Machakos County is set to benefit from billions of shillings in funding from a host of local and international development partners.
Governor Alfred Mutua revealed this on Wednesday after he held talks with high-ranking officials of local and international organisations.
The round table discussions focused on how to enhance partnership in the development of Machakos County by eradicating poverty and creating wealth and employment.
While speaking to journalists, Dr Mutua said his administration is committed to ensuring that all resources, both local and international are used prudently in order to benefit the residents of Machakos.
He said the meeting had secured commitments worth close to Sh50 billion, whose proposed ejection into various development projects is expected to highly boost the county’s development agenda.
“I am very pleased with the large turnout and the fruitful discussions. We highlighted our development agenda, our many successes and the massive remaining gaps which require funding so as to fully achieve our programme of poverty eradication and economic growth in all sectors,” Dr Mutua said.
He went on, “When I was running for re-election as governor in 2017, I promised that I will use my international and governance experience to lobby for local and international external resources and investments to help us achieve our Maendeleo Chap Chap agenda before 2022.”
Some of the ambitious development programmes lined up by the governor include the actualisation of the county’s food and water security, urban development, infrastructure development, improvement of healthcare services, support programmes for entrepreneurial development as well as ICT development and improved financial management systems.
In the 2019/2020 financial year, Sh100 million was earmarked for the initial establishment of an airport in Machakos, which the county government says will open up the region to international investors and creation of thousands of direct and indirect job opportunities.
In the county’s healthcare plan, Dr Mutua plans to spend Sh542 million for the maintenance and equipping of all facilities at the Machakos Level Five Referral Hospital and a further Sh136 million for the maintenance and equipping of the four level four hospitals in the county.
In the meeting with the donors, Dr Mutua sought technical support on financial management systems, external resources mobilisation as well as revenue management systems.
To address water shortage in the county which has approximately 1.5 million residents, the county boss persuaded the development partners to assist in building of dams, reticulation for boreholes, elevated steel tanks and solar powering systems at a cost of Sh957 million.
At the same time, the county is seeking partnership for cancer prevention and management, disaster preparedness, blood management system, community health strategy and advanced training for health workers.
To strengthen governance and administration, Dr Mutua is seeking partnerships in staff capacity building programmes and office automation.
He, at the same time, sought donor support to rehabilitate the coffee sector and dairy farming besides ensuring access to affordable credit to farmers.
USAID Deputy Programme Officer Stephen Fitzpatrick said the organisation’s partnership with the Machakos County government will support food security, healthcare and education.
Also present in the meeting was Jared Mark from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
Mr Mark said that FAO will support Machakos to bridge the funding gaps in food security and nutrition.
“We have established a desk in the county to ensure partnership programmes yield the desired results. We assure the governor of our support in supporting agriculture and food security initiatives,” Mr Mark said.
The Machakos round table meeting was also attended by representatives of World Bank, World Vision and Amref.
“I called for this meeting because it is important to harness resources so as to roll back poverty and propel our people from Third World to First World status within the shortest time possible,” Governor Mutua said.
Dr Mutua said he is committed to ensuring that Machakos County leads in the fight against corruption.