Home / County News / ANNUAL ADDRESS TO THE SPECIAL SITTING OF THE COUNTY ASSEMBLY OF BUSIA BY H.E. HON. SOSPETER ODEKE OJAAMONG, MGH, GOVERNOR OF BUSIA COUNTY ON 4TH DECEMBER, 2018.

ANNUAL ADDRESS TO THE SPECIAL SITTING OF THE COUNTY ASSEMBLY OF BUSIA BY H.E. HON. SOSPETER ODEKE OJAAMONG, MGH, GOVERNOR OF BUSIA COUNTY ON 4TH DECEMBER, 2018.

Hon Speaker, The Hon. Leader of Majority, The Hon. Leader of Minority, Hon. Members, The Clerk to the Assembly, Distinguished Guests, ladies and gentlemen, I take this opportunity to congratulate all of you for a job well done and wish you well as you prepare to go on recess.

It is over a year since you won the mandate to represent the interests of our people. I am convinced that you now fully understand your mandate and the aspirations of our people and have mastered the County Assembly of Busia Standing Orders to the letter.

The First County Assembly laid a strong foundation by passing the highest number of bills in the Country.  These bills have contributed immensely towards improving the lives of Busia residents. The standards are already set.

 It is my utmost belief that you are on course towards breaking the record of your predecessors. As you purpose to pass more bills than the previous assembly, you should also consider passing bills that will enhance revenue collection, attract investment to Busia County, and promote information technology and innovation.

You should also pass bills that will enhance investment in real estate, manufacturing and food security in Busia County. We have to come up with legal frameworks that will create economic turn-around and employment opportunities for our people.

There is need for collaborative efforts between the Executive and County Assembly to actualize the legal frameworks on civic education, and fast-track the enactment of Public Participation Act, Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) Policy and Regulations on Decentralized Units Act 2015.

I am happy to be the Governor of a County where the Executive and Legislative arms of government are working in harmony. I thank God for the unity that our people have embraced, and as leaders of this County we must work together to improve the lives of people of Busia and not take it for granted that we are in leadership, but be humbled and consider it a privilege.

 Honourable Members,

Looking back at our performance since 2013, we have achieved a lot contrary to some skeptics who think otherwise.  We shall strive to work tirelessly to achieve our socio-economic development. I want to leave Busia a better County than I found it. A county with advanced healthcare services, good road networks, availability of clean and safe water for its residents. Also at the end of my second term, I’m looking forward to seeing Busia and Malaba towns transformed into modern towns.

COUNTY INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT PLAN (CIDP)

Honourable Members,

My Government prepared the County Integrated Development Plan (CIPD) 2018-2022 and you approved it. The document reflects development aspirations of the County residents and is aligned with the long-term development objectives of the National Government.

I take this opportunity to thank Honourable Members for acknowledging the Executive’s move to consult over the projects captured in the CIDP and passing the document albeit with amendments.

In the first CIDP (2013 – 2017), my Government made tremendous achievements despite the many challenges faced.

 Honourable Members,

In the new plan, we intend to give priority and increase investment in key flagship projects in line with my 2017 election manifesto, the Kenya’s Vision 2030 and the “Big 4” Agenda of the National Government.

Among the flagship projects captured in the Ksh.106 billion document include the Ksh.300m proposed Alupe Women and Children Level Five Hospital. This will offer specialized treatment to women and children.

University students will benefit from enhanced allocation of Education Support scheme for those being offered scholarships that will gradually increase from Kshs.210m to 420m in the next five years. This means that 70 students will benefit from scholarships in 2018. The number will increase to 140 in 2019, 210 in 2020, 280 in 2021 and 350 students in 2022.

Major projects in agriculture captured in the document include Kshs.75m to cater for equipping and installation of cassava processing plant and Sh185m for Fish and Livestock Processing Plants.

Trade, Cooperatives and Industry has earmarked establishment of Industrial and Business Parks at Kshs. 500m and construction of low cost housing at Ksh.500m.

In the department of public works, Kshs.5.7b has been proposed for upgrading of roads to bitumen standards, Ksh.600m for parking lots for trailers, buses and taxis and Ksh.90m for biomass waste energy conservation.

Water department will use Ksh.3b for countywide water supply services. The County Assembly will install multi-media conference system in committee rooms at Ksh.105m and Sh100m for construction of MCA Block.

