Governor Charity Ngilu has promised a paradigm shift in her administration to accelerate service delivery to her electorates.
She called for a shift of focus from her as the county’s top leader together with other top officials of the county government to the county residents.
Addressing administrators of the county’s devolved units at the Kenya Forest Research Institute (Kefri) Kitui grounds, Ngilu charged county staff to drop the old practice characterized by laxity, bureaucratic tendencies, red tapes and the big man syndrome.
“Unless you do something and at the end show what lives you have changed, count yourself a failure” the governor said.
The governor heralded a departure from the flamboyance and opulence of the previous administration symbolized by red carpets, executive chairs, a mobile toilet and other protocol demands when she attended a simple burial ceremony in her first public appearance outside the county headquarters upon assuming office.
She sat under an acacia tree on a simple plastic chair without a tent over her head and a carpet under her feet when she joined mourners for the burial of 31 year old Annah Mwikali in Kalambani, a remote area of Mutha ward in Kitui South.
“The red carpet, arm chairs and mobile toilet are now a thing of the past. I don’t want to see them in any of my functions” she said when she addressed the mourners amid applause.
In her first 40 days as governor, Charity Ngilu has already initiated various mitigation programs in water, agriculture and health to help alleviate residents’ long suffering in the three key areas as enumerated in her manifesto.
Kitui, a vast county of 8 sub-counties and 40 wards, has suffered perennial hunger with residents relying on relief food from the government and other charitable organizations among them CARITAS, Red Cross and World Vision Kenya.
Livestock deaths have remained at high levels in the county too as cattle lack adequate feed and water.
Through the water scarcity mitigation program, an estimated 22,000 residents so far have been supplied with clean water delivered through tankers while an estimated 107 boreholes and pipelines which had previously broken down have been repaired to offer a lasting solution to the crisis.
And through the medical outreach programme launched by the governor on Monday September 11th at the Kitui level IV hospital, over 14,000 residents living in far flung areas of the county have benefited from free mobile medical services.
Sponsored by the county government together with JHPIEGO and the Center for Health Solutions (CHS) the outreach programme has taken free health services among them immunization, family planning, ante-natal care, screening, laboratory services, de-worming, cervical and prostate cancer screening to 45 centers in 10 wards in the county.
The programme has been hailed by residents for creation of jobs to sixty jobless trained community health nurses who have been engaged on a locum taking home a good sum of Kes 1500 every day.
“With their support, we have been able to revive health facilities that had been closed down for lack of staff and medical supplies” the governor says.
The governor has since breathed new life into the ailing agricultural sector which for decades has suffered mismanagement characterized by obsolete and inappropriate farming methods which experts have attributed to a perennial hunger in the county.
Through her farm ploughing programme launched a fortnight ago, the governor has introduced mechanized agriculture in the county to boost subsistence farming.
During her inaugural ceremony, the governor promised farmers timely supply of fertilizer and seeds accompanied by technical support by agricultural extension officers to help residents grow viable crops considering the county’s harsh climatic conditions.
She said her administration will assist farmers fetch good prices for their green grams through proper marketing and enactment of mutual contracts with consumer nations.
“We shall henceforth export our green grams directly to India and other nations without going through brokers and middlemen who year after year have controlled market prices conning our farmers” she pronounced.
Green grams or ndengu, as the crop is popularly known locally, is considered the region’s cash crop.
Altogether, the governor promised to revise Kitui County’s Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) together with the county Annual Development Plan (CADP) with an aim of aligning the two development blueprints with her manifesto.
She said the documents which guide the county’s development and expenditure of funds will be tailor-cut in cognizance with the needs and priorities of the county residents.
The governor disclosed the new blueprints will be guided by her five-pronged development agenda that prioritizes food security, adequate water supply to residents, a functional and efficient healthcare, good education and empowerment of the youth and women together with wealth creation for all.
She said the CIDP and Annual Development Plans will be harmonized with the National Government projects in order to deliver “realistic and sensible” development to county residents as opposed to the current blueprint developed by her predecessor Dr. Julius Malombe.
~ Governor’s Press