The Meru County government has shifted focus from infrastructure to social development with a view to uplifting the living standards of the residents.
Addressing the media, Governor Kiraitu Murungi said his government has in the past been concentrating on infrastructure development but added their main focus at the moment is to empower the residents and in the process improve their economic status.
Kiraitu spoke immediately after receiving his clearance certificate from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to seek re-election as the county boss.
“We want this time to focus on the human beings and not on physical infrastructure in order to lift them from the current living standard to the next,” said Mr Murungi.
He said emphasis will be placed on the youth, women and people with disability.
“Primarily we want to see to it that we have put in place measures that will work towards uplifting our youth by putting resources in fighting unemployment, poverty and hopelessness in the County,” he said.
Kiraitu said his government is set to establish a Sh1billion youth development fund to empower the youth through grants and interest-free loans that will spur youth enterprise, creativity and employability.
To uplift women in the County, Kiraitu is seeking to expand the already existing ‘Twaweza’ program and establish a Sh1billion women development fund to enhance their economic, social and political empowerment.
“Women are pillars in our families and if empowered, then we shall realise transformations in families and the county at large,” said Mr Kiraitu.
The County government is also set to allocate Sh300 million medical insurance fund for the elderly and the people with disability.
“We will put a lot of resources in the social welfare of the elderly and the PWDs so that we can take care of the more vulnerable members of our society,” he said.
“I will also allocate Sh100million social welfare fund to cushion the most vulnerable and needy members of our society such as orphans, widows, the elderly and street children from extremities of poverty and food shortages.”
These interventions, Kiraitu added, will ensure that even those who can’t be employed can get money through the empowerment programme.
By Dickson Mwiti