Kihika: We’re on the right track of transforming Nakuru

Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika has reiterated that her administration is committed towards improving the livelihood of Nakuru residents through better service delivery.

In her first state of the county address, delivered at the County Assembly of Nakuru, Kihika pointed out that she took over leadership mantle of the county at a challenging economic times.
However, despite the challenges, she said her administration has achieved in the area of transformation.
“Mr. speaker and honorable members, despite ascending to power at a time of great economic uncertainty occasioned by factors beyond the county, my government has stoically weathered these challenges to post, in my view, a fair performance,” she said.
According to Kihika, though her administration has achieved a lot, understandably, there have been share of missteps and misses; and  lessons learned from this have helped her administration to take timely and corrective measures.
She vowed that in her second year and the many years to come, shall deploy these learned experiences to work smarter for better results.
Kihika used her state of the county address to elaborate her scorecard for the last one year.
Starting with HEALTH SECTOR, she revealed that the transformation of the health sector, ranks high on her delivery agenda.
“This is deliberately so, bearing in mind the old adage “a healthy nation is a wealthy nation”. In stressing the centrality of health for any nation, the late Mahatma Gandhi once remarked “it is health that is the real wealth and not the pieces of gold or silver”.
Although the health department continues to consume over 40% of the county budget, Kihika said it is in everyone’s interest to have a robust and self-sustaining health sector, since our health is our wealth.
She noted that Honorable despite a huge influx of patients from neighboring counties and beyond, the county health facilities have made remarkable progress in the provision of accessible, efficient, affordable, and high-quality services.
This remarkable milestone has been facilitated by the deliberate interventions among them Expansion of health facilities.
“My Government has successfully completed the outstanding works on the outpatient wing at Nakuru teaching and referral hospital. This Kshs. 780 million state of the art infrastructure launched by my predecessor, will provide the much-needed space once equipped during the year.Additionally, my government has taken over the completed Naivasha outpatient facility constructed by partners, at a cost of  Kshs. 331 million; refurbished  Kabazi level 4 hospital at a cost of Kshs 15.5 million and installed a Kshs 6 million X-RAY machine at Bahati Sub County Hospital.”
Other facilities under construction across the county, include Langalanga, Gilgil, Molo, Maimahiu and Elburgon Sub County hospitals and health centers and dispensaries spread across the County.
In addition, her administration managed to purchase other assorted hospital equipment for all levels 2 and 3 hospitals and a few level 4 hospitals.
While noting human resource factor as a critical enabler of health services, Governor Kihika said she has taken deliberate efforts to oversee a motivated workforce.
This is being achieved through promotions, training and engagement of health workers.
“In December 2023, I launched the Community Health Promoters’ Program with 3,190 health promotors on a monthly stipend. The number has now grown to 3,306 with an increased monthly stipend of Kshs.2500. This is expected to raise to Kshs. 5000 per month once the Health Ministry releases its share of contribution.Regarding the other categories of health workers, we have confirmed 187 contractual staff members to permanent and pensionable status. During the same period, we promoted 662 health professionals to higher job positions.”
Further, with the support of development partners, her administration has provided diverse trainings to health workers and promoters.
To ensure uninterrupted supply of drugs and other health products, the county has developed a good working relationship with key suppliers like Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA).
“I am happy to report that my government procured diverse health products amounting to Kshs. 440.3 million in the FY 2022/23.”
In this regard, Kihika called for the need for higher allocations to be prioritized in the coming budge cycles.
While pointing out that the provision of health services is a global collective responsibility, she added that the County has brought on board additional partners from within and without.
Other than USAID and the world vision, the county has established partnerships with close to 60 organizations, all involved in various health programs.
“In the coming months and years we intend to among others projects;Build and or complete level 4 hospitals in all sub counties;Operationalize the Nakuru outpatient hospital at PGH;Complete the ongoing construction of level 2 & 3 hospitals and other health facilities;Purchase land for the construction of new or existing facilities;Complete an ICU/HDU facility at Naivasha sub county hospital;Expand our preventative and promotive health services to reduce communicable and non-communicable diseases, maternal and child healthcare challenges.”
On INFRASTRUCTURE, Kihika noted that the county during the year saw tremendous improvement of roads and other infrastructures.
