Garissa Governor Nathif Jama has listed improving food security, offering quality healthcare and access to clean water as his main agendas as he embarks on his second and final term as governor.
Aware of the fact that the three remain the biggest challenges in the county, Jama who said he was returning back on a platform of ‘tried and trusted’ assured that his administration was fully focused on addressing the perennial challenges head on.
Speaking during the official opening of the first session of the 3rd Garissa County Assembly Tuesday, Jama said his government will vigorously seek to restore trust in leadership in the county and give people hope that true leadership is about servant leadership.
“As I embark on my job as your Governor, my administration looks forward to having a close cordial working relationship with this house particularly by attending holistically to matters important to our people,” Jama said.
“I have no doubt that this house will be vigorous and objective in supporting our development plans for the county. For instance, we will count on the support of this house to enact all legislation necessary for the smooth management of our socio-economic development requirements,” he added.
In the water sector, Jama promised to pursue appropriate interventions to continue providing water to the residents both in towns and in the rural parts of the county.
He promised to establish new additional water intake points located in different strategic locations along River Tana that he said will ease pressure on the old existing water intake infrastructure and will enable pumping and supply of water to the new, periphery settlements of the town.
The governor further said his administration will construct modern mega dams in the sub counties to conserve rain water that will then be treated and supplied to residents.
In the health sector, the governor noted that urgent strategic measures will be undertaken to reduce child-mother mortality rate which are currently amongst the highest in the country.
“My administration will strive to ensure that access to maternal health and reproductive health is enhanced and provided in all county facilities. We will also renovate and refurbish all existing laboratories, maternity wards, dispensaries, the Garissa mortuary facility, theatres, X-ray centres and create more of these in different parts of the county in accordance to existing needs,” he said.
On livestock and Pastoral Economy that contributes the most towards the county’s economy, Jama promised to pursue a proactive and holistic development plan for the livestock sector such as carrying out enhanced extension of veterinary services to ensure good animal health.
“We also plan to reform the livestock sector into a vibrant commercially-oriented sector through targeted value chains and technology uptake. For instance, we plan to complete the construction of and operationalisation of the Garissa Export Slaughter house for processing of livestock meat and meat products,” he said.
Jama called on the MCAs not to betray the confidence that the people have placed on them saying that history will judge them harshly.
“We have all been given a five-year mandate to raise the standard of living of our people. If we betray the confidence that the people have placed in us, history will judge us harshly. If we abuse the confidence of the public for short term benefits, our legacy will also be irreparably harmed,” he warned.
He called for a paradigm shift in drought management saying that realisation of meaningful development cannot be sustained for the residents unless drought management activities are mainstreamed into the county’s development plans.
The county boss said that the large chunks of land will be secured in each of these three areas for purposes of undertaking large-scale dry-land rain-fed farming initiatives.
The projects will largely be undertaken on the basis of harvested rain water while also underground (borehole) waters may be resorted to where this is deemed economically possible.
By Erick Kyalo