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February 19, 2019

Bringing Big Four to the grassroots

Nakuru senator Susan Kihika andNyeri town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu during a meeting with Central Kenya leaders at Sagana State Lodge, Nyeri County on friday.Photo/PSCU
Nakuru senator Susan Kihika andNyeri town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu during a meeting with Central Kenya leaders at Sagana State Lodge, Nyeri County on friday.Photo/PSCU

The President has stated that his legacy will be defined by his Big Four agenda. There is manufacturing, whose contribution to the GDP government plans to increase from 9.2 per cent in 2016 to 15 per cent by 2022 and create at least 800,000 jobs. There is food security, where the government targets self-sufficiency in the production of maize, rice and potatoes.

On health, the government intends that every Kenyan has access to quality and affordable healthcare. Finally there is housing, where the government plans to build at least 500,000 affordable units. The end result is supposed to be jobs and better living conditions.

No doubt the plan is brilliant. However, to most Kenyans it is ‘out there’. The people I blame for this are local politicians. President Uhuru Kenyatta has explained his plan nationally. Elected governors, senators and MPs — especially those elected on his party ticket — are not explaining it locally. We must domesticate the Big Four for it to make sense.

When I ran for office I knew that the average Nyeri Town resident wants an environment that enables him to put food on the table, educate his children, access affordable healthcare, have a good road network to facilitate movement and be secure. (To this I added my pet project of empowering the boy child). As MP, it is therefore very easy to marry what Nyeri Town needs to the Big Four agenda and that is what I am doing.

For example, under manufacturing we want to ensure that at least five of the Business Process Outsourcint plants the government will establish for cellphone, laptop and TV assembly are in Nyeri, specifically at Dedan Kimathi University. We also want to ensure that out of the 50,000 youth and women to be trained in leatherwork, at least 200 are drawn from the constituency.

We are also promoting Dedan Kimathi University as the primary learning institution for leatherwork training because it already has a leatherwork degree course. (This will also increase the student-driven economy in Nyeri Town). Finally we also want to ensure that out of the 5,000 cottage industries being set up, at least 20 are in Nyeri Town and of the five million square feet of industrial sheds being constructed, 20,000 are in Nyeri Town.

Under food security we want to have at least 20 of the 1,000 SMEs to be established set up in Nyeri. We also want to lobby for at least 20 SMEs out of the 1,000 to be established to focus on food processing, to be in Nyeri Town. We will also ensure that the government succeeds in reforming the legal and policy frameworks that govern the coffee sector to ensure easy promotion of value addition, because coffee farming is big for us.

Under healthcare, Nyeri county has been identified as one of four counties where the government will pilot the 100 per cent universal healthcare concept. Mine is to ensure that literally everyone is registered in the programme, wherever they are in the constituency.

I will also ensure all our women are on the Linda Mama programme. I’m also pushing for one of four cancer hospitals to be established in Nyeri, and for the former Nyeri Provincial General Hospital to be fully resourced as a referral hospital and one of the centres of excellence for kidney health and treatment.

On housing our governor has already lobbied for 2,000 of the 500,000 units to be put up in Nyeri. Since Nyeri Town is an urban centre, mine is to ensure that at least 1,000 of those are in the constituency.

As an elected Jubilee MP this is how I am working to make the Big Four agenda real in Nyeri Town. constituency. I hope others are doing the same.

Ngunjiri is Nyeri Town MP

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