Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Chelilim has praised the partnership between the Israel government and the county in water and agricultural sectors noting that it is a key step that will help open up investment opportunities in the county especially as it endeavours to be elevated to city status.
He was speaking on Thursday when he hosted a delegation from Israel led by Israeli Ambassador to Kenya Michael Lotem who was accompanied by a group of experts from one of the leading water companies in Israel who also deal with agricultural services.
The governor pointed out that Israel cooperation was a huge boost that will help address many problems, especially issues of unemployment for the youth and also helping farmers to realise the benefits of value addition in their agricultural products.
He assured the Israel envoy that the county is a secure place for investment as he recalled that the government had already gazetted 135 hectares of land in Eldoret for establishment of the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) which will go a long way to increase in foreign exchange through increased exports, employment opportunities and encourage Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the country among other benefits.
“Today we have the Israeli ambassador to Kenya visiting us again coming with some guests who will help us in matters dealing with water. We want to welcome investors and the more we receive investors like today the more we are connected to the investment world,” said Chelilim.
“As we push for our town to attain city status, we are very ready to host as many friends as possible, especially the investors because this will help us solve many problems, especially addressing the issue of unemployment for the youth and value addition for our farmers,” he added.
He lauded the existing Sh 427 million deal between the Israel government through Elsmed healthcare solutions company that has yielded fruits in boosting healthcare services in various facilities across the County.
Chelilim noted that they were going to visit a number of sites across the county along with a team from Eldoret Water and sanitation Company (ELDOWAS) including the Two-Rivers Dam project, water treatment plants, Ziwa dam projects among others to assess and determine ways of improving the provision of sustainable access to water for the residents of Uasin Gishu.
In his remarks, the Israel envoy said his government’s initiative in Uasin Gishu is keen to support president Ruto’s top agenda on reliable access to water which is why he came along with a team of experts from one of Israel’s leading companies in water technology to support the county’s administration to achieve its mandate in terms of ensuring sustainable access to water to its growing urban and rural populations.
“We know that improving water provision services needs a proper budget therefor governments should prioritise investing in water projects since it is a very essential component of life,” said Amb. Lotem.
“We have been communicating with ELDOWAS in the last two months, they are doing a great job and they have great interest in improving the provision of water services,” he added.
Lotem announced that his government will sponsor 11 students who have had an agricultural background from the county to go and train for 11 months on agriculture in Israel.
By Ekuwam Sylvester