Governor Kihika unveils five-year development plan for Nakuru

Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika at the County Assembly of Nakuru during her first State of the County Address on February 21, 2024. [Daniel Chege, Standard]

Governor Susan Kihika has unveiled the Nakuru County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) 2023-2027 to guide her economic development agenda for the next five years.

The 3rd generation CIDP is in line with the constitutional requirement that no government resources should be appropriated outside a planning framework.

Speaking during the launch at Nyayo Gardens in Nakuru City on Wednesday, Kihika said the document was subjected to scrutiny by various stakeholders, including the public, and the county assembly.

The governor noted that the document has taken into consideration her manifesto, the national government manifesto, Vision 2030 blueprint and the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda.

Kihika also launched the County Statistical Abstract (CSA), which serves as a comprehensive compilation of key statistics relating to the social, political, and economic aspects of the county.

She said the document also plays a crucial role in providing reliable and up-to-date statistical information for policymakers and planners.

The governor outlined health, water and sanitation, education, wealth creation, food security, social development and good governance as major issues that his administration will deal with.

Kihika cited eight key development areas to be implemented within the said period, with emphasis on carrying forward ongoing projects and programmes initiated by her predecessor in the last five years.

“It would be foolish to fail to complete projects that were initiated by my predecessor. It would be a waste of tax-payers money,” she said, adding that her decision was informed by good governance practice.

The governor explained that the CIDP aims to operationalise and upgrade eight sub-county health facilities into Level Four hospitals offering standard quality healthcare.

The healthcare plan also includes recruiting and placing health workers and sustainably increasing the budget for preventive-curative medical services.

On Education, Kihika plans to complete ongoing Early Childhood Education Centers (EDEC), construct nine model ECD centres, recruit and post 350 teachers annually, and recruit, and post 300 Vocational Training Center instructors.

“Grading and gravelling of 2000 kilometres of earth road through the Imarisha Barabara programme, tarmac 66 kilometres of roads within urban centres, are among the plans contained in the document,” Kihika said.

She said her administration will explore the use of solar energy to power 80 per cent of street lights under the County Street Lighting master plan program.

The document contains a plan to increase access to market services, through renovating 23 existing markets and the construction of 25 new ones.

The county plans to increase food security through the induction of farmers on best agricultural practices that will enhance food production.

The plan will give an overall framework for development, and integrate the long-term spatial, sector and urban plans with inputs from the governor's manifesto, national government programmes, past county development performance, and expectations from the public of other development actors.

In attendance were Governors Ken Lusaka (Bungoma), Wesley Rotich (Elgeyo Maralwet), Nakuru Town East MP David Gikaria, Nakuru county assembly Speaker Joel Karuri Kairu, and senior county officers.

Dr Lusaka described the CIDP as an important document to align Kihika’s manifesto to the county development agenda.

“Kihika will succeed in implementing the manifesto in five years, but she needs the support of senior county officials who she has employed to support her vision and mission for the county,” he said.

The Bungoma governor challenged county officials to be loyal and supportive of the governor for her to succeed in transforming the county.

“We are here today as a witness that she will succeed in her agenda for the county,” he said.

Lusaka urged the National Treasury to expedite the release of funds for counties to avert shutdown.

“We call upon the National Treasury to ensure timely and predictable disbursement of equitable share to all the 47 counties in line with the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act 2017 that dictates that funds be received by counties by the 15th of every month,” he said.

Governor Rotich said the plan is impressive and will go a long way in improving service delivery and economic growth of Nakuru county.

He hailed Kihika for being among the first female governors in the Rift Valley, saying she has shown a good example of leadership to girls across the region.

Gikaria said after serving as a mayor and a councillor in the defunct Nakuru Municipality, he was confident that the CIDP was well-developed and focused on key areas of development.

“I have served this city as a mayor and a councillor, and I know that this CIDP will be key in Kihika’s development agenda,” he said.

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