Honourable Members,

During the current plan period, my Government will focus on strengthening of internal systems of service delivery including developing the capacity of the existing human capital and building synergies among sectors in implementing the CIDP. I am committed to implementing this CIDP to achieve the development wishes of the residents of this County. Towards this, my government has strongly embraced performance contracting and my office has established The Governor service delivery unit to oversee all development activities in the County. The performance contracts will be signed as follows: CECMs with the Governor, Chief Officers with CECMs, and Directors with Chief Officers in that order. Other cadres will be appropriately appraised using the staff performance appraisal system (SPAS)

 KENYA DEVOLUTION SUPPORT PROGRAMME (KDSP)

Honourable Members,

My Government was the inaugural winner of Kshs. 553 million conditional grant extended to counties through the Kenya Devolution Support Programme (KDSP) by the World Bank. The County achieved this magnificent feat after meeting the conditions in the five key results areas including public finance management, planning, monitoring and evaluation, human resource and performance management, civic education and public participation, and environmental and social safeguards.

The health sector in Busia County continues to receive top priority in the budget allocation by my government. The Department of Health and Sanitation has taken the lion’s share of the conditional grant Busia County Government received through the KDSP.

With the prudent use of our finances in line with the PFM Act we shall strive to win over Kshs. 1billion KDSP reward which is at stake this financial year.

 We are currently undertaking the completion of the High Dependency and Intensive Care Unit at the Busia County Referral Hospital, which on completion will save patients the pain of seeking care in other hospitals outside the County. This building will be ready by end of February next year.

We are looking forward to a healthy County free from non-communicable diseases (NCD) which account for over 50% of our patients. To achieve this, we are planning to equip all health facilities across the County with NCDs testing equipment and basic hospital requirements to enable our people get required medical attention at any given time.

We are also working on a universal health care program by providing medical health insurance cover with the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) services to the elderly, people living with disabilities and our ECDE children.

Once again, I reiterate my Government’s commitment to finish projects which have been pending for long.

 EDUCATION

The Department of Education and Vocational Training has advertised for recruitment of 25 instructors for our Vocational Training Centres (VTCs) and 464 ECDE caregivers/teachers whom we expect to be engaged in the New Year.

We have disbursed Kshs.47million to our VTCs as subsidized VTC support grant to 25 VTCs. The balance of Kshs.15.7m will go towards development projects in selected VTCs. This will enhance enrolment and create conducive environment for gaining technical skills.

On Bursaries, we have advertised for the Governor’s Scholarships. A total of 6,000 applications have been received for specialized courses such as Medicine, Law and Engineering.  We are anticipating having 105 students benefitting from the scholarship that is three per ward.

Honourable Members,

My Government formed Ward Education Support Scheme Committees to vet the beneficiaries for the financial year 2016/2017. The committees have already vetted beneficiaries for 2016/2017 that were not paid and a request for Kshs.68.4m from the National Treasury has already been made.  Once these funds are made available, my Government shall disburse the Bursary to beneficiaries.

On ECDE, my government is working on modalities to pay all pending bills and stalled projects. We shall also be purchasing curriculum design (syllabus) for all public ECDE centres this financial year. Kshs.7.5m has been set aside for the purpose.

My Government is working on the VTC and ECDE bills which will be forwarded to the County Assembly soon for your consideration and approval.

AGRICULTURE

Honourable Members,

Agriculture is the backbone of our economy with more than 90 per cent of our land being productive. As a county, we are taking this advantage to make Busia a food secure and Self-sufficient County.

My Government has entered into partnership with Kenya Climate Smart Project (KCSP), sponsored by the World Bank, to increase agricultural productivity in four (4) value chains including sorghum, cassava, fish and local poultry. KCSP will offer grants of Kshs.117m annually for five years. Through the same program we will construct an Animal and Fish Feeds Factory in the County. This will go a long way to supplement the efforts we have been making to improve value addition.

Plans are underway to add more tractors to the existing 14 to ease mechanization. We are looking forward to an industrialized County with a number of industries to enhance value addition of our farm produce like cassava, cotton, groundnuts and rice. This will help us achieve employment targets for our youth, increase incomes of our farmers and also increase our revenue collection which is now automated.

Honourable Members,

My Government will partner with USAID to upgrade dairy animals in Busia County to improve milk production and reduce imports.

Although Busia County is home to Busia Sugar Industry and West Kenya factories, the sugarcane industry is not fully tapped. With Busia Sugar Industry finally getting a processing license and the official opening scheduled for this week, County residents will benefit from over 1,000 direct job opportunities with farmers getting ready market for their cane.

I am keen on revamping cotton farming in this County. I recently visited India where I learned the productivity of a new cotton variety (BT cotton) which is high yielding and early maturing. My government, together with other stakeholders will soon introduce these varieties to farmers. This will increase cotton productivity. Rift valley textile industries (Rivatex) will supported by the National Government to provide market for the cotton produced.

 WATER

Honourable Members,

My government in collaboration with partners and stakeholders is undertaking major projects in the County to enhance provision of clean and safe water to the residents.

The construction works on the Malaba-Kocholia water supply project which is set to begin in January 2019, will consist of modern sewerage system and water supply plant. The sewerage system will cost about Kshs.700 million while the water supply plant will cost Kshs.600m. This will boost water supply from the current 2,500 cubic metres to 8,500 cubic metres per day. The project is set to be completed by 2021.

Feasibility study for Kocholia Trans-boundary multi-purpose dam has already began. The dam will be used to irrigate 3,000 hectares of land in Malaba South, North and Central wards.

The dam will also supply water to 4,600 households in Teso North, Teso South, Nambale and Busia town. The project which is set for completion by 2024 will have a mini-hydro station and fishing potential.

Other water projects upcoming include; Sega-Bumala water supply and Butula-Funyula-Sio Port-Port Victoria water supply.

  Honourable Members,

My Government has drilled 13 boreholes in the current financial year all being operational.   Teso North has five, Marachi West-3, Kingandole-2, Marachi East, Nangina and Bwiri Wards-One each as follows:

  1. TESO NORTH
  2. Angurai north ward– Apokor and Angurai Market
  3. Malaba North ward – Kamojong
  4. Malaba South ward – Kiriko
  5. Angurai East Ward – Rwatama
  6. BUTULA
  7. Marachi West ward – Buriya Busibula,Ibanda and Bukema- Makenge
  8. Kingandole ward – Nyalwanda and Bumwaya B
  9. Marachi East ward – Olaisa
  10. MATAYOS
  11. Matayos south – Muyafwa
  12. Bukhayo west – Budokomi
  13. FUNYULA

Nangina ward – Enandi

Bwiri ward – Ganga

 As part of my commitment to ensure that residents of Busia County get adequate supply of clean and safe water, I am glad to inform you that my Government through BUWASSCO has taken over the management of Angurai Community Water Project from the World Vision Kenya.

Upon completion this multi-million project will see us supply water to over 65,000 Busia County residents with clean water, thus improving the health status of our people bearing in mind that water is life.  In relation to the same project, my sincere gratitude goes to World Vision – Kenya for bringing this lifesaving project to Busia County and touching the lives of our people.

Six spring protection works have been completed in Nambale through Sustainet.  They have also partnered with my Government to upgrade a borehole in Osia village in Teso South. Another one has been completed in Sio Port with pipeline extensions.

Rehabilitation of existing Ang’orom Community Water Supply is complete with the system changed from electricity to solar. Sustainet has also repaired six water pumps within Ang’orom Ward. Two more boreholes in Matayos South and Bukhayo West Ward are 80% complete. Five spring protection works in Matayos and seven in Butula are due for completion while five more in Teso South and two in Teso North will be completed early next year.

The World Bank through the Kenya Devolution Support Program will undertake the rehabilitation of Madibira spring. It will also upgrade the Busijo water supply and undertake automation of new water metres, Lugulu- Bwaliro and Busia-Mundika water schemes.

ROADS

Honourable Members,

The total road network in the county is approximately 1,600km. This consists of 169 km of tarmacked roads, 592 km of gravel surface and 838 km earth surface. My government understands the need to have good and well maintained roads, and that is why we have put strict measures in place to ensure that contractors do a good job. Many of you will agree with me that the recently murrumed roads were done well. This is because of the measures we put in place and involvement of wanainchi during the murruming process.

My government will murrum further 115kms under fuel levy, Build two bridges one at Sidokho in Bunyala and other at Busibwabo in Matayos connecting to Nasewa and a box culvert at Akibui in Teso North. Kshs 69 million will be spent to open a new road from Onyunyur to Igara in Malaba south ward under KDSP which includes four box culverts among other structures.

We will extend these strict measures to all projects undertaken in the County, and my government will continue to engage the public in all projects undertaken.

Honourable Members,

I am deeply concerned by the state of Busia-Kisumu road. This is the main road leading to Busia town. It is narrow and badly dilapidated. It is a serious bottleneck to regional trade. As a result we end up experiencing accidents and traffic snarl-ups. I appeal to the Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) and other concerned parties to speed up the process of overhauling this road.

My government understands the danger posed by congestion of trailers in Busia and Malaba towns, and it’s for this reason that we have purchased land for trailer parks at Malaba and Mundika.

Together with National government and other partners, we will construct trailer parks in both towns and also construct a Jumuia market within Busia town. This will enhance cross border trade.

  ENERGY

Honourable Members,

Busia County is endowed with good climatic conditions with over 10 hours of sunshine per day throughout the year. Investors can take advantage of this to invest in independent power plants using solar. Blue Economy is an emerging phenomenon that we need to embrace. The County is endowed with a web of permanent rivers, whose upstream potential can be used to create dams for both water conservation and hydropower production.  We can utilize Lake Victoria to venture into cage fish farming.  Busia County has the potential to grow trees that can be used to generate biomass. The County has also the potential to produce electricity from sugarcane by-products.

Meanwhile, my Government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Rural Electrification Authority (REA) to enhance access to power by our rural communities. Kshs.55 million has been committed to this. A total of 45 schemes with an average of 20 households per scheme will benefit from this endeavor. 900 households will be covered in the long run.

Honourable Members,

Busia is a strategic entry point to Eastern and Central Africa. This strengthens the need for an oil depot. The move will help reduce traffic accidents and improve turnaround time for oil shipment destined for the Great Lakes Region States.

Kenya Airports Authority has already undertaken feasibility study giving Busia a clean bill of health to host an International Airport owing to its geographical location.

REVENUE COLLECTION

Honourable Members,

My Government has unveiled a raft of measures by introducing cashless system of collecting revenue.  Revenue collection continues to record a declining trend since the 2015/2016 financial year.  The first quarter of the 2018/2019 FY has realized Kshs. 51m (45%) against the target of Kshs. 113m.

Cash method of collecting Revenue will now be executed using pay bill number and will be manned by iLAB system from Strathmore University. The introduction of the pay bill number is aimed at sealing leakages in revenue collection from revenue officers who fail to discharge their duties diligently, thus leading to drastic drop in revenue.

I am happy that Honorable Members are also sharing similar concerns that there is need for revenue collectors to up their game and meet their targets. Development projects will remain a mirage if we continue falling short of meeting our revenue targets.

  Honourable Members,

I want to take this opportunity to thank Honourable Members for passing the Kshs. 8.6 billion supplementary budget estimates of revenue and expenditure for the 2018/2019 financial year.

For the first time since the advent of devolution in 2013, my Government has allocated 39% (Kshs.3.5billion) to development this Financial Year, up from 28% in the last financial year. This is 9% above the universally recommended ceiling of 30%.

In line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive on projects, our focus will be the completion of stalled and incomplete projects. Solving the issues of pending bills will allow my Government to deliver on its mandates as expected thereafter.

Other ward based projects captured in the supplementary budget include construction of ECDE classrooms, construction of lavatory facilities, procurement of tractors, acquisition of fish cages, construction of dams  and  installation of solar mass  lights.

Honourable Members,

My Government has also allocated funds for the development of by-laws and Town policy, a requirement for Kenya Urban Support Program following the elevation of Busia Town to Municipal status.

 In Conclusion, Development partners play a major role in supplementing my government’s efforts in uplifting the livelihoods of the residents. Some of the development partners operating in Busia include World Bank, USAID, AMREF, UNICEF, World Vision, DANIDA, USAID, CABDA, UNDP and AfDB.

The county government has put in place specific initiatives to empower the youth including reservation of tenders, construction of youth empowerment centres among others.  I urge them to take advantage of these opportunities to empower themselves economically instead of relying on the scarce white collar jobs

Honourable Members,

Let peace and unity prevail in our beloved County to enable patriotic residents realize their cherished dreams. Once again, I wish honourable members the best of luck as you start your recess.  I take this early opportunity to wish all members and County residents a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 20-19. I urge parents not to overspend during the festive season considering the burden they are facing when schools open in January, 2019.

GOD BLESS BUSIA, COUNTY GOD BLESS KENYA

Check Also

YOUTHS LEAD IN NEW HIV INFECTIONS IN BUSIA COUNTY-REPORT

An AIDS response progress report 2018 launched on Saturday reveals that youth aged between 15-24 …

PREPAREDNESS IS THE KEY IN FIGHT AGAINST EBOLA OUTBREAK—– BUSIA DEPUTY GOVERNOR

Busia Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi has underscored the need for preparedness as the key towards …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *