Nyeri Governor H.E. Mutahi Kahiga delivered  his State of the County Address at Nyeri County Assembly on Tuesday, 11th December, 2018 at 11 a.m.

This was  the second time the Governor  addressed the Members of the County Assembly since he assumed office late  last year.The law allows the Governor to address the County Assembly once per year. The inaugural address was held on 6th December, 2017.

Nyeri residents have since lauded the County Assembly for the cordial relationship with the Executive saying much have been achieved in the last one year and urged the leaders to maintain the unity so that local wananchi can benefit from development projects. In the last one year, Nyeri County Assembly has been able to pass the Nyeri Entreprise Bill, Finance Amendment Bill 2018, The Revenue Administration Bill, ECDE motion program for hiring interns and every other program based timely on budget, CIDPs and ADPs among many others.

Below is his Address Speech.

Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members;
It gives me great pleasure today for the opportunity to once again address this Assembly and deliver the annual State of the County Address as required by the law.
Mr. Speaker;
You will note that the relevant law contemplates a County legislation that will define the scope of this kind of address. I urge the County Assembly and my Executive team to come up with the legislation to set the parameters and guide us in future.
I wish, first and foremost, to sincerely thank the Honorable Members of this Assembly for their unwavering support to my Government. Over the year, my Government has forwarded to the Assembly proposed Legislations, Budgets and even names for approval for purposes of appointment into various offices. The Assembly has, without undue delay played its roles of scrutinizing the legislative proposals and budgets, vetting and approval thereby enabling us to execute our programs on time and fill the vacancies. That is why I have managed to establish a fully-fledged Government within a short span of time. My Government does not take this support for granted.
I hail this Assembly for maturely playing its key responsibilities of Legislation, Oversight and Representation. We appreciate your respectful criticism. I urge that we continue in the same spirit of mutual respect and regular consultations. Indeed, Article 175 of the Constitution spells out the principles of devolved governments, key among them being democratic principles and separation of powers. Let us uphold these principles as we continue to work together for the good of the people of Nyeri.
Mr. Speaker;
This address will cover the period December 2017 to December 2018. I delivered my last address in this Assembly on 6th December 2017. It is exactly one year since then.
In my last address, I enumerated my Government’s plans in all the sectors under the mandate of County Governments. At the time, we were in the process of developing the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP), 2018-2023. I wish to report to this Assembly that after a rigorous process engaging all the stakeholders and with the support of the Honorable Members, we were amongst the very first Counties in this country to develop a people driven CIDP. It will serve as our development blue print over the period 2018 to 2023.
Mr. Speaker;
One of our very initial challenges was pending bills! We inherited a total of Kshs. 711 million as pending bills. As I had reported to this Assembly during my last address, I appointed an internal committee to vet and review all the pending bills carried forward from the previous administrations. Payments were only to be made on the committee’s recommendation after verifying the supporting documents. I can authoritatively report that we have paid all the genuine pending bills as approved by the committee. However, we have a number of court cases filed against the County Government by entities which claim to have either done works for the County Government or supplied goods and services. We await the outcome of the cases.
My Government’s commitment to this Assembly and to the people of Nyeri henceforth is that we shall pay our contractors and suppliers on time. We shall settle our bills within the timelines agreed in the contracts.
However, and I want to make this crystal clear; anyone who seeks to work for the people of Nyeri must be ready to deliver QUALITY!
➢ Quality works!
➢ Quality goods!
➢ Quality services!
We demand value for money. That is our only precondition to settlement of bills.
Mr. Speaker;
In this first year of my Government, one of my intentions was to establish a fully- fledged and functional Government. This is an endeavor that I have substantially accomplished with the support of this Assembly. I have within the year successfully appointed a Deputy Governor, Members of the County Executive Committee and Chief Officers, of course with the approval of this Assembly as required by the Constitution and the Law. All but one department now have substantive Chief Officers. I will be forwarding for vetting and approval to this Assembly a nominee for the remaining one department. I was also able to appoint two members of the County Public Service Board. All that now remains to be filled in respect of the County Public Service Board (CPSB) is the position of the Chairperson of the Board which will soon be undertaken.
We have filled the positions of Directors in the departments and other crucial positions. However, we have not and may actually never attain the optimal staffing levels due to inadequacy of resources. This definitely also applies to the County Assembly Service. We must nevertheless strive to optimally utilize the human and material resources at our disposal to reap maximum benefit. With all the recruitments that we have so far done, no department or agency in the County Government has an excuse for non-performance.
Mr. Speaker;
In my last address I informed this Assembly that my Government had identified key priority areas. We have since aligned them to the President’s Big Four Agenda and have made steady progress. My promise is that we shall redouble our efforts to ensure that we attain our targets within our first tenure of office. The biggest challenge remains lack of adequate resources to fund our programs.
We are exploring alternative sources of funding outside the equitable share and local revenue. Towards that end, my Government has identified a resources mobilization team to pursue a number of alternative leads. The team will be trained, equipped and facilitated to pursue grants, partnerships and collaborations locally and internationally. Should we require support from this Assembly in terms of Legislation or Policies to support such initiatives, I will not hesitate to call upon you even during your recess. A leader of the people is always on call! I have no doubt in my mind that you shall rise to the occasion for the sake of the people of Nyeri.
Our second strategy is strategic partnerships with both governmental and private entities. The strategic partnerships are to enable us realize our priorities in spite of the inadequacy of necessary resources.
To support our key priority areas, we have worked on a number of Policies. I urge my Executive departments to engage their respective sectoral committees in this Assembly in the second phase of the Policy making process which entails stakeholders’ engagement before the eventual submissions of the Policies for approval by this Assembly. I do at this juncture wish to thank the Kenya Law Reforms Commission (KLRC) for their support and guidance in the Policy making process.
Mr. Speaker,
I now wish to highlight the progress made by my Government in the key priority areas;
Agriculture & Food Security
My Government is committed to the realization of this agenda. In the last financial year we allocated over Kshs. 228 Million to the agriculture sector to enhance agricultural development and as a result boost overall rural development. A number of bottlenecks however, must be addressed in that sector.
My Government, in collaboration with the University of Nairobi, Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Soil Cares and other partners identified high soil acidity levels as one of the biggest challenges in our County. To address the challenge, we procured and distributed 100,000 bags of agriculture lime to the farmers at a total cost of Kshs. 50 Million. The lime will with time reduce acidity levels in the soils and definitely increase productivity.
Extension service delivery in the County has been hindered by inadequate transport facilities. During the year, the department procured vehicles and motorcycles worth Kshs. 20 Million to enhance the mobility of both the agricultural extension officers and Artificial Insemination providers. This will enhance service delivery and increase the extension service coverage by 40 percent. My Government has factored in 5 small capacity vehicles in the 2019/2020 Annual Development Plan. We also plan to employ more extension officers to ensure all farmers are reached and supported to increase their yields and get linked to markets.
To address the fish value chain, 226 fish ponds in various parts of the County were rehabilitated and installed with pond liners at a cost of Kshs. 14 Million. A demonstration on cage fishing technology in the County was set up at Chinga dam where 10 cages were established and each stocked with 1,000 mono-sex post- fingerlings. We intend to increase this production by restocking 30 public dams and collaborate with the National Government, State Directorate of Fisheries to restock the rivers specifically for trout variety. The County partnered with UNIDO in the just ended Sustainable Blue Economy Conference to showcase opportunities in Nyeri County. Nyeri County is also hosting an 8 year 14 billion IFAD/GOK funded project called Aquaculture Business Development Project (ABDP).
Dairy farming being one of our flagship projects in the County, we have so far installed 12 milk coolers. Further, we have continued to support Countywide free artificial insemination services to the dairy farmers.
In the just ended financial year, my Government has spent Kshs. 10 million to procure semen and liquid nitrogen and so far over 20,000 dairy cows have been served. Further, scheduled and the emergency vaccinations were administered for the control of livestock pests and diseases.
To improve on Agricultural mechanization, the County Government has procured a bailer, a mower, a rake, and a planter among other agricultural equipment and implements with the aim of reviving the Agriculture Machinery Station (AMS) at Naromoru. In addition, 5 farm tractors, a bulldozer and a grader have been rehabilitated. This initiative has improved not only mechanization service delivery but has also increased the revenue streams. Additionally a partial perimeter fence was elected at the AMS to protect the land from encroachment. Encroachment Mr. Speaker is a real threat. We are working with relevant Government agencies to recover AMS land that was previously encroached. We seek the support of this Assembly and the people of Nyeri in this endeavour.
Wambugu Agricultural Training Centre has continued to serve as a source of good and appropriate agricultural technologies for farmers. This is achieved through formal trainings, field days and demonstrations. It also serves as a bulking site for clean seed planting materials. To strengthen its capacity and make it a centre of excellence, the County Government has put up a modern hostel. In addition, a common user facility is under renovation to enhance on value addition technologies.
To contribute towards the County greening program, the County Government procured and distributed fruit tree seedlings worth Kshs.30 Million within the County. This initiative will help improve the livelihoods of Nyeri farmers by complementing their income through fruit farming.
One major challenge in our County is dependence on rain-fed agriculture. We are addressing this challenge by digging boreholes, rehabilitating water pans and supporting community irrigation projects throughout the County.
Mr. Speaker;
Going forward, my Government has planned the following activities in the current 2018/19 financial year;
a) To address soil fertility and soil health issues, we have planned to undertake soil profiling and mapping in the County and also procure soil testing kits.
b) The County Government will upscale the greening initiative programme. This will be done by providing farmers with fruit tree seedlings for planting. To this end, the County Government has allocated Kshs 20 Million for seedlings procurement and distribution to farmers.
c) The Government will also establish a seedlings nursery at Wambugu ATC as a means of revenue generation for ATC and also provide quality seedlings to farmers in the County.
d) The County Government will continue rolling out fish farming by introducing cage culture system in other public dams within the County. Towards this cause, we have allocated Ksh 10,500,000.
e) The County Government has purposely targeted 28,000 households in Kieni Sub Counties who are food insecure for rolling out the food security initiative programme. The programme will include such activities as fodder establishment, rearing local poultry, planting of early maturing beans, establishment of kitchen gardens, water harvesting and drip irrigation technology amongst others.
f) My Government will continue to support the artificial insemination and breeding programme by increasing the number of inseminators to one per Ward.
g) The County Government is strengthening disease surveillance for both crops and livestock by up-scaling the plant clinics for crop disease diagnosis and purchasing strategic vaccine reserves for vaccinating livestock against notifiable diseases.
h) My Government is also working closely with Coffee Sector Implementation Committee and is one of the counties earmarked for pilot implementation of coffee reforms recommended by the Presidential Taskforce. The pilot will address areas of data collection specifically automation of all processes, increased production-more so providing subsidized fertilizers, seedlings and other inputs. It will also enhance processing-specifically repairing wet mills, marketing and market development and access to affordable credit. It also seeks to strengthen legislative and regulatory framework, capacity building to counties and offer extension and advisory services and finally adoption of coffee standards.
Efficient and Effective Public Service
Mr. Speaker;
The Nyeri County Public Service comprises of a total of three thousand, six hundred and thirteen (3,613) employees who are serving either on permanent or contractual terms of service. In the past one year, we have undertaken a number of reforms that are all geared towards enhanced and improved service delivery to the citizens of Nyeri. These are;
● Staff Motivation
We have been running the County Government payroll by the 10thday of every month thereby ensuring that our employees are paid on time. This has greatly motivated the employees. In the past the employees were never sure when they would receive their salaries.
Our commitment is not only on salaries but on all other entitlements due to our employees including their statutory remittances. Indeed, in the month of May 2018, Nyeri County was recognized as the best County in Kenya in the management and timely payment of pension dues to all the retired staff.
In regard to promotions; the County Government promoted one hundred and forty eight (148) officers in the year under review. Promotion of staff falls under two categories; those under the common establishment and those outside the common establishment who are subjected to an interview by the County Public Service Board subject to availability of vacancies.
● Staff Training
Mr. Speaker;
We are committed to capacity build our staff to make them more productive. We conducted trainings as highlighted;
a) Training on Human Resource Policies and Procedures
The County Government in partnership with the Kenya Devolution Support Programme (KDSP) trained sixteen (16) officers across departments on Human Resource Policies and Procedures at the Kenya School of Government, Embu from the 28th May, 2018 to 1st June, 2018.
b) Digitization of Records
KDSP also sponsored the training of fourteen (14) officers across departments on digitization of records from the 4th June to 8th June, 2018 at the afore mentioned institution.
c) Promotional Courses
My Government facilitated training of officers for promotional courses at the Kenya School of Government.
d) Pre-retirement Training
My Government facilitated pre-retirement training to one hundred and forty six (146) officers due for retirement within the year. The training was held on 27th and 28th March, 2018 at Wambugu Farm Agricultural Training Center.
e) Training by professional bodies
My Government has in its ranks a number of officers who are registered members of professional bodies. The Department facilitated those officers to attend training organized by their respective professional bodies.
f) Inductions
My Government has facilitated induction trainings for all the senior officers in its ranks beginning with members of the County Executive Committee (CECs) all the way to the Directors.
g) Bonded officers on Sponsored training
My Government in partnership with the National Government has sponsored a number of officers for training in professional specializations especially in the medical field. Under this arrangement, the National Government caters for tuition fees while the County Government continues paying for the employees’ salaries while on training. Such employees are bonded – committing to serve in the County Government for a specific period of time on completion of the training. However, this has continued to have a negative effect on service delivery in our medical institutions because the doctors undergoing training do not render services locally. It is our appeal to National Government to take over all aspects of their training thereby leaving the County with adequate resources to hire their replacements.
● Launch of Code of Conduct
My Government launched the Nyeri County Code of Conduct and Ethics for Public Officers, which outlines the guidelines on the conduct of officers in the course of their duties amongst other requirements. The officers have since signed the code committing to uphold the values and principles of public service, ethics and integrity.
● Launch of Digitized Staff Identification Cards
During the first ever County staff breakfast meeting, the County launched the digitized staff identification card. The department captured passport photographs of all staff working in the County for issuance of digitized staff identity cards. The cards have special features that enable the employer to capture the employee particulars that can be viewed at a glance. The identification cards assist in identifying County employees distinguishing them from the members of the public whom they serve.
● Staff audit
My Government has conducted a thorough staff audit in a bid to ascertain the actual number of County employees and weed out ghost employees. We are now certain and sure of the number of staff in our payroll. We are in the process of ensuring that all the employees in the County public service are optimally engaged.
● Approved Staff Establishment
Mr. Speaker;
We now have a ‘Staff Establishment’ duly approved by the County Executive Committee. This is a major milestone that will enable us take effective control of the County public service. All recruitments henceforth must be aligned to the Staff Establishment.
● Good employees’ relations
During the year under review, the County witnessed minimal employee-employer conflicts. We have endeavored to uphold the rights of our employees and are also keen on welfare issues. Litigations in the course of the year were minimal. Industrial unrests and strikes were also not experienced.
Mr. Speaker;
We shall continue reforming our County Public Service with the intention of optimizing service delivery to the people of Nyeri County. We are working on a number of initiatives towards that end;
● Development of a staffing plan
The staffing plan will be the foundation for the County staffing needs and data in the years to come. It is worth noting that the staffing plan will be set up in a way that allows figures to be consulted quickly, a point which can help the decisions made around recruitment, development and funding, swift and seamless.
● Digitization of HR records
For a long time, the County has depended on a manual process in the management of HR records. This is not only archaic and expensive but also consumes a lot of physical space not forgetting the risk of destruction or even theft of the records. The department with the help of KDSP will undertake to manage HR information in digital form, so as to improve on efficiency of core HR processes, improve accessibility to information, while creating one source of truth for each HR document.
● Employee training and development
It is increasingly important that training and development programs are not only competitive, but are supporting the County on its defined strategic path. To this end, the department of Public Service Management will continue to support various staff trainings locally and internationally through collaboration with other government agencies.

Trade, Tourism and Enterprise
Mr. Speaker;
My Government through the Department of Trade, Tourism, Culture and Cooperatives Development, has constructed and rehabilitated several County markets in the financial year 2017/2018.We have completed the New Mudavadi Market, Ihururu Market and Nyeri Town Open Air Market. We have also rehabilitated several other County markets including Kimahuri, Karogoto, Gacatha, Nairutia and Waihara market.
Mr. Speaker;
Nyeri County is the home of the biggest market in East and Central Africa; Karatina market. It accommodates about 2000 traders. We are grateful to the National Government and H.E the President, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta for modernizing the market thereby providing an ultra-modern, clean and spacious trading environment. The Karatina market and other markets that I mentioned above are all operational and the traders are operating in a modern and organized trading environment.
The department is currently working on the Market Areas Management Bill which will facilitate efficient and effective management of our public markets. My Government will continue to build more modern markets in the coming financial years to improve the business environment for our people. In this financial year 2018/2019, we plan to expand Kamakwa market, Kiahungu market, as well as upgrade and renovate Kiamariga, Gakindu, Gatitu, Endarasha, Nyaribo and Kiganjo markets.
Investment Attraction, Retention and Expansion
Mr. Speaker;
In order to attract more investment in the County, my Government has developed the Nyeri County Investment Portfolio document which provides details of investment opportunities in Nyeri County. In this portfolio document, viable opportunities have been outlined with the aim of providing substantial information on the potential areas of investments existing in the County. Moving ahead, we will continue to further review our Policy and legislative framework with the aim of increasing the ease of doing business in Nyeri County.
The County Government of Nyeri has prioritized flagship development projects in line with Kenya’s Vision 2030, positioning the County as the ‘investment destination of choice in the Central Region’. I hereby reiterate my Government’s strong commitment to facilitate investment in all sectors within the County.
My Government also intends to expand the Enterprise Development Fund (EDF) and enhance capacity building for cooperatives and enterprise development.
Nyeri County is home to many tourists’ attraction sites such as Mt. Kenya, the Aberdare Ranges, waterfalls, beautiful rivers and caves, Blessed Sr. Irene Nyaatha Shrine, Baden Powell Museum Nyeri and many other heritage sites. My Government has in collaboration with the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) in the financial year 2017/2018 mapped and prepared a documentary for all the tourist and heritage sites in Nyeri County. The next phase will be the development of the sites to ensure Nyeri stands out as a premier tourist destination and a transit centre. In 2018/2019, we also intend to develop Kahigaini tourist site, hold the annual Nyeri Tourism and Cultural Festival and equip the Nyeri Arts & Cultural Centre meant to promote talents in the arts.
My Government will continue to collaborate and engage with stakeholders in mutually beneficial arrangements that will bring sustainable development to Nyeri County and to its citizens. The Governor’s roundtable meeting with the business people held on 30th November, 2018, was just but the beginning of such stakeholders’ engagement.

Accessible and Quality Health Care
Mr. Speaker;
The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 defines health as an economic and social right. Article 43(1)(a) stipulates that, “every person has the right- to the highest standard of health, which includes the right to health care services”. Through the devolved system of Governance, Health services have been devolved to the County Governments, and in this regard, Nyeri County will facilitate progressive realization of this right, within the constraints of fiscal space and priority interventions.
The County Integrated Development Plan and the County Health Roadmap has prioritized the following strategies and interventions;
❖ Eliminate Communicable conditions to lessen morbidity and mortality rates associated with such illnesses.
❖ Halt, and reverse the increasing burden of non communicable conditions.
❖ Reduce the burden of violence & injuries.
❖ Provide essential medical services at various health facilities.
❖ Minimize exposure to health risk factors.
❖ Strengthen collaboration with health related sectors in strengthening health services.
In general health status, the County is experiencing an epidemiological transition from communicable infectious diseases towards non communicable diseases. This presents a ‘double burden’ of diseases that entails a lingering communicable disease burden with an increased burden of non-communicable conditions including diabetes, cancers, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
During the period under review we have implemented renovation works at the Nyeri County Referral Hospital Outpatient block, Mother and Child Health Care (MCH) casualty, Laboratory, Pharmacy Block, Gender Based Violence Block and renovation of the mortuary; further to that, Construction of a Drugs Store and newborn unit at Karatina Sub-County Hospital, we have also constructed an Outpatient block at Mt Kenya Hospital. My government also partitioned the newborn unit, labour ward & theatre recovery room and also constructed MCH and renovated the outpatient unit at Mukurweini Sub-County Hospital. Over and above that the following works have been completed
● Construction of an incinerator at Othaya Sub-County Hospital
● Completion works of at Githakwa Dispensary
● Completion works of at Zaina Dispensary-80% complete
● Completion and operationalization of Muthangira Dispensary.
● Equipping and operationalization of Kariguini Dispensary
● Purchase of a refuse truck
● Construction of a house for medical waste management equipment at County referral hospital-ongoing
● Renovation of maternity units in Endarasha and Gatei health centres
Mr. Speaker;
The following are the planned development projects for the current financial year 2018/2019;
● Phase two refurbishment of the Nyeri County referral hospital
● Construction of an isolation ward at Mt Kenya Hospital
● Renovation of Wamagana and Narumoru health centre maternity units
● Construction of an ablution block for the outpatient departments
● Completion of Zaina Dispensary
● Completion of Karogoto dispensary
Mr. Speaker;
The following equipment were procured by the health department during the period under review;
● Automated chemistry analyzer for Othaya Hospital
● 5 3-part Hematology Analyzers for Ngorano Health Center, Wamagana Health Center, Nyeri Town Health Centre, Mweiga Health Center and Thangathi Health Centre
● Electro Cardio Graphy (ECG) Machines for Nyeri County Referral Hospital
● Urology and Laparoscopic tower for the County Referral Hospital at Kshs. 32,000,000
● Mortuary Refrigerated Cabinets for the County Referral Hospital
● Laundry Machine for the County Referral Hospital
● Autoclave machine for Karatina Hospital
● Procurement of 2 Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency(EPI) fridges

In the current financial year 2018/2019, we have plans to purchase the following equipments;
● 400 KVA generator for the County Referral hospital
● More mortuary refrigerators for Karatina Hospital
● Automated Chemistry analysers for Mukurweini, Karatina and Mt Kenya Hospitals
● Coagulation analysers for all our five hospitals
● Assorted lab equipment for our rural health facilities
● 4 dental units and a compressor for the Nyeri County Referral hospital
● 2 dental units for Karatina Hospital
● 1 dental unit for Mt Kenya Hospital
● Computers and printers for all rural health facilities in readiness for Universal Health Coverage(UHC)
● Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) and orthopedic equipment for Nyeri County Referral and Karatina Hospitals.
● A double cabin vehicle for the World Bank Transforming Health Systems project
● Biochemistry analysers for Wamagana, Ngorano, Nyeri town health centre, Mweiga and Thangathi.
● 5 3-part haematology analysers for Gatei, Kamoko, Witima, Warazo, Belle-vue
Mr. Speaker;
Within the year, the County health department has managed to procure and supply health commodities to all the 125 health facilities within Nyeri County with a fill rate of over 80% averaging 300 Million Kenya shillings.
Under the UHC program, Nyeri County will receive 780 Million, of which three hundred and ninety-nine million (Kshs 399 M) will be sent directly to Kenya Medical Supplies Agency. We are also in the process of installing computer applications for a better supply chain management.
Mr. Speaker;
In the year under review, the following are the major achievements in health service delivery;
● Increased number of dialysis sessions at the County Referral Hospital- supported by the Cuban Specialists;
● Operationalization of 2 dispensaries i.e. Kariguini and Muthangira Dispensary;
● Increased access to immunization services by connecting 11 facilities with electricity which made it possible to install immunization fridges;
● Increased access to laboratory services in the 5 primary health care facilities by provision of hematology machines;
● Provision of free delivery packs dubbed “mama packs” to mothers delivering at our rural health facilities as part of increasing utilization; and
● Our community health volunteers screened more than 20,000 community members for diabetes and hypertension.
Going forward, my Government will set out to operationalize Kinyaiti and Karuthi dispensaries, enhance outreaches through the beyond-zero van and organize for specialized surgical camps at the County Referral Hospital.
Mr. Speaker;
My Government has been able to scale up the number of skilled health professionals by engaging them and deploying them to needy health facilities. The County is in the process of recruiting 131 health care workers across various cadres, interviews for recruitment are ongoing. We are also in the process of re-designating more than 300 health care workers.
Two of our health care workers (Dr Beth Mbuthia and Lydia Warui) completed oncology courses in India as part of strengthening our cancer centre.
Mr. Speaker;
The health department’s top leadership positions were filled after a competitive selection and vetting of applicants. These positions include County Executive Member for Health services, Chief Officer Health and County Health Director. Nurse Managers’ positions have been advertised and interested professionals encouraged to apply. During the year under review, the County also hosted the 2nd Universal Health Coverage Conference and the 7th Infection Prevention conference.
Mr. Speaker;
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) has been identified as one of the “Big Four Agenda” of National development and economic priorities towards achieving the Kenya Vision 2030. Nyeri County has been identified as one of the four UHC phase 1 pilot Counties. The County has been identified due to its perceived high burden of Non Communicable Diseases. To this end;
● The County will receive seven hundred and eighty million Kenya shillings (Kshs 780M) to support the UHC roll-out and implementation;
● The County Government of Nyeri in partnership with the National Hospital Insurance Fund and Pharm Access has trained two thousand (2000) enumerators to register the County population of 830,296 spread across 232, 678 households;
● The County UHC registration launch was held on 12th November, 2018, at Nyeri Town Health Centre and was graced by the Cabinet Secretary for Health Services Honorable Sicily Kariuki and myself.
● The UHC registration exercise kicked off successfully on 12th November, 2018 and will continue till 12th December, 2018. During this period, we targeted to register more than 830,236 Nyeri citizens and residents spread across 232,678 households.
● By 10th December, 2018, a total of 457,524 Nyeri residents had been registered for UHC.
My Government is committed to implement health priority agenda as stipulated in the CIDP, Health Strategic Plan and the Governor’s Service Delivery Manifesto.

Education and Technology
Mr. Speaker;
Every child in Nyeri County is entitled to free and quality Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE). My government has scrapped the levies previously charged in our public ECDE centres. We have had a number of programmes and activities in the education sector in the year under review. We have had significant progress in the following areas;

➢ Recruitment of ECDE Caregivers
My Government has so far engaged six hundred forty nine (649) Caregivers out of our target of eight hundred (800) caregivers. Interviews for the remaining one hundred and fifty one (151) caregivers are ongoing. Our intention is to have all our public ECDEs served by trained caregivers by the beginning of the year 2019.
➢ Capacity Building workshops for ECDE Teachers

My Government has organized capacity building workshops for all ECDE caregivers both in public and private ECDE Centres in Nyeri County. The purpose of the workshops was to enable the caregivers to roll out the new ECDE curriculum.

➢ Provision of teaching and learning materials such as, text books to ECDE Centres

The department has issued ECDE instructional materials to all Public ECDE Centres in Nyeri County which were distributed on 5th July, 2018. This was done to provide firm educational foundation to the children of Nyeri County.

➢ Construction of ECDE Classrooms, Toilets and General Rehabilitations

The department has achieved the following in infrastructural developments:-

(a) New Projects

(i) Construction of New Classrooms

Thirteen ECDE classrooms are being constructed in various wards. They are Kiganjo/ Mathari. Kabaru, Magutu, Gakawa, Thegu River, Gatarakwa, Mwiyogo, Mugunda, Konyu, Chinga and Rugi Wards.

(ii) Construction of new Lavatory Structures
A total of ten child friendly lavatories have been constructed in the following wards: Dedan Kimathi, Magutu, Rware, Kirimukuyu, Mweiga, Aguthi/Gaaki and Mukurweini Central Wards.

(b) Renovation of the existing classrooms
A total of sixteen classrooms have been renovated in Mathira East Ward, Mahiga, Ruguru, Aguthi, Gikondi, Konyu, Mukurwe-ini West, Ruguru, Gaaki, Karatina wards. Classrooms were also renovated in the following wards; Gikondi, Karima, Karatina, Konyu, Magutu

(c). Vocational Training Centres.
Mr. Speaker, the following is what has been achieved in Youth Polytechnics;
➢ Capacity Building workshops for Youth Polytechnics Instructors by:-
(i) Techno Serve Stryde
(ii) Kenya Youth Employment Skills under USAID Programme (K- YES)
(iii) Quality Assurance Framework and Implementation for three institutions i.e.
Kinunga, Othaya and Ngorano Vocational Training Centers.
(iv) National Government Directorate of Technical Training sponsored by KIDPP
(v) Technical and Vocational Education Training Authority
➢ Transfer for balancing of instructors;
➢ Facilitation of development of physical infrastructure in youth polytechnics;
➢ Procurement of tools and equipment for Vocational Training Centers;
➢ Recruitment and deployment of Interns under Internship Programme;
➢ Updating of instructors files;
➢ Exhibiting of youth polytechnic products and various trades offered in Vocational Training Centers during County Tourism and Cultural Day.

Mr. Speaker, we have proposed construction of workshops in Gathinga, Kiamathaga, Othaya, Ngorano, Watuka, Rukira, Gitero, Kaheti, Gachika, Gichira, Giathugu, Karundas and Nairutia Youth Polytechnics;

Mr. Speaker;
In regard to the purchase of tools and equipment, the department purchased tools and equipment
for the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) course. The tools and equipment were distributed to various institutions for use. Further, three interns reported to the department and were deployed to various Youth Polytechnics where they are assisting in instructing.
In matters Leverage on Technology, my Government has entered into strategic agreements with firms to provide broadband services to government offices and other select places. We have signed an MOU with Jamii Telecommunications Limited (JTL) for provision of internet services within the County. This has made Nyeri one of the ‘best connected’ Counties in the country. 4G network type is available in Nyeri County.
Consequently, My Government was able to launch a revenue management system known as NyeriPay. It is efficient and effective as a result of the good connectivity. The UHC registration is flawlessly going on because of the good connectivity in our County. I urge our youth to take advantage of this and make use of the business opportunities available online and use the internet for research and education purposes.
We shall create a number of hot spots in our towns within the County. Sungura Park and Whispers Park in Nyeri town have already been identified and plans are underway to install the necessary equipment for internet provision.

Mr. Speaker;
In the year under review, we have disbursed a total of Kshs. 35,023,139 to 12,175 students broken down as;
8580 Students SECONDARY
1516 Students UNIVERSITY 4,135,500.00
1029 Students COLLEGE 3,595,000.00
599 Students POLYTECHNICS 2,417,000.00
180 Students SPECIAL SCHOOLS 593,000.00
253 Students considered as Special cases. SPECIAL CASES 1,810,639.00
TOTAL 12,175 35,023,139

Mr. Speaker;
My Government has achieved the following in the sports directorate in the period under review.
➢ Renovation of Ruring’u Sports Hostel.
➢ Upgrading of Mweiga Stadium

➢ Dr. Wahome Gakuru Half Marathon
My Government in conjunction with Athletics Kenya, Nyeri Branch, organized a very successful half marathon in honour of the late Dr. Wahome Gakuru on 11th November 2018.
The event was graced by H.E. William Ruto, Deputy President.
We propose to make this an annual event.
➢ KYISA Games
KYISA games selection at Sub-County level was held on 1st and 2nd December, 2018 whereas KYISA games selection at County level was on 8th December, 2018.
The County team will participate during National KYISA games at Kapsbet in Nandi County from 15th – 23rd December, 2018.
➢ Cross Country Championships
Preparations are in top gear for the County Cross- Country championships in January, 2019. This will facilitate the County team to participate during regional cross country championships in February, 2019.
My Government seeks to construct boundary walls in Gichira, Karatina and Ruring’u Stadia.
Apart from this, we shall fence Kinunga Stadium and construct an ablution block at Narumoru Stadium.

Mr. Speaker;
I now wish to highlight my Government’s achievements in the year under review and its aspirations for the current financial year as regards Spatial Planning and Housing.
My Government, through the Department of Lands, Physical Planning, Housing and Urbanisation, has rolled out the preparation of the County Spatial Plan through outsourcing at a cost of 119 Million. This plan is anchored on the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, and the County Governments Act, 2012. This is a Geographical Information System (GIS) based spatial plan that will guide land use developments in the County for the next (10) ten years.
It will aid in unlocking the potential of the County and provide the development path. The spatial planning process is highly consultative all the way from the ward level. It will also involve National Government agencies, the private sector and the populace at large. The Consultant has been on the ground and is embarking on the first round of stakeholders’ meetings in this month of December.
This Policy framework will be the basis upon which all other urban and rural plans will be anchored on. The spatial plan will be linked to the budget through a Capital Investment Plan.

Mr. Speaker;
In line with the ‘Big Four Agenda’, my Government is geared towards providing 2000 affordable housing units per year to Nyeri residents. This is in accordance with the MOU signed in April 2018 between the County Government of Nyeri and the Permanent Secretary in charge of National Housing.
My Government has identified close to 20 acres of land across the County viable for this project. We have also carried out feasibility studies on urban renewal at Blue Valley Estate. The report has given proposals on how to undertake implementation. We are exploring the Public Private Partnership (PPP) option.
Mr. Speaker;
My Government promised to empower the youth and other vulnerable groups. Towards this end, on Thursday, 28th June, 2018, we rolled out an internship program. This program is providing 200 young graduates with an opportunity to get working experience in various fields for a period of one year, while they receive a stipend of Ksh. 10,000 every month. The interns have been placed in all the County Government departments. It is expected that the young people will gain useful experience which will not only make job searching easier but also help them in their career advancement. The County Government will also tap into their various expertise thereby enhancing service delivery. This programme will be continuous with new interns being enrolled every year.
In the month of July, 2018, my Government conducted empowerment sessions for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities. The program was designed to empower the target groups to take advantage of various programs/projects as well as preparing them to counter various challenges. The leaders of these groups were sensitized on Business Financing Opportunities, Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO), Safety Awareness, the Bima Afya Programme, Drugs and Substance Abuse and Opportunities in the County Vocational Training Centres. This was done by the respective departments in partnership with other state and non-state actors, including Women Enterprise Fund, Youth Enterprise Fund, Kenya Red Cross Society and NACADA. The program aimed at reaching out to 100 participants per Sub-County and was therefore able to reach over 800 members of these special groups in the County.
Appreciating the Policy direction by the President on Access to Government Procurement Opportunities, my Government has been and remains committed to the empowerment of the Youth, Women and Persons with Disabilities by offering them business opportunities. Towards this, my Government awarded tenders to these special groups amounting to Ksh. 285,180,106 in the FY 2017/2018 and tenders worth Ksh. 34,432,223.34 so far in the current financial year. We hope to surpass the 2017/2018 benchmark.
Hon. Speaker, Honourable Members;
My Government has continued and will continue with the implementation of the BIMA Afya program. This program provides NHIF cover to 6000 vulnerable members of the society and targets the poorest of the poor, among them orphans, our senior citizens (elderly), vulnerable persons with disabilities among others, who would otherwise not afford the cost of health insurance
Mr. Speaker;
Issues of Youth and Persons with disabilities are crosscutting, and therefore a multi-sectoral approach must be adopted in addressing them. To mainstream this, my Government is in the process of developing separate Policies to guide the mainstreaming of issues of youth and persons with disabilities empowerment.
Mr. Speaker;
Nyeri County like any other social setting, experiences and is bound to continue experiencing fires and other disasters. My Government, through the department of Youth, Gender and Social Services has continued to address fires and other disasters. However, distances traveled by fire-engines are a key challenge since the County has only two stations in Nyeri and Karatina. To mitigate the effects of fires and other emergencies, we are in the process of acquiring two fire engines and establishing fire stations in Kieni-East, Kieni West, Mukurweini and Othaya Sub-Counties, with the aim of reducing the distances travelled by fire-fighters.
Mr. Speaker;
In the year under review, my Government has made the following achievements in terms of Infrastructural Development.
❖ Access road improvements.
In the financial year 2017/2018, a total of 107 km of earth roads were upgraded to gravel standard distributed all over the Wards in the County. In the current financial year, a total of 320 km of access roads will be upgraded to gravel standards through the 8km per Ward programme. Kieni Sub-Counties will however receive an additional 10km per Ward access roads. All the roads under this programme have been tendered for and are at various levels of implementation all over the County.
❖ Opening new Roads.
Mr. Speaker, a number of roads which were previously impassable have been opened using dozers in the following wards-:Gatitu/Muruguru, Dedan Kimathi, Wamagana, Chinga, Iriani (Othaya), Gikondi, Kirimukuyu and Karatina ward.
❖ Bridges
Mr. Speaker, in the year under review my Government completed three bridges in three Wards. In the current financial year, we shall construct nine (9) bridges all of which have been tendered, awarded and will be constructed in the following wards:- Thegu River, Gatarakwa, Mweiga, Wamagana, Mahiga, Chinga, Gikondi, Magutu and Iriani – Mathira.
❖ Re-carpeting of tarmac roads
In the year under review, my Government has re-carpeted fifty percent (50%) of the tarmac roads in Karatina and Nyeri towns.
This financial year 2018/2019, we shall re-carpet all the remaining tarmac roads in Karatina and Nyeri towns. We shall also construct 1.1km and 1.6 km of new tarmac in Karatina and Nyeri towns respectively.
❖ Street lighting
My Government has a total of 105 projects in street lighting that are ongoing in various wards and 11 of them are already complete. The rest are expected to be complete by the end of the year.

