which will see all residents access free medical services in all public health institutions.
Also in the blue print is to double access to clean water by supplementing the ongoing efforts to harvest surface water with tapping the ground water high potential sites in the Southern parts of the county. “The target is to reduce the average distance to water points from the current 8 kilometres to three kilometres and have at least 70 percent of households access reliable water,” he said.
To actualize the vision, Kibwana said the county had lined up several initiatives including establishment of a county revenue authority, development of private-public partnerships and establishment of a county investment, marketing and promotion as well as legal and policy framework.
Other strategies include participating in the regional economic bloc and establishment of a donor liaison desk. Kitui Governor Malombe who also addressed the occasion handed Prof. Kibwana the Devolution Torch and lauded the county’s development agenda which he termed as ‘progressive and sustainable.’
Rose is a contributing writer for the Kenya Free Press, based in Machakos County.