• I am delighted to join you today as we congregate to commemorate our 55th independence .This momentous   day is significant in our national calendar as it marks the day when we attained full liberation  from the colonial yoke.

 

  • It is equally a historic day in our country as we use it to express our gratitude for the freedom we enjoy.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • I wish to take this early opportunity to thank those of you who have spared their busy schedule to join us here in saluting those brave Kenyans who played a pivotal role in the fight for independence.

 

  • Fifty-five years ago, these brave patriots stood firm and put their lives on the line to give us the freedom that had remained elusive for several decades. Despite a litany of socio-cultural, economic and political challenges that our country faces, we are today able to enjoy those fruits of independence .As a County, we are duty bound to ensure that we achieve peace, unity and prosperity that those patriots dreamt of.

 

  • Fellow County men and women, Jamuhuri is more than a celebration. It is a time for us as a people to reflect on our challenges and achievements. It is also a time to take stock on whether the 55 years of self rule has positively impacted on our lives.

 

  • As a patriotic citizen, it is imperative that you also ask yourself what you have done to your country since your actions no matter how negligible, can help shape the future.

 

  • As County government, this year’s Jamuhuri has come on the stroke of the first year of our second term in office.

 

 

  • Despite myriad challenges that include protracted political battles, erratic flow of funds from the exchequer and a huge wage bill, our resolve as a County government is to ensure that you reap the fruits of devolution.

 

 

  • We may have not yet met all your expectations but I wish to assure you that we are committed to leave a legacy as per my pledge when I last took oath of office.

 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • As a government, we can not forget to acknowledge the fact that our cordial relations with the private sector,Non Governmental Organizations and the National Government and its agencies has enabled us to deliver on some of the development promises we made in 2013.

 

 

  • At the County level, I wish to salute the National Government through the County commissioner Mr. Irungu Macharia and his entire security committee for their unrelenting support and cordial working relationship.

 

 

 

  • I will also not forget to sincerely thank our MPs, members of the County Assembly and the people of Homa Bay for their steadfast support for my government.

 

 

 

  • I want to assure the County Assembly that we recognize and respect their autonomy as an institution and as usual, will always endevour to brief them on what the Executive does with funds allocated to our County.

 

  • We will also continue to hold public participation forums so that the public get opportunity to interrogate our development road maps.

 

 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen

  • Allow me for the sake of accountability to briefly highlight some of the strides we have made in development.

 

 

  • In the Health sector, there has been a remarkable improvement in the fight against HIV scourge. The latest UNAIDS survey has shown a remarkable decrease from 27% in 2013 to the current 20.1%. Due to increased counselling and testing in all our community health units, my government is optimistic of a further drop in the prevalence rate.
  1. . I am also delighted to note that through successful interventions, the prevention of Mother-to-child transmission of HIV has also tumbled down from 16% to 8%.

 

 

  • I want to reiterate that contrary to claims by some pessimists, ARV drugs are available for free in all public facilities, thanks to our partners.

 

 

  • My government has equally continued to fulfill its obligation through payment of a large part of debts owed to KEMSA. I direct the Ministry of health to take care of those drugs as pilferage to private facilities will not be condoned.I also urge the public to be hawk eyed and report any misdemenour relating to theft of government drugs.

 

 

 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • Through partnership with development partners, new rural Health facilities have been opened in Miriu and Malela. We have also opened a 40 bed capacity ward in Mbita as part of improvement of health services in the County.

 

  • Following major rehabilitation at the County Referral Hospital, the facility is now not only clean but also well maintained and conducive to patients. The long awaited plans to jointly upgrade it with a partner is still on course.This investment will enable the health facility provide world-class health care, attracting additional investments in Housing, Trade and hotel industry.

 

  • My government has also finalized plans to recruit additional health workers so as to bridge the human resource gaps still being witnessed in some of our health facilities.

