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Nakuru Unveils Sh117 billion County Integrated Development Plan 2023-2027

Nakuru county government has unveiled its County Integrated Development Programme (CIDP) that will guide the implementation of development projects on time and within the budget in the next five years.

The Sh117 billion CIDP is largely focused on achieving industrialisation by transforming the region’s economic structure of subsistence farming to agricultural-led industrialisation.

Governor Susan Kihika indicated that the CIDP 2023-2027 would also guide her economic development agenda for the next five years.

The 3rd generation CIDP is in line with the constitutional requirement that no government resources should be appropriated outside a planning framework.

Speaking during the launch at Nyayo Gardens in Nakuru, Ms Kihika said the document had been subjected to scrutiny by various stakeholders, including the public, and the County Assembly.

Guided by the CIDP, Ms Kihika pledged that her administration would promote sustainable agricultural practices, support smallholder farmers, and create value-addition opportunities to ensure food security and boost the agro-based economy.

In the infrastructure sector, the County boss indicated that priority would be made on the expansion and maintenance of road networks through the Imarisha Barabara programme, and the enhancement of digital superhighway in the County.

“Grading and gravelling of 2000 kilometres of earth road through the Imarisha Barabara programme and tarmacking 66 kilometres of roads within urban centres are among the plans contained in the document,” Kihika said.

She said her administration would explore the use of solar energy to power 80 percent of street lights under the County Street Lighting master plan programme.

The Governor added, “The County will further seek to improve the healthcare facilities to enhance access to quality and affordable healthcare services. The County Government is committed to invest in quality education and skills development initiatives in order to improve the transition rate in Early Child Development Education and graduation rate in Vocational Training Centres.”

Ms. Kihika who was flanked by Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, Governors Ken Lusaka (Bungoma), Wesley Rotich (Elgeyo Marakwet), Nakuru Town East MP David Gikaria, County Executive Committee Member (CECM) in charge of Finance and Economic Planning Mr Stephen Iribe Njogu and Nakuru County Assembly Speaker Joel Karuri affirmed that her government would further endeavour to improve the water access and coverage and achieve sustainable environmental management.

“My administration is dedicated to fostering a conducive business environment, promoting entrepreneurship, and positioning Nakuru County as an attractive destination for local and international investors. In addition, the County is committed to empowering vulnerable and marginalised groups to ensure that no one is left behind,” stated the Governor.

The formulation of the CIDP III was spearheaded by the County Division of Economic Planning, with guidance from the State Department for Economic Planning.

The process focused on the core functions of the County Government and applied a consultative approach to ensure the interests of various stakeholders are captured.

The governor noted that the document has taken into consideration her manifesto, the national government manifesto, the Vision 2030 blueprint, and the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda.

Ms Kihika also launched the County Statistical Abstract (CSA), which serves as a comprehensive compilation of key statistics relating to the social, political, and economic aspects of the county.

She said the document also plays a crucial role in providing reliable and up-to-date statistical information for policymakers and planners.

Under the social sector, the plan outlines health, water and sanitation, education, wealth creation, food security, social development and good governance as major issues that the devolved unit’s administration will deal with.

In the productive sectors, the County Government aspires to upscale investment opportunities to create employment.

The plan aims at improving the productivity of farmers by a number of interventions which include adoption of a productive agri-business model, revamping of extension services, use of improved seedlings and provision of better agricultural infrastructure.

The Governor singled out eight vital development areas to be implemented within the said period, with emphasis on completing projects and programmes initiated by her predecessor in the last five years.

“It would be foolish to fail to complete projects that were initiated by my predecessor. It would be a waste of tax-payers money,” she said, adding that her decision was informed by good governance practice.

The CIDP aims to operationalise and upgrade eight sub-county health facilities into Level Four hospitals offering standard quality healthcare.

The healthcare plan also includes recruiting and placing health workers and sustainably increasing the budget for preventive-curative medical services.

There will be significant investments in sports infrastructure too, as well as promotion of youth talents. The new plan aims at leaving no one behind by mainstreaming crucial issues around gender, youth, and disability.

On Education, Kihika plans to complete ongoing Early Childhood Education Centres (EDEC), construct nine model ECD centres, recruit and post 350 teachers annually, and recruit, and post 300 Vocational Training Centre instructors.

The document contains a plan to increase access to market services, through renovating 23 existing markets and the construction of 25 new ones.

The county plans to increase food security through the induction of farmers on best agricultural practices that will enhance food production.

The plan will give an overall framework for development, and integrate the long-term spatial, sector and urban plans with inputs from the governor’s manifesto, national government programmes, past county development performance, and expectations from the public of other development actors.

Dr Lusaka described the CIDP as an important document to align Kihika’s manifesto to the county development agenda.

“Kihika will succeed in implementing the manifesto in five years, but she needs the support of senior county officials who she has employed to support her vision and mission for the county,” he said.

The Bungoma Governor challenged county officials to be loyal and supportive of the governor for her to succeed in transforming the county.

“We are here today as witnesses that she will succeed in her agenda for the county,” he said.

Lusaka urged the National Treasury to expedite the release of funds for counties to avert a shutdown.

“We call upon the National Treasury to ensure timely and predictable disbursement of equitable share to all the 47 counties in line with the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act 2017 that dictates that funds be received by counties by the 15th of every month,” he said.

Governor Rotich said the plan is impressive and will go a long way in improving service delivery and economic growth of Nakuru County.

He hailed Kihika for being among the first female governors in the Rift Valley, saying she has shown a good example of leadership to girls across the region.

Gikaria said after serving as a mayor and a councillor in the defunct Nakuru Municipality, he was confident that the CIDP was well-developed and focused on key areas of development.

“I have served this city as a mayor and a councillor, and I know that this CIDP will be key in Kihika’s development agenda,” he said.

To effectively finance CIDP III, the County Government is keen on deepening Public-Private partnerships in addition to improving revenue collections through automation to seal gaps through which leakages happen.

Njogu stated that the devolved unit’s mission entails a re-invigoration of the county’s economic landscape, orchestrating perpetual market and street illumination to foster a round-the-clock economy for the business community.

The CECM affirmed that the county’s pursuit of the outlined development plan would seamlessly integrate with overarching global frameworks.

This includes the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, Africa’s Agenda 2063, and the Fourth Medium Plan of Kenya Vision 2030.

“We shall augment investments in micro, small, and medium enterprises. To spur growth, we are working with the national government to establish an industrial park to help achieve the infrastructural economies of scale and aggression,” Mr Njogu stated.

He further reiterated the county’s commitment to proactive measures against climate change and its repercussions, demonstrating an amplified dedication to climate resilience and endorsing sustainable practices as a means of mitigating the impacts of climate change.

By Anne Mwale

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