This was as a result of the collaborative efforts between her office and MCAs.
Through timely allocation of resources, her government has been able to roll out projects aimed at speeding up movements of people, good and vehicular.
This has enhanced communication and development.
Motorable Roads, are enablers of commerce and social networks and, therefore, need to purpose to have adequate resources appropriated for a wider network.
She revealed that with the support of MCAs, during the year under review, 248 road projects were completed comprising of 6.9 Kms of tarmacked roads, 432 Kms of road grading and 209 Kms of gravelling, a number of culverts, gabions and bridges.
Over the same period, the county government maintained 116.2 kms of drainage and constructed additional networks.
Further,  cabro paving of Naivasha Municipal park at a cost of Kshs. 68.0 million and tarmacking of Lake view Roads 6yin Naivasha at a total of Kshs. 83.0 million was done
Within the same period, the county completed phase 2 of Naivasha modern market at a cost of Kshs. 263 million.
Kihika pointed out that the resources sourced from the ward kitty, conditional grants, the World Bank and other county sources, have positively impacted economy and people’s livelihoods.
She singled out the Imara Barabara Initiative that has seen far flung areas opened to vehicular movements.
“Its tremendous success, I have no doubt, will inform this house in its future allocation of resources.Mr. speaker, my government has finalized plans to grade and gravel over 2000 kms of roads, tarmac 5kms of roads, construct 13 foot- bridges and 15kms of new drainage culverts.”
She reported the completion of the governor’s office and the stadium notably Afraha and Keringet stadiums having entered the home stretch.
On WATER, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE, Governor Kihika reported that her government, together with other partners, initiated and completed a number of projects during the financial year 2022/23.
They include drilling of 27 boreholes; electrification and or solarization of 24 boreholes, construction of toilet blocks; rehabilitation of water springs, pans and expansion of water pipelines totaling to 196 projects.
On matters climate change, her  government has joined hands with national and supra national entities in putting in place measures to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.
Some of the interventions in place include the development of Nakuru County Climate Action Plan 2023 that proposes a plethora of actions and interventions to reduce the impact of climate change.
The county has also set up and trained climate change planning committees in all the 55 wards.
Through concerted efforts, the county has presided over the planting of over 450, 000 trees; improved waste disposal sites, and greening of selected sites among other notable initiatives.
The governor also revealed that her government has plans to improve the county water and sanitation situation by sinking More boreholes, de-silting existing water pans, implementing lake Nakuru Biodiversity Project that seeks to inject clean water to the current supply.
On LAND, PHYSICAL PLANNING, HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, the Governor stated that her administration has, for the last one year, implemented programs aimed at easing application for land development and utilization.
“I am delighted to inform this house that we have completed the development of a Land Management System and an Electronic Development Application System (EDAMS). These systems are designed to increase county revenue and reduce human interface in the approval process. With these systems, our revenue collection is expected to grow significantly. We shall continue to upscale the systems to ensure optimum returns.
Other notable achievements include the completion of the County Spatial Plan, a key tool in the planning process, setting up of ad-hoc committees to review development plans for 29 trading centers.
On housing, the county has embraced the national agenda on affordable housing.
To date a total of 605 units at Bondeni have been completed and other sites have been identified to house additional units.
“We have prioritized Bahati and Elburgon Townships whose combine allocation stand at 440 units. To enhance access to other affordable houses, my government has rolled out training of artisans on alternative building technologies. This has been undertaken in our Alternative Building Technologies Centers across the county.Honorable members, in order to improve the living conditions of the poor and the marginalized, my government has embarked, with partners, the upgrading of informal settlements in London, Kwa Murogi, Karagita, and lake view. I launched the first phase last week and other phases have been lined up for launch.”
This program according to Kihika is estimated to cost approximate Kshs. 580 million.
In the same vein, the county government has rolled out programs for the issuance of title deeds.
Last year, Kihika’s administration, in collaboration with the National Government secured, title deeds for residents in Soin, Rongai Sub County.
The county has also pursued and ensured the lifting of land caveats placed on parcels of land in Kuresoi.
She further reported that municipalities have management boards in place and, it is hoped this will catalyze growth and prosperity within urban centers.
