Makueni County Governor Kivutha Kibwana has outlined health, infrastructural development and issuance of title deeds as some of the key accomplishments that the County Government has achieved in the last two years.
Kibwana said the county had performed exemplary well in all the health indicators compared to the national average and retaliated his government’s commitment in providing quality, accessible and affordable health care to the residents.
While giving the state of the county address in a special sitting at the County Assembly the governor said the infant mortality rate in the county has reduced to 42 per 1,000 live births against the national average of 52 per 1,000 live births while the under 5 mortality stands at 55 per 1,000 live births against the national average of 74 per 1,000 live births.
Consequently, maternal mortality rate in the county has reduced to 288 per 100,000 live births against the national average of 510 per 100,000 live births .
Kivutha attributed the improved health services to both infrastructural and personnel development saying that his government has so far renovated and upgraded 126 health facilities, operationalized 42 new dispensaries and recruited 250 health workers.
The governor also disclosed that ambulance services had been revamped through the purchase of 13 ambulance vehicles stationed strategically across the county.
“Other major infrastructural developments include construction of X-Rays blocks, maternity and operating theatres in Sultan Hamud, Mbooni, Tawa and Kilungu Sub-county hospitals and a trauma center at Makindu Sub county hospital to cater mainly for accidents victims along the busy Nairobi-Mombasa highway,” he said.
On title deeds, the governor said the government had spearheaded the issuance of more than 10,000 free title deeds to residents at a total cost of Sh10M while an additional 37,458 titles are ready for issuance.
In education, Kivutha noted that his government had employed 900 Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) teachers and constructed of over 60 of ECDE while over 20,000 students had benefited from bursaries and scholarships, in the last three years .
Other notable achievements that Kivutha highlighted included construction of six mega dams, grading of 1,850KM road, construction of the Kalamba fruit processing plant, introduction of artificial insemination services and establishment of Kikima dairy-mini processing plant and milk cooling plants in Makiou, Kathonzweni, Kalawa, kalongo, Mukuyuni and Ilima.
Despite the achievements, the governor noted that his government had faced several challenges that derailed development including low revenue collection and the internal wrangles that rocked the county in the first two years.
He said the County Government had not met its target in terms of revenue due to delay of necessary laws while wrangles between the two arms of the government had brought the operations of the government to a near halt.
“ In the last two years we have had internal struggles that have strengthened our resolve to serve our citizens with more zeal. The conflicts we had, debilitating as they were, opened new horizons in the context of devolution. After losing time in the initial stages, we have subsequently gained greater momentum towards working together and deepening democracy not only in the county but also within the country,” he said.
The governor however underscored the need for the two arms of government to forget the past conflicts and forge a working relationship for service delivery.
“While we are cognizant of the fact that the law envisions separation of powers and oversight for effective service delivery, we must also remain alive to the fact that without cooperation and mutual goodwill we will fail our people. Our focus as elected leaders must at all times be guided by consultation and cooperation for prompt service delivery,” said Kivutha.
Reacting to the address, Makueni County Majority Leader Francis Mutuku lauded the governor’s speech but noted that more needed to be done to expedite implementation of projects.
“The governor has clearly articulated his achievements but he needs to sack lazy and incompetent officers who have failed in their duties,” said Mutuku.
The majority leader also echoed the governor’s words on unity saying that the County Assembly will work together with the executive arm of the government for better service delivery.
While notable achievements have been made by the Makueni County Government, it is no doubt that the infighting between the Governor and Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) that almost brought the county to the verge of dissolution greatly affected development.
With barely two years to the next general elections the residents of Makueni County can only hope that the government will execute its mandate and reclaim the time lost during the infighting.