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Governor Oparanya blames local contractors for delayed projects

By Alex Wakhisi | Updated Mon, March 20th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3
Kakamega county governor Wycliffe Oparanya county showing members of the public court of arm during official unveiling of the county power instruments at Bukhungu stadium of Kakamega on March 17, 2017. Looking on from left, County Attorney Mr. Moses Sande, Speaker Morrice Buluma and Deputy governor Philip Kutima. BY BENJAMIN SAKWA

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has threatened to blacklist local contractors who fail to deliver on county projects.

He said a number of contractors had betrayed the good will of the county by doing sub-standard work.

“In the spirit of empowering our people, the county government has tried to give priority to local contractors. However, many of them fail thereby occasioning many delays,” said Mr Oparanya.

He blamed some of the contractors for failing to complete classrooms for Early Childhood Development Education centres.

However, speaking during the State of Kakamega County address last week, Oparanya said the county had delivered on key development projects.

“At inception, the county had very depressing health indicators and an inadequate, poorly supported network of health facilities. To mitigate this, the county government has taken a strategic step to construct a teaching and referral hospital in Kakamega at a cost of Sh6 billion,” he said.

He added that upon completion of the project, the hospital would offer specialised healthcare to cancer, diabetes and kidney disease patients.

MEDICAL STUDENTS

The hospital will also be used to train medical students from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) School of Medicine.

“One of the most outstanding successes of devolution in the county is infrastructure. Over 44km of road have been tarmacked under the ambitious programme to upgrade 200km,” said Oparanya.

He said the challenges of implementing projects included a limited and irregular flow of resources.

“Despite the challenges, we have tried our best to change lives and turn the county’s economy around. The agricultural subsidy and diversification programmes we implemented have contributed greatly to food security and improved incomes. There is a general reduction in poverty levels and improved livelihoods,” he said.

He said the county had addressed the issue of unemployment in the county through the Kazi Mashinani initiative, which hires over 2,400 youths every year, while at least 9,000 traders had benefited from loans.