Mr. Speaker;
Resource Sustainability has been a key agenda for my Government.
We have embarked on an all-inclusive mission to support Water Services Providers (WSPs) and community water projects. Our aim is to increase accessibility to clean water for domestic use and irrigation purposes.
One of our WSP, NYEWASCO is rated the best water provider in Kenya. We are working closely with the other WSPs to replicate the NYEWASCO model in an effort to streamline our efforts to achieving flawless water provision.
In the year under review, my Government allocated over Kshs 270 Million to the department of Water, Environment, Natural Resources and Sanitation to enhance water development. In addition, the funds were intended for environmental conservation and protection of water catchment areas.
Mr. Speaker;
Our programs towards conservation of water catchment areas have centered on planting of both indigenous trees and bamboo. In the period under review, 31,828 seedlings were distributed to various Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs) and planted. In addition, 5,848 fruit seedlings were planted in 81 schools within the 8 sub-counties; 32,924 seedlings were planted in collaboration with self-help groups, community forests and individual farms. The seedlings covered areas such as Gatumbiro, Tumutumu, Nyeri hills, Chania, Muthira and Ragati River riparian, Thuti, Tanyai and Narumoru forests.
In ensuring uninterrupted water supply for consumption and irrigation, several dams have been rehabilitated. Two dams at Kiguru and Biricha in Mweiga and Mugunda respectively were tendered and procured at a total cost of Kshs 7.665 Million. Other water projects proposals from stakeholders are at advanced stages awaiting approval.
Most of the rural community residents, lack water storage facilities at house hold level. As a result, a significant amount of water deficit especially during the dry season is experienced. To address this, we constructed 22 new masonry water tanks with a capacity of 100 to 225 cubic metres costing Kshs 56,676,528.85. So far, 18 tanks that were ongoing have been successfully completed in areas like NARUWASCO water treatment plant, Kairia, Warazo Jet, Warazo Lusoi, Thungari, Gatune, Giathugu Mukurweini, Mwea B, Ngogithi, Kamianda and Kihuyo.
Mr. Speaker;
In an effort to eradicate water borne diseases, my Government embarked on the construction of 2 water treatment plants with a capacity of 2000 cubic meters each at Narumoru and Titie. Phase 1 of these plants is almost complete at a total cost of Kshs 25.5 Million and Phase 2 of Titie plant is under implementation at a cost of Kshs 15.27 Million.
Nyeri County has a lot of seasonal rivers, it is for that reason that we have focused on underground water production. We have, at a total cost of Kshs 67,822,805, drilled 15 boreholes, 12 of which have been completed. The remaining 3 will be completed by end of this year. The necessary pumping equipment was procured through Rural Electrification Authority(REA).i urge the department responsible to follow up the installation of pumping equipment to ensure that the targeted communities benefit from these projects without further delay.
We undertook procurement of pipes, fittings and water intakes at a total cost of Kshs 73.73 Million for various community based water projects as well as for the 5 Water Service Providers. The pipes and fittings were equitably distributed to all the 8 Sub Counties to bridge the gap in access to water.
We have continuously collaborated with other stakeholders such as Tana, Athi Rivers Development Authority (TARDA), Life Empowerment For Transformation International (LEFTI) and Upper Tana project which collaborations have resulted in implementation of various projects such as;
(a) 225 cubic meters tanks at Komu, Biricha and Kienjero by LEFTI;
(b) 150 cubic meters tank by TARDA for Njengu ;
(c) Springs development, Kariithi water project, Kamunyu dam and Kagati dam by Upper Tana project. These projects amounted to a total cost of Kshs 50 Million.
Mr. Speaker;
My Government has planned the following activities in the current financial 2018/2019.
a) To address the issue of water shortage, we have planned to undertake drilling of boreholes in most areas of Kieni, Mathira and parts of Mukurweini.
b) My Government will upscale the conservation exercise and the County greening initiative programme. This will be done by providing farmers and interested groups with fruit tree seedlings. We allocated Kshs 3M for procurement and distribution of seedlings to farmers and other stakeholders.
c) We shall continue to support community based projects through provision of pipes and construction of storage tanks and intakes. All the projects are community initiated and supply various institutions like schools and dispensaries with water. Most of these projects are partly done and it is necessary to complete them.
d) My Government will continue with the rehabilitation of existing boreholes which are not operational. In addition, we will equip the operational boreholes with solar powered pumps which are cost effective, hence improving domestic water supply.
e) My Government has targeted the procurement of a dumping site, truck and specialized machine for waste management. This will enhance the provision of healthy and sustainable solid waste collection and management. Further, the County is in the process of rolling out the waste management program in rural areas.
f) My Government will continue to liaise with various bodies Like National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA), Kenya Forest Service and Kenya Wildlife Service in order to assist the local community in acquiring all the legal documents pertaining to water abstraction and borehole drilling.
g) Through the Department of Water, Environment, Natural Resources and Sanitation, my Government will strengthen all the Water Service Providers in the County through the surveillance of operations and monitoring of the Unaccounted for Water (UFW). My Government is also supporting these institutions financially through supply of pipes, fittings and water meters. This move will improve the quality of service they provide and increase the area of coverage.
h) My Government through the department of Water, Environment, Natural Resources and Sanitation is working closely with other stakeholders like Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (TARDA), National Irrigation Board(NIB), Upper Tana Project, International Fund for Agricultural Development(IFAD)- Nairobi Fund in the provision of water and conservation of environment. Various projects have been Initiated and forwarded to the institutions for funding or completion. Such projects are-:
a) Njengu Phase 2 under TARDA
b) Riamukurwe phase 3-NIB
c) Kiboya dam rehabilitation -NIB
d) Boreholes and water pans- Upper Tana
e) Gatarakwa Project and Kienjero bore hole tank- LEFTI.
f) Conservation- IFAD Nairobi Fund.
My Government through the department will continue to seek funds from the National Government Departments for the benefit of Nyeri County residents.
Mr. Speaker;
In matters financial sustainability and resilience in service delivery, my Government has undertaken robust financial planning and budgeting with a view to meet service delivery obligations. My administration has embarked on initiatives to eliminate wasteful expenditure.
Local revenue has been increased from Kshs 643 Million to Kshs 760 Million. We are committed to achieve the current financial year’s target of 1 Billion. I wish to thank this Assembly for unanimously passing the Finance Bill 2018 into law. It has given us new avenues for revenue collection that will go a long way in boosting our financial sustainability. On the other hand, the amendments to the Revenue Administration Act remedied the challenges and the loopholes in the collection of revenue. The Director of revenue collection now has the necessary powers to collect revenue without undue hindrances.
My administration also launched (NyeriPay) an automated system of revenue collection to streamline revenue collection and seal loopholes that contributed to loss of revenue.
Mr. Speaker;
We have made a number of internal adjustments in our governance structure to enhance efficiency, effectiveness and accountability. I just wish to highlight a few;
1. My government has set up an Executive County Audit Committee
2. We have developed a County Integrated Performance Management System (IPMS) that will help align performance with Strategic Goals of the County.
3. We have set up a Voucher Examination Unit to validate and authenticate payment vouchers before any payments are made.
4. We have developed a Records Management Policy to ensure proper storage of documents.
5. We have developed a Legal Affairs Policy and Manual.
6. We are in the process of approving a Fleet Management Policy.
7. We have a Human Resource Policy and Procedures Manual.
8. As already discussed earlier, we have in place a Code of Conduct for Public Officers within the County.
My government will work to accelerate the development of other internal policies, programs and plans to make my administration more accessible, responsive and accountable to the people of Nyeri.
Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members;
As we go forward into the future, we must forever remain grateful to The Almighty God for his benevolence, care and love. We have enjoyed relative peace as a County and to him do we owe all this. I wish to remind this August house of our commitment to the growth and development of this County, which shall at all times be achieved by running a transparent and an accountable government. We greatly appreciate the cordial working relationship with the entire leadership of Nyeri and commit ourselves to doing everything in our power to sustain this for the sake of our great people of Nyeri.
That is the state of the County. I take this opportunity to wish you and all the people of Nyeri a Merry Christmas and a happy new year- 2019. Please join me on the 21st December, 2018, to light the Governor’s Christmas tree and share a moment with the less fortunate in our society.
May God bless you all.
May God bless our County, Nyeri.
I thank you Mr. Speaker.