- Barasa pledged to upgrade, equip, stock with medicine, address health workers’ welfare and operationalise the Kakamega County Health Services Act 2022
- The second governor of Kakamega promised farmers to access fish feeds, soft loans through farmers’ cooperatives
Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa has outlined his six-point agenda for the county.
Barasa said that his administration will focus on health, food security, wealth creation, education, good governance and social development to transform the lives of residents.
He said he will rid the county of cartels, particularly at the county referral hospital within 100 days.
Barasa pledged to upgrade, equip, stock with medicine, address health workers’ welfare and operationalise the Kakamega County Health Services Act 2022 to establish a facility improvement fund for all level 4 and 5 hospitals to improve services.
“This fund shall ring fence and ensure that monies collected from a particular health facility are used within the facility,” he said after being sworn in together with his deputy Ayub Savula.
“Our hospitals must be agents of saving and prolonging lives of the people and not transition centres for early deaths."
The county needs a healthy population to grow its wealth and reduce family medical expenses he said.
“Any shilling we spend on treatment postpones our wealth and draws us to poverty. This will stop under my leadership,” he said.
The governor said that his government will ensure many households are connected to piped water.
Barasa committed to building industrial parks and bringing more investors to reduce poverty and increase employment opportunities under his wealth creation agenda.
He said his administration will also highlight key strategic tourism attraction areas to bolster the western tourism circuit.
“Employment opportunities have diminished in the county most of our young people are in dire need of income. It is my dream and vision to position our great county as the lake region investment hub,” he said.
He promised to put up a bodaboda assembly plant under the Barasa Economic Empowerment programme and three satellite mega shops for spare parts to be managed by bodaboda saccos to reduce initial operating costs by the riders.
Barasa pledged to support investment opportunities in the dairy industry, tea production and processing, maize milling, sugar cane production, transport and sports.
On food security, Barasa said his government will provide the necessary support to farmers including training especially on climate-friendly farming methods.
The second governor of Kakamega promised farmers to access fish feeds, soft loans through farmers’ cooperatives, more extension officers, improve transport infrastructure and market linkages locally and internationally to fetch the best prices for their produce.
“The value chains of goats, pigs, poultry, bees, maize and other crops will be strengthened in order to create hundreds of thousands of jobs for our young people and realise better returns,” he said.
“Our intent is to maximise on agricultural research findings coupled with resolutions of public participation forums to achieve mass quality productions to benefit our people and contribute comfortably to own source revenue,” he said.
He said that the county will partner with Masinde Muliro University, Kalro and Bukura Agricultural College to improve the local livestock breeds and products through an enhanced, accessible and affordable artificial insemination programme.
"Agriculture contributes 52 per cent to our Gross County Product and supports livelihoods of 80 per cent of more than 2 million people in Kakamega directly and indirectly," he said.
The governor called for political goodwill from the national government and support from all stakeholders for the revival of Mumias Sugar Company which has been down over huge debts.
“Let me warn the cartels who have continuously frustrated the revival efforts of the miller for personal and material gains,” he said.
Good governance, Barasa said will restore the ward development fund to equitably distribute flagship projects at ward and subcounty levels.
“In doing all these, it is my vision to enhance citizen participation in county development matters to ensure the right development is prioritised,” he said.
His predecessor Wycliffe Oparanya scrapped the ward development funding during his second term, terming it unconstitutional in what was seen as a plot to clip MCAs and force them to tow his line.
Barasa said that his government will initiate quarterly county leaders fora to review development progress and moot plans to deal with challenges.
(Edited by Tabnacha O)