Following my successful reelection on the 8th August 2017 by a majority of the Siaya County residents, my government has initiated a raft of measures and processes meant to define my last five years in office as the pioneer Governor of Siaya County. Despite the extended electoral period after the August 2017 election which became necessary as a result of the nullification of the presidential election, The Siaya County Government has launched programs that will ensure economic, social and political stability for the next five years and beyond. Key among these has been the steps taken to address the perennial water crisis in Siaya, the partnership with Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd to increase the amount of electric power available to the people of Siaya and reformation of Siaya County Government.
In order to promote agricultural commercial farming, I have discussed and agreed on mass production of Cotton and Sisal within Siaya County through Agriculture and Food Authority, a state parastatal mandated to promote, regulate and develop agricultural commercial farming in Kenya. During a meeting at my office with officials from the parastatal and select entrepreneurs, I noted that the Siaya County climate is conducive for both Cotton and Sisal crops production and such commercial intervention was timely. It is expected that we will identify markets for such mass production and provide employment to our farmers interested in sisal and cotton production. The public launch of this initiative will be announced in the short term.
The County Government of Siaya takes very seriously the investment of Private Partners within the county. Apart from making the necessary laws to promote public private partnerships, the county has maintained an open door policy to attract more private partners. Having made tremendous contributions to the local economy and its environs, The Dominion Firm has since moved out of Siaya County. We are in consultations with other partners to ensure the continuous utilization of Yala Swamp and further information will soon be available on new agreements signed with partners to ensure economic benefits to the citizenry of Siaya County. Any agreements reached will be beneficial to the local community.
Access to electric power has the potential of increasing opportunities for job creation and public and private investments. In partnership with Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd and Kenya Power, the Siaya County Government has agreed on the extension of The Kisumu ~ Bondo ~ Sio Port Power Transmission Line. The new power line is expected to boost electricity supply and strengthen the existing power transmission system by 132KV within SIAYA County. A feasibility study has been approved and is on course to establish the viability, cost estimates and projections of this landmark initiative.
The County Assembly has the constitutional mandate of vetting and approving names of County Executive Committee Members nominated by The Executive for appointment. I have nominated a fresh list of nominees and forwarded to the Siaya County Assembly for approval. In order to help with the implementation of my legacy projects and the county integrated development plan, I am optimistic that the resubmitted list will be approved by the assembly thereby reducing the anxiety that has gripped the electorate who have since been impatient with the implementation process.
To efficiently and consistently avail water services to the people of Siaya County, the activities of Siaya Bondo Water Services and Sanitation Company have had to be relooked at with a view to reorganizing and restructuring the entity for effective service delivery. Apart from inaugurating a new board of directors to the company, my government has since ensured that the company is audited with a view to identifying the difficulties associated with water supply shortages and thereby addressing them. Save for the latest major water pipe burst along the water transmission line, the frequency and consistency of water supply to the households and business premisses by Siaya Bondo Water Services and Sanitation Company has since been restored. The engagement of a new chief executive officer will thereafter follow after completion of the on going audit process to ensure a complete turn around of the water supply entity.
Within the last three months, I have also received an Interim Report on Siaya County Public Land Audit to help asses the extent of usage, misuse or non usage of the public land available in Siaya. The report will shortly be available to the public for implementation. I take this opportunity to encourage those who have benefited from irregular allocation of public land to vacate such spaces and allow public investments before forceful evacuation is launched. My government intends to implement the recommendations of the report including re demarcation of public transport bus stops and demolition of illegal structures erected within our major town centres to give way for public roads and modern structures for small scale business entities. All traders along the road currently trading in road reserves will effectively be relocated to gazzeted local market centres to ease access to investment opportunities immediately the report is launched.
It is worth noting that the intermittent delays in disbursement of funds by the national treasury has derailed implementation of very noble initiatives promised during the campaigns. Apart from the funds to pay County Staff, no other funds particularly earmarked for development have since been disbursed by the treasury within the last 100 days of my government. It is expected that the National Treasury will immediately disburse funds to the counties to enable major initiatives to take root for the benefit of the citizenry.
Siaya County has been the greatest victim of police brutality and the killings resulting from the contested presidential election of 8th August 2017. Over 10 citizens from the county have lost their lives in the post election chaos thereby leaving behind a trail of orphans, widows and distraught families. While we condole with the families, we condemn in very strong terms police brutality metted on citizens carrying out peaceful protests to agitate for electoral justice.
The Siaya County Assembly has since passed the bill on The people’s ASSEMBLY and we stand by the NASA coalition on it’s push for far reaching reforms to strengthen devolution and fight for electoral justice in Kenya. We further encourage our citizenry to continue boycotting products of companies that have participated in promoting electoral injustice and reforms.