“I plan, through numerous instruments, to transfer some of the county functions to the Boards. This will enhance service delivery as we bring services closer to the people.I intend to prioritize the following initiatives in the current financial year and beyond;The development of a housing policy;The passage of a valuation law;The development of county spatial plan; and Development of additional affordable units in Molo, Naivasha and Nakuru.”
On EDUCATION, ICT AND e – GOVERNMENT, in recognition of the roles played by Early Childhood Development Centers (ECDs) and Vocational Training Centers (VTCs) in the development of children and youths, Kihika’s government has allocated resources towards the development of learning facilities and employment of instructors.
During the year, the county government constructed 35 early childhood classrooms at a cost of Kshs.41 million, equipped various centres with the necessary tools and furniture, disbursed Ksh.141.4M to vocational Training Centres situated across the County.
In addition to the stated accomplishments, my Kihika’s administration with support from MCAs, has disbursed bursaries amounting to Kshs.417.1 Million benefiting 108,249 students.
To upscale efforts, the county has lined up a number of programs and initiatives in support of young population.
These efforts include;Employment of 159 ECD teachers in the current financial year;Launch of the school feeding program with an initial target of 60,571 pupils in 1014 ECD centers.
The initial allocation of Kshs. 115 million has since been secured. It is hoped that through this initiative, enrollment in learning centers will be enhanced; Construction and equipping of additional learning centres.
On YOUTH, SPORTS, GENDER AND SOCIAL INCLUSIVITY, Kihika’s administration has managed to put on track the construction and or rehabilitation of facilities; Keringet Sports complex, Naivasha sports ground and the Afraha stadium among others.
With the completion of the Afraha stadium, she pointed out that the county is assured of contribution to the 2027 Africa Cup of Nation to be co – hosted by Kenya.
This facility is poised to be a shining example in the region and beyond.
Her administration has also developed a Sports Policy and a Sports Management Bill aimed at promoting sports and sports infrastructures.
Other policies and bills under consideration include the Youth Policy and the Nakuru County Youth Engagement Service Bill.
As part of empowerment march, Kihika  commissioned a Youth Empowerment Center featuring a digital hub, Ajiry hubs, and a recording studio.
The center is now affording youth, the opportunity to develop and hone their skills in the digital space.
“Mr. speaker, this house allocated Kshs. 27.5 million for the procurement and distribution of assorted sporting equipment. I wish to assure members that necessary steps are being taken to bring this into fruition.Further, we are implementing various projects in support of youths including construction of social halls and creative arts centers.”
On matters AGRICULTURE, Kihika noted that this is a sector primary driver of growth for the county and therefore, great efforts must be employed in ensuring sustainability.
Resources must be deployed to safeguard gains made in the development of the sector.
Kihika’s administration took measured and deliberate efforts to support farmers specifically those on small scale farming.
Kihika has also taken steps to support investors willing to work with county.
“Mr. Speaker, my government has implemented the following interventions geared towards increasing productivity in the sector;Distribution of assorted pyrethrum and avocado seedlings of combined value of Kshs 48.8 million;Successfully distributed over 448,000 bags of fertilizer under the Fertilizer Subsidy program;Constructed and completed 24 tea buying centers;To safeguard post-harvest losses, pests and diseases in crop production, we, in partnership with the national government distributed 2,555 liters of pesticides, 142 assorted sprayers and hundreds of fly traps;Under National Agricultural & Rural Inclusive Growth Project ( NARIGP), my government has funded 197 micro projects proposals at a total cost of Kshs. 62.5 million in selected wards; two producer cooperatives at a cost of Kshs. 31,498,109; funded county driven committees to the tune of Kshs. 12.5 million; rehabilitated pans and ponds as part of adopting climate smart agriculture.”
To address food and nutrition security, the county through, agriculture Sector Development Support program (ASDSP) enhancing the capacity of various value chain actors to seek and provide solutions to problems facing the commercialization of agriculture.
The program funded at a cost of Kshs. 103.84 million, targets value chain actors in pyrethrum, dairy and fish production.
The county has also brought on board investors, including M/S Kentegra Ltd setting up a Kshs. 2 billion Pyrethrum Processing Plant in Naivasha and other investors who are willing to invest in the section.
Highlighting on fish production, Kihika noted that her administration has successfully restocked lake Naivasha, dams and fish ponds with over 326,667 fingerlings at a cost of Kshs. 4.5 million.
“We have also supplied motor boat engines and life jackets to youth groups engaged in fishing activities.”
On TRADE, INDUSTRIALIZATION, COOPERATIVES AND TOURISM,  a number of programs have been initiated and implemented.
These programs are aimed at making Nakuru county attractive to investors and the business community.
Kihika’s administration has been able to Simplify and automate the processing and issuance of business permits; Construct and rehabilitate a number of market sheds to house small-scale traders from all walks of life. A case in point is the Naivasha modern market.
Negotiate for the setting up Of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Naivasha and County Aggregation and Industrial Park (CAIP) at Egerton.
The park has been allocated Kshs. 560 million;Both the SEZ and CAIP will not only create job opportunities for people but also provide business opportunities to farmers and business people.
Dialogue with matatu owners and operators has seen the revival of businesses in the CBD.
It has been a win- win for all actors including county that has put in place plans to operationalize the County Enterprise and Cooperative funds.
This will enable cooperative members and small-scale traders, access affordable credit for business support.
The county has also made great strides in supporting Cooperatives.
During the year, Kihika’s administration registered 52 cooperatives; formed and registered Nakuru Coffee Cooperative Union; embarked on the development of a cooperative policy and a cooperative bill; and trained and sensitized cooperative members.
On tourism, the county is working closely with magical Kenya to identify and map out tourist sites.
Kihika’s administration is also encouraging eco and conference tourism due to the abundance of suitable facilities and sites.
On PUBLIC SERVICE, the county government has put in place measures, including performance management system, to ensure optimum delivery of services to the residents of Nakuru County.
To achieve this, Kihika’s administration is undertaking staff training and development to equip and align staff with the deliverables as contained in the CIDP.
In addition, the county has set aside Kshs.10, 500,000 to develop a Human Resource Information System whose goal is to inject and sustain efficiency in the human resource.
“We are also improving the work environment of our staff through construction of new offices and refurbishment of the existing ones.The Public Service Board saw 1247 members of staff promoted to higher positions, and 446 members of staff confirmed in appointment. Additionally, the Board successfully recruited a total of 478 new members of staff and plans are afoot to recruit more to bridge the existing gaps in our human resource structures,”
On FINANCE AND ECONOMIC PLANNING, the department has made tremendous steps towards streamlining the county finance management processes and enhancing collection of our own resource revenue through cashless revenue collection.
During the year, the department; Collected revenue amounting to Kshs. 3.13 billion representing 87.4 per cent of revenue target;Oversaw the enactment of the Nakuru County Finance Act 2023 and preparation of the Valuation and Rating Bills.Through the County Finance Act 2023, adopted a single licensing regime Unified Trade Permit (UTP). This has improved the administration of revenue and reduced the number of service points;Adopted the automated system for submission of service requests. A case in point being the electronic development application management system (EDAMS);Adopted an automated system for store management, fuel management and fleet management which have since recorded efficiency in expenditure hence reducing costs, Oversaw solarization of power source reducing cost incurred in electricity bills; introduced a cashless system of payment of county levies and fees such as parking, market fees, cess and royalties;Reformed revenue management by appointment of a chief officer in charge of revenue administration, divided the county into 5 revenue zones and appointed champions to head each revenue stream;Prepared key statutory budgeting and planning documents in line with PFM Act and regulations.”
On COUNTY POLICIES AND PLANS; CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT AND NATIONAL VALUES, Kihika’s administration is currently developing and improving targeted policies and plans.
“I strongly believe, these policies and plans will help my government to achieve its objectives in a structured and defined manner.”
Some of Kihika’s administration policies to be tabled at county assembly include Water and Sanitation Policy;Food and Safety Policy;Lake Naivasha Fisheries Management Plan;Medium Term Strategy Paper 2024; County Fiscal Strategy Paper 2023;Public Markets Management Policy;Housing Policy;Nakuru Climate Action Plans;County Health Contingency Plan; and Health Management Policy.

Leave a Reply