Sunday, May 22, 2016
President Uhuru Kenyatta is guided on a tour when he officially opened the Garissa County Fire Department. Also present is Deputy President William Ruto, Garissa County Governor H.E. Nathif Adam Jamaa and Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Hon. Aden Dualle. PHOTO/PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta concluded his three-day working visit to North Eastern region on Saturday with a call for peace and unity.
The President urged residents to be vigilant and to cooperate with security agencies in maintaining the prevailing peace and security in the region.
The visit saw the President inspect and launch various development initiatives in the three counties.
The President, who was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto and local leaders,said the Government is working round the clock to ensure adequate security, pointing out that the number of security officers has been increased and modern equipment provided to them to cope with security challenges.
The Head of State said no development could be realised without peace and urged local leaders and residents to be at the forefront in the efforts to make North Eastern safe and secure.
On the issue of National Identity Cards, which was raised by the local leaders, President Kenyatta reiterated that every Kenyan has the right to be issued with an ID but there was need to ensure the process is not misused.
The President asked the leaders to work closely with village elders, county and national Government in vetting the youth to ensure only genuine Kenyans get identity cards. “Kenyans have a right to be issued with Identity cards,” said President Kenyatta.
On electricity, the President said his launch on Friday evening of the Garissa sub-station, which was implemented by the national Government at a cost of Sh3.5 billion has made Garissa the first town in the North Eastern region to be connected to the national grid.
“This ensures that Garissa has sufficient electricity that is reliable, meaning that even large industries can now set up shop in the town because of the reliable energy,” President Kenyatta said. “Once these industries are built, our youths will get jobs and these are the developments we want.”
Earlier, President Kenyatta launched the 135 kilometre Nuno-Modogashe highway, the first road that will link the three North Eastern counties of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa. The road is being constructed by the national Government at a cost of Sh8 billion.
“The national Government also has plans to use a further Sh8 billion to extend the road from Modogashe to Wajir town by the end of the year,” President Kenyatta said.
He said that the Government will use a further Sh800 million to improve roads in Garissa County and make it one of the most prominent towns in Kenya.
The President said that he will come back to Garissa before the end of the year to open a water and sewerage project that is being built by the national Government at a cost of Sh800 million.
“This will be the first mega water and sewerage project to be built in North Eastern Kenya,” the President said.
Other projects launched by President Kenyatta in Garissa county included the street lighting project which he said will boost security and trade by facilitating a 24-hour economy.
“As the Holy Month of Ramadhan approaches, people will be assured of security as they go to pray because of the street lighting,” the President said.
The President also opened the Garissa Huduma Centre to ensure Government services are taken closer to the citizens.
The Head of State affirmed the Jubilee Government’s commitment to equitable development, saying nothing will stop it from ensuring that marginalisation is a thing of the past.
“We want to see that Garissa, Mandera, Wajir, Turkana and other counties are no longer marginalised counties but are part and parcel of mainstream Kenya and the development of our nation,” President Kenyatta said.
On health, Preside Kenyatta said the Government will invest Sh800 million through the Managed Equipment Services to ensure that Garissa residents will not have to go to Nairobi for specialised medical services.
The President said two hospitals in Garissa county will be equipped with MRI, theatre, renal dialysis, radiology and Intensive Care Unit facilities.
Speaking during the occasion, Deputy President Ruto said in the last three years of the Jubilee Government, the North Eastern region received Sh18 billion from the National Government for development projects besides the billions of Shillings allocated to the respective county administrations.
“As Jubilee, we believe that devolution is a sure way of ensuring that no county will be marginalised,” the Deputy President said.
He asked the opposition to focus on development instead of engaging in destructive activities.
“We are telling our opponents that there is a new way of doing things that is non-confrontational, non-violent and non-divisive,” the Deputy President said.
In Wajir county, President Kenyatta launched the Digital Literacy Programme, a multi-billion water for schools project, a Huduma Centre, the tarmacked Wajir Airport road and Wajir Medical Training Centre hostels.
While in Mandera county, the President’s visit saw the commissioning of the tarmacking of the Sh2.5 billion Elwak - Rhamu road at Elwak town, set aside to Sh380 million to provide specialised equipment under the Managed Equipment Service project at Elwak Level 4 hospital and similar amount to improve facilities at Mandera hospital.
The county also benefitted from Sh50 million allocated by the national Government for a Medical Training College at Elwak that will be constructed in collaboration with the Mandera county government.
Other speakers included National Assembly Majority Leader Adan Duale and Garissa County Governor Nathif Jama among other leaders.