Four Nordic ambassadors hail Makueni as Model County for devolution success

Finnish Ambassador to Kenya Erik Lundberg and his counterparts from Denmark, Norway and Sweden receive Makueni Vision 2025 handbooks from the Deputy Governor Adelina Mwau. [Philip Muasya/Standard]

Four envoys have hailed development in Makueni County.

Finnish ambassador to Kenya Erik Lundberg, Mette Knudsen of Denmark, her Norwegian counterpart Elin Bergithe Rognlie and Anna Jardfelt of Sweden said Makueni was a model other counties should learn from.

They spoke at the county yesterday when they paid Governor Kivutha Kibwana and his deputy Adelina Mwau a courtesy call.

The envoys said Makueni's success story was an indication that devolution was working.

The envoys toured several projects, including the newly opened Mother and Child Hospital and Kalamba Fruit Processing Factory.

“We are impressed by the good work being done by the governor in alleviating poverty and positively impacting the lives of the people. The success here needs to be shared with the rest of the country,” said Mr Lundberg.

Many opportunities

Knudsen said Makueni had many opportunities in environment, climate and health for Nordic countries to learn from and partner with counties for the benefit of Kenyans.

“Denmark views devolution as key to enhancing equitable development for the people of Kenya. Makueni County has demonstrated notable achievements in realising the great promise of devolution,” she said, adding: “We are supportive of the governor’s approach. For instance, the new Mother and Child hospital constructed with limited resources should be emulated by others.”

The new hospital recently launched by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta was put up at a cost of Sh135 million. There was no external funding. Ms Knudsen said Denmark would support primary healthcare in counties.

Prof Kibwana said: "The diplomats are our development partners and are happy that we have utilised funds... We are working closely with foreign countries to improve lives of our people."