Incoming Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wesley Rotich has called for the reorganisation of the county’s budget to enable him implement county projects.
In his inauguration speech after being sworn in by Justice Reuben Nyakundi at the Iten grounds, the governor said that the county gets Sh4.6 billion from the national treasury while it raises Sh100 million from revenue bringing to a total of Sh4.7 billion.
He said a total of Sh3.6 billion goes towards recurrent expenditure thus leaving only Sh1.1 billion for development which is again disbursed to the 20 wards under the Equity Development Act thus leaving the governor with nothing to undertake projects at the county level.
“I am therefore appealing to you through the MCAs to let Sh813 million go to the wards while the rest remains at the county level,” he said.
Noting that health is among his priorities, Rotich said he plans to put in place an automated system of dispensing drugs in health facilities and called on MCAs to increase allocation of funds for purchase of drugs.
He added that he plans to equip one health facility in each ward in addition to ensuring there are personnel so that only few cases are referred to the sub county hospitals while only emergencies reach the Iten county referral hospital.
The governor said as part of initiatives to improve security along the Kerio Valley, he will encourage clans living along the area to have their land adjudicated so that they can use it to economically empower themselves.
“We have a big chunk of idle land along the Kerio Valley which is being used by criminals to cause mayhem yet if it is adjudicated, residents can have title deeds which they can use to engage in contract farming and other ventures to earn from the land,” he said.
The governor added that he will encourage public-private partnership as part of resource mobilization saying the county will provide incentives like construction of buildings and leasing of land for anyone wishing to start industries in the county.
“We will also provide lease for land in the Rimoi game reserve to investors willing to construct eco lodges while the county benefits from gate collections,” the governor said.
In line with the Kenya Kwanza manifesto, Rotich said that he plans to establish a hustler fund where small business operators can access loans to either start or improve their businesses.
He said that 200 youths from class 8 to form four will be sponsored to enroll in technical training institutions and after graduation they will access the hustlers fund which will enable them buy tools and start their income generating activities.
At 34 years, the governor who is the youngest in the country promised to deliver on his promises but called for support from everybody to achieve his agenda for the next five years.
The Deputy Governor Prof Grace Cheserek said she will focus on the empowerment of women but will not forget the boy child.
The function was attended by outgoing governor Alex Tolgos, elected incoming and outgoing leaders, the clergy led by Bishop Dominic Kimengich of Eldoret catholic diocese and thousands of residents.
By Alice Wanjiru