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Governor Wycliffe Oparanya urges successor to build on his Sh94b development

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

Kakamega County government has spent Sh94 billion on development projects since the inception of devolution in 2013.

Speaking during his final State of County Address yesterday, Governor Wycliffe Oparanya outlined his administration’s achievements, noting the county had made huge strides.

Mr Oparanya said the achievements have since transformed the livelihoods of residents, and urged the next regime to take advantage of the sound structures he has put in place to steer the county to greater heights.

Infrastructure development consumed Sh11 billion, agriculture and education got Sh4 billion and Sh3 billion respectively.

The Sh94 billion was received as sharable revenue from the National Treasury. 

The county received additional Sh7.3 billion from conditional grants and another Sh6.5 billion from own revenue collection, according to the county chief.

Under health, Mr Oparanya initiated the construction of Sh10 billion Kakamega Teaching and Referral Hospital, which is 93 per cent complete.  “We are in the process of handing over the facility to the National Government for completion and operationalisation,” he told the county assembly.

Others are Mumias Level Four Hospital, which is complete and equipped, as well as Shamakhubu and Butere hospitals, whose construction is ongoing.

In reproductive health, the Imarisha Afya ya Mama na Mtoto programme has reduced infant mortality rate from 40 to 19 per 1,000 live births, and maternal mortality from 880 to 316 per 100,000 live births. “We have enrolled 31,789 needy and vulnerable mothers under the programme and another 8,800 vulnerable households to the National Health Insurance Fund under Universal Health Care programme,” said the governor.

Mumias Level Four Hospital Covid-19 isolation area. [File, Standard]

In agriculture, Mr Oparanya said his administration distributed 887,771 bags of subsidised planting and 784,943 bags of top-dressing fertiliser, and 1,098,936 packets of maize seeds to farmers in the 12 sub-counties.

“This helped increase maize production per acre from five bags in 2013 to 12 bags in 2021,” he said.

On roads, he said 150 kilometres have been upgraded to bitumen standards. 

“In addition, my government constructed 5,533 kilometres of roads under the 10 kilometres per ward roads project.”

He said the county has established 916 ECDE centres that helped increase enrolment from 76,469 learners in 2013/2014 to over 124,500 today, while 2,016 ECDE teachers have been absorbed.

The devolved unit established 63 polytechnics, leading to an increase in enrolment from 3,555 to 10,539 trainees and and 331 instructors employed.

Mr Oparanya said his government built 12 open-air markets, and initiated Amatsi Khumukhuru (water at doorstep) project, which has increased access to clean drinking water from 36 per cent in 2013 to 61 per cent in 2022.

On social sports, he has embarked on upgrading Bukhungu Stadium to international level.