The Kitui Governor, Charity Ngilu underscored her government’s achievements a year in office.
Ngilu said she had invested heavily in the rehabilitation and development of structures for collection and distribution of water, with priority given to areas within the County where people traveled long distances in search of the basic commodity.
In her state of the County address at Kitui County Assembly Chambers on Thursday afternoon, Ngilu said that in the last financial year, her government distributed 1, 600 water tanks mostly to public institutions, which would enable water harvesting and serve over 100, 000 people with clean water.
“We also have a plan to put all our boreholes on solar power to reduce the cost of fuel and make water available and affordable at all times,” Ngilu said.
The Governor further said the county has completed construction of earth dams and was constructing others to curb water scarcity in most parts of the county.
Ngilu said her government had also repaired boreholes and installed solar power to others to ensure that over 165, 000 people and 67, 000 livestock have access to water.
“We inherited 7 tractors which were under-utilized, and now have increased another 10 to make a total of 17 tractors. We will increase these gradually so that each Ward has two tractors to help our farmers till land and plant in good time,” she added.
The county chief said ndengu was one of the greatest successes of the County in recent years, noting that over 49, 000, 000 kilogrammes was produced in the latest season ending the recurrent food shortage in the county.
She said the county would invest in simple, on-farm threshing technologies to reduce labour costs and increase efficiency for farmers.
“Our Ministry of Agriculture has therefore initiated the Myanda Irrigation Programme, where we encourage our people to use every available riverine land to grow tomatoes, onions, capsicum, green pepper, cucumber and water melons,” she said.
She pointed out that the county supported this initiative by providing seeds and pesticides worth Sh30 million.
Ngilu pledged to provide funds to acquire a processing and packaging plant in the current financial year enable aggregation, cleaning, packaging, branding and marketing of Kitui ndengu in bulk for farmers to fetch better prices.
She added that the registration for K-CHIC launched three months ago stands at about 100, 000 households and said that was a big relief in the healthcare sector.
“I owe a big debt of gratitude to this Assembly for the great support you have given to this programme all the way from reviewing and approving regulations for the insurance cover, to supporting community level mobilization for registration, to giving your endorsement by registering yourselves and your families,” she said.
The Governor said her government had invested heavily in skills’ development for the youth, adding that they also intended to focus more on the livestock sector.
By Yobesh Onwong’a