 

  • At the same time, I will not forget to remind  the people of Homa Bay  that our  County  also received two Doctors from Cuba who included an Orthoepedic surgeon and a family Doctor.Since their arrival,the two have worked  There are plans to rotate them to our sub County hospitals.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

  • When we took over as a County government, we embarked on an ambitious road infrastructure development and maintenance program. Through cordial inter-governmental relations and partnership with the African Development Bank, butimisation of the following roads is currently ongoing in the county;
  • Oyugis-Kendu Bay road – 19Kms
  • Oyugis-Rodi Kopany road-30Kms
  • Oyugis-Gamba road -6 kms
  • Suneka-Asumbi -Rangwe road
  • Olare-Imbo- 12 kms
  • Omoya-Ndiru-Kodhoch-Kadel-25 kms
  • Misambi-Karota-6Kms

 

  • The construction work on the 33 km Kadongo-Gendia road which is fully funded by the County government is nearing completion. The reconstruction work of a damaged section between Kadongo and Kauma health centre is currently ongoing and will be followed by placement of the second seal on the said entire section.

 

  • During the 2017/2018 Financial year, the department of roads carried out grading of 350 Kms of classified and unclassified roads.During the same period,a total of 280Kms was also gravelled.

 

 

 

  • Towards improving accessibility to remote parts of the County, the County government has also constructed and completed a number of bridges and several other drainage structures including the Achak Bridge linking Kokwanyo and Kakelo Kamroth in Rachuonyo East Sub County. The Akecha Bridge in Homa bay town, Ratila Bridge in Kojwach and Magoma Bridge in Mfangano Island among others.

 

  • In order to improve transport network across Ndhiwa Sub County, my government has during the current financial year earmarked Marindi-Magina-Pala-Oria- Kowuonda road as its flagship project.

 

 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • I am delighted to report that the Sh1.2b Homa Bay town water supply project has kicked off in earnest with the drilling of two boreholes at Rodi Primary school and Rodi market. The completion of the new water system in Homa Bay town will increase production capacity to 9,600 cubic metres a day from the current 4000.

 

  • The sh 90m  Kodera-Kanyaluo-Central Karachuonyo water project jointly funded by World vision and the County government which was launched back in 2015 has to date , covered 17 out of the total of 25 kilometres.Upon completion, it will discharge 6000 cubic metres daily with over 25,000 household in Kanyaluo, Kagan, West Kasipul and Central Karachuonyo as the main beneficiaries.

 

 

  • The renovation of West Karachuonyo Water project at Homa lime that entailed installation of new pump, upgrading of power system to three phase, renovation of rising mains and complete renovation of treatment plant is complete.It is envisaged that it will provide water capacity of 4600 cubic meters per day to the surrounding areas while phase two of the project that involves the renovation of distribution line is due for completion in January 2019.

 

  • In Sindo , Suba South, a Sh 51m project jointly funded by Lake Victoria South Water services Board and County government is due for handing over after completion and will benefit  12,000 household.

 

  • Ladies and Gentlemen

The County government has also embarked on   equipping 28 boreholes that have been capped. The tender for the contract which include installation of reservoir tanks, solar pumps and panels and construction of two water kiosks each has since been awarded.

 

 

  • At the same time, both the Sh. 650m Kendu Bay and Sh. 750m Oyugis water supply projects funded by the African Development Bank have been awarded   and work is set to kick off soon.

 

 

  • To step up environmental conservation, my government through the Department of Water recently launched the “Kazi kwa Vijana” initiative in Homa Bay Town. The program which has seen a total of 120 youths and women directly employed has improved the cleanliness of Homa Bay Town. It is expected to be cascaded to other towns like Rangwe, Ndhiwa, Oyugis, Mbita, Kendu bay and Kadongo .

 

  • I wish to thank Equity Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank, Shivling Super market and other partners who have facilitated the bins erected within Homa Bay town. As I welcome other partners to support this noble initiative, I urge residents to use them well as we conserve our environment.

 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

  • To improve Trade, investment and industrialization sector, the County government has initiated a number of projects most of which are nearing completion.

 

  • The animal feed project at Arujo is in good progress and is set for completion by February 2019. Equally, the Maize processing plant at Kigoto which was bogged down by land ownership is also in good progress with the machinery already on site awaiting installation.

 

  • I wish to report that my government is currently engaged in improvement of market infrastructure across the County.Modern toilets are being constructed in 48 markets while upgrading of other markets is on in another 26 markets .The upgrade of Nyakwere market which is being carried out in partnership with UN Habitat is nearing completion and is due for occupation by traders by February 2019.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • Agriculture is a key sector for the County’s sustained economic growth. It is the leading income contributor at the household level and main- stay of household food security.

 

  • On a positive note, I wish to report that farmers in Homa bay County recently earned sh 38m through the sale of 1.1million kilograms of sorghum to East African Breweries Ltd.

 

  • My government also recently distributed 2.5 tonnes of green gram seeds to farmers in all the 8 sub counties as a means of improving the horticultural sector.

 

  • On Fisheries, my government while working closely with various BMUs has completed the construction of 39 modern toilets along the beaches. A total of 15 water tanks have also been supplied to 16 beaches.

 

 

 

  • As part of our efforts to improve the Blue Economy area, several new roads leading to the beaches have also been opened .I urge the people of Homa Bay to take advantage of opportunities available in this sector.

 

 

  • On livestock, my government has improved and modernised the slaughter house in Homa Bay town .At the same time, through collaboration with the National Government,the County government is involved in the fight against  Tsetse fly menace in Lambwe Valley and its environs .So far five, interventions have been carried out in Kigoto Yongo, God Jope and Ogando .

 

  • My government in collaboration with USAID and ILRI carried out accelerated value chain on dairy where a number of local cows were artificially inseminated.This initiative has seen increased milk production more specifically areas covered by Kasbondo Diary project in Kabondo Kasipul, Kasipul and parts of Rangwe. USAID is currently helping with construction of milk cooling plant in which the County government constructed the road and connected water supply.The government has pledged to pay for connection cost.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

  • My government is keen to build a strong foundation in education by strengthening Early Childhood Education.

 

  • Since we employed 1,319 ECDE teachers to work in 876 ECDE centers ,enrolment has skyrocketted to 79,580 pupils from 52,350 in 2013.We have equally employed 8 sub County Directors of ECDE and one supervisor in each of the 40 wards.

 

  • My government in collaboration with other development partners that include UNICEF, World Vision, Child Fund and Plan International has constructed 219 classrooms as part of efforts to improve teaching and learning environment.As a County government, we have also set aside sh 57m during the current financial year towards construction of 40 additional classrooms.

 

  • On Bursary to bright and needy children, a total of Sh. 150m has been disbursed since 2013.

 

 

 

  • In order to enhance skill development and equip youths for job market, the County government has put in place 31 Vocational Training Centers with 120 instructors employed and posted.Currently the National Government is providing capitation of sh 15,000 to every student enrolled in all Vocational Training centres.We call upon our youths to take advantage of this and benefit from this initiative.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

  • My government is committed to the construction of the Homa Bay county stadium as was evident through an advertisement in the dailies. The construction will be carried out in three phases.Work on the perimeter wall  which had stalled due to adverse weather condition   is currently ongoing. A mega design of the main stadium covering phases 2, 3 and 4 has been completed and delivered while  procurement process for the main work is 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • Energy is very critical in the development of any society. In 2014, my government installed nearly 800 solar lights in over 300 markets most of which currently require renovation. The County government has allocated Sh. 30 million towards the renovation of all the faulty solar and street lights.Tender has already been awarded to two contractors who should have now been on site.

 

  • It is important to note however that most of these solar and street lights have been victims of vandalism and political sabotage.I call upon all County men and women to own and protect all the solar and street lights once installed.I want to announce that strict measures will be taken against those caught vandalizing public properties.
  • Through a partnership between KPL and the County government,work on the main Kendu-Bay Street is complete The other towns earmarked for street lighting project include Mbita, Rangwe, Kadongo, Ndhiwa and Magunga.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

  • Under the president’s four agenda of affordable housing, universal health care, food security and manufacturing, our County is taking the lead in the affordable housing agenda. The County government signed an MoU with the state department of housing and urban development for the construction of 2000 affordable housing units. Already, letters of allotment for the parcels intended for the low housing scheme are ready.

 

  • I wish to also announce that a total of 10,000 Title deeds are ready for issuance to residents in respective sub counties and wards and I appeal to the owners to collect them from the Lands offices.

 

As I conclude, ladies and gentlemen,

  • I want to confirm to the public that Homa Bay County is a full fledged member of the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) and my Executive has approved the LREB bill and submitted to the County Assembly for all the necessary legislative processes.I call upon the County Assembly to hasten its approval.

 

  • At the same time, my government is set to embark on a capacity building process for youths and women aimed at ensuring that they exploit the Blue Economy and its resources for economic growth, improved livelihood and job creation while preserving and conserving the health of the water systems.

 

 

 

  • I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

 

                                     THANK YOU