Devolution Torch in Makueni

Devolution Torch
Governor Kivutha Kibwana receiving the Devolution Torch from Dr. Julius Malombe, the Governor, Kitui County, at the Unoa Grounds, Wote.

Governor Kivutha Kibwana received the Devolution Torch from Dr. Julius Malombe, the Governor, Kitui County at Unoa Grounds, Wote on Friday, 14th October 2016. The Devolution Torch is a public participation platform that seeks to capture success stories and take stock of the fruits of devolution since 2013. In its tour of the different Sub Counties of Makueni in the next three days, the Torch will allow citizens to give feedback to the County government as it elicits authentic testimonies of the people and showcases unique innovations and development interventions of the government.
 
As the fourth year since the advent of devolution comes to a close, Makueni County prides in the achievement of several development milestones geared towards promoting the quality of life of its residents. These include: the development of an agro processing industry through the Kalamba Fruit Processing Plant and the Kikima Mini Dairy Plant. This initiative is meant to make agriculture the County’s main economic driver and a profitable venture.
 
Makueni County has also made tremendous strides in the health sector. It is the first County in the country to introduce a universal healthcare programme. In this programme, residents only pay an annual registration fee of 500 Kenya Shillings per nuclear household and then access medical care free of charge in the hospitals in the County. The County has also equipped 9 major health facilities with state-of-the-art medical equipment to improve the quality of healthcare services.
 
A people-centered governance framework has been institutionalized in the County through which structured public participation is facilitated to enable residents to set and drive the development agenda with the government only playing an implementation role. This involves peoples’ forums from the village up to the County level complete with representative development committees at the different levels. Project Management Committees (PMCs) that are constituted in a participatory manner also enable citizens to exercise oversight as they supervise development projects being implemented by the government.
 
Youth empowerment is a key focus of the government and has been achieved through the following programmes among others: business incubation; the formation and registration of Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) for different groups; Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) by the youth, women and persons with disability; and organized sporting activities meant to mainstream the youth in development and wealth creation. The government has also paid the processing fees for title deeds for land of 2.5 acres and below to hasten the acquisition of the title deeds.
 
Makueni County has embarked on a massive water harvesting programme through the construction of sand dams, earth dams and boreholes. The County is also in the process of establishing irrigation schemes along the Athi River Corridor with a view to creating an agro economic zone.
 
Through the ‘Tetheka Fund’ which is an economic empowerment programme, organized groups in the County are able to access loans for start-ups and other economic ventures. The loans attract a paltry 3% interest, with a three month grace period before repayment. In its tour of the County, the Devolution Torch that is accompanied by a caravan will highlight these among other achievements of the government.