Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi has pledged to make the county ‘a wonder’ in 2019 by enhancing healthcare, increasing access to clean water and promoting youth empowerment.
In his new year message, Governor Murungi said his administration would also unveil the Meru Vision 2040, and start an initiative to modernise markets and towns.
The Vision 2040 is being prepared by the Meru Economic and Social Council led by former Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura.
“I will devote my time and energy preaching hard work, making Meru rich and prosperous. I want to make Meru 'a sign and a wonder'. The MeruCare, a universal healthcare programme, will transform our health services and provide affordable health services to all people in the county,” Mr Murungi said.
Mr Murungi said the county government will construct a five-star hotel in Meru National Park besides promoting cultural tourism.
The governor said he would also promote grassroots development through the Ward Fund. The fund has been allocated Sh900 million - with each ward entitled to Sh20 million for projects identified by ward development committees.
“This year, we shall commission more boreholes and water projects in all the wards. We shall expand the Meru Youth Service to empower our youth and give more economic opportunities to our struggling youth. I will unveil the Meru Vision 2040, an all-inclusive long-term strategic development plan for the county,” he said.
Mr Murungi called for a close working relationship with legislators and other leaders in the county.
Meanwhile, Kenyans seeking services at the Meru Huduma Centre can now be served as early as 6.30am and late in the evening after working hours were extended.
Workers at the huduma centre will now work under a two-shift system, 6.30am to 1pm and 1pm - 7.30pm, in bid to improve service delivery.
Meru is one of the eight counties where the programme has been rolled out.
While launching the initiative, Meru County Commissioner Wilfred Nyagwanga said the extension of working hours is expected to reduce congestion and improve staff productivity.
“Now that the huduma centre staff have flexible working hours, we expect improved services. No service should be stopped at the huduma centre for whatever reason,” Mr Nyagwanga said.
Meru Huduma Centre manager Mary Lairumbi said the station has been experiencing congestion between January and March when most parents apply for birth certificates.
Public Service Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia issued the directive on extension of time in July last year when piloting of the shift system kicked off at Nairobi huduma centres.