Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi