Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong has asked residents of Busia County to embrace Blue Economy by taking advantage of Lake Victoria and other permanent rivers in the county to improve their livelihood.
Speaking while addressing a special sitting of the county assembly in his Annual Address on Tuesday, Governor Ojaamong said that there were many sources of water whose potential resident could tap to improve their economy.
‘‘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,” he said
The Governor’s call comes barely a week after Kenya held the World‘s Blue Economy Conference at the Kenya International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi.
The Governor added that the Ang’urai Community Water Project which the County Government has taken over from World Vision Kenya will ensure that residents of Busia County get adequate supply of clean and safe water.
“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,” he said in his 30 minutes address.
Governor Ojaamong said that his 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, “he added.
Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong has unveiled a raft of measures aimed at improving the county’s economy.
The Governor said his Government had 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 a Municipal status.
“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,” he said.
The Governor said cash method of collecting revenue will now be executed using pay bill number and that is manned by ILAB system from Strathmore University, adding that the introduction of the pay bill number is aimed at sealing loopholes in revenue collection from revenue officers who fail to discharge their duties diligently, thus leading to drastic drop in revenue.
Governor Ojaamong said his Government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Rural Electrification Authority (REA) to expand access to power by rural communities, adding that Kshs.55 million has been committed to the project that will benefit over 900 households.