TEXT OF SPEECH BY HE DR. CLEOPHAS LAGAT GOVERNOR NANDI COUNTY DURING THE 54TH MADARAKA DAY CELEBRATION AT KAPSABET SHOWGROUNDS, 1ST JUNE 2017
H.E, the Deputy Governor, Dominic Biwott,
Nandi Senator Hon Stephen Sang
Hon. Members of the National Assembly present,
Hon. Speaker and Members of the County Assembly,
Hon. Members of the County Executive,
Commanders of the disciplined forces,
The Teaching fraternity,
Kaburwo Council of Elders,
Members of the Fourth estate,
Distinguished residents of Nandi County,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to join you during this auspicious occasion as we commemorate our 54th Madaraka Day.
As we gather today to honour those who fought for our freedom and the self-governance that earned us the power to manage our own affairs, it is an opportunity as well to reflect and celebrate the strides we have made so far as country and as a County.
It was the dream of our founding fathers that this Country was not only liberated from the yoke of colonialist, but her people enjoy the freedoms of expression, to exercise their democratic rights, right to life, right to pursue progress and unhindered enjoyment of liberty . It is remarkable that 54 years later our Country has lived out this dream and continues to prosper both economically, socially and politically.
We endevour to foster these gains as is demonstrated today by the devolved system of government, which has enhanced good service delivery to the ordinary Citizen. It is no doubt that devolution has in big way transformed many lives and improved the socio – economic status of majority of the Citizens.
Today, a farmer can deliver his fresh farm produce to the markets because of improved feeder roads. Emergency medical intervention is now possible courtesy of the availability of proximate ambulance services.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Four years ago you entrusted us with the leadership and we embarked on serious agenda to transform Nandi into a better County. I am glad to note today that Nandi County is not where it was before devolution.
At the dawn of my Administration, I outlined key areas under my manifesto that would serve as basis for executing my development agenda. Foremost was provision of clean water to households, improvement of infrastructure, access to good healthcare, employment of ECDE teachers, improvement of agriculture, promoting sports among others.
My fellow residents you can attest to these significant improvements. Nandi County is an agricultural based County and one of the food baskets in the North Rift Counties. Under my government, we have bolstered steps to turn around the sector, among them revival of various cattle dips across the County, distribution of over 170,000 free coffee seedlings to various groups and farmers to promote the crop, revival of Nandi County Agricultural Show and Trade Fair which had stalled for 8 years, revamping of Kaimosi Agricultural Training Centre and unveiling of free subsidized AI services.
I also wish to extend my gratitude to all our esteemed partners in the sector namely KALRO, Kenya Seed, USAID Kenya, KAVES, ASDSP, One Acre Farm among many others who have at all times supported us through trainings, research and providing the requisite skills and advise to our farmers. Other than sugarcane and maize, tea remains a major cash crop and major source of income to many of our farmers. It brings relief to note the slight improvement in its prices after few years of uncertainty.
Nevertheless, I urge our farmers to also diversify and venture into the new innovative purple tea which has both medicinal benefits and promising agro – business opportunity. Similarly, I recognize and congratulate the US Government for its effort to boost the crop through a joint partnership with Nandi County farmers. I applaud the initiative by the US Government to directly purchase and sell the purple tea from Nandi farmers to the International market. This is indeed great milestone and a chance for our farmers to exploit this new venture.
Furthermore, to enhance the sector, we have opened up and upgraded several road networks across the County. So far we have managed to open up key areas in some of the places that were previously inaccessible before devolution in most rural areas in our County, particularly along the Nandi Escarpment and Tindiret region.
The food shortage that recently hit our Country pose a challenge to all of us as a Country and particularly to us as a County, to think on better ways to improve on our production in order to ensure that our grain reservoirs are sufficient at all times. At this juncture I thank the Jubilee Government for the quick intervention to avert the problem.
Ladies and Gentlemen
As you are all aware ECDE is a devolved function and my Administration has undertaken stringent measures to promote the sector. We have employed at least 850 ECDE caregivers and constructed more than 100 classrooms. On Vocational Training Centres we have employed 63 Vocational Instructors and constructed 20 vocational training centres.
Health remains a key and a top priority under my Government. We have made major strides in the sector in an effort to enhance service delivery. Among them is the acquisition of the 8 state – of – the art ambulances, renovation of 40 staff housing units in Kapsabet County Referral Hospital which had stalled for 30 years, construction of maternity wings, steady supply of drugs and installation of modern equipment. We have also employed more staff and absorbed staff under the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) in order to enhance human resource in our medical facilities. Our free ambulance services have succeeded in saving many lives, particularly mothers and the newborns.
My fellow County men and women
It was my vision to provide clean water to every household in this County. It is notable to mention that today water supply in County has improved to 39% up from the initial 18%, with several water projects in various stages of completion.
Nandi County is known for it is prowess in the field of athletics having produced renowned champions both in the Regional and International competitions. In the spirit of promoting and nurturing young talents, we embarked on a mission to construct modern stadia in Nandi Hills and Kapsabet towns and I am glad to report that the projects are going on smoothly. The Kipchoge Keino stadium in Kapsabet is now at its second phase of construction. Additionally, I wish to thank Sameeer Group of Companies – Nandi Tea for its initiative to support our sportsmen and sportswomen by constructing another stadium under the Private Public Partnership in Nandi Hills. This indeed is a good gesture, a sign of commitment and determination to foster the spirit of sportsmanship in our County. I urge other organizations and multi – nationals to follow this good example.
My Government has endevoured to create and sustain an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. It is notable that for the last 3 years new highrise premises have mushroomed in Nandi Hills and Kapsabet towns. Similarly a new cadre of entrepreneurs has emerged as a result of our sound policies that support business and promote the business community.
Ladies and gentlemen
Allow me at this juncture, to register my utmost appreciation to the Nandi County residents for having given me the opportunity to serve them as their first Governor. It is historic and honourable to have held such a portfolio , I will forever be indebted for your trust to lead you at the inception of devolution. We have laid a strong foundation upon which future progress will be realized.
Let me commend all the residents of this County for demonstrating high sense of democracy and maintaining peace during the recent Jubilee party nominations. They say that in every competition there must be a winner. Nandi people have spoken and I respect their voice. I want to assure the winners of Jubilee party tickets of my unwavering support in the coming general elections. I believe that leadership is all about sacrifice, commitment and servant hood. Political competition must never be allowed to degenerate into hate and division amongst ourselves.
I want to urge the incoming Administration to embrace the spirit of inclusivity and fairness in dealing with all the residents of Nandi. Nandi County is blend of different cultures and home to all the Kenyan Communities. Additionally, we are a County of many religious and denominational persuasions, which call for tolerance and fair treatment. It is my sincere hope that the peaceful and harmonious co –existence that held us together as one happy family will be maintained for generations to come.
On the upcoming general election, it is my call to all the Nandi residents to come out in large numbers and vote for their leaders. Nandi County is home to Jubilee party and I urge all of us to turn out in large numbers to re – elect H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto as well as all the Jubilee candidates.
As I conclude, may I take this opportunity to wish the Muslim Community a fulfilling Holy Month of Ramadhan and a happy Madaraka Day to you all.
God Bless you, God Bless Nandi, God Bless Kenya
H.E. DR CLEOPHAS LAGAT
GOVERNOR, NANDI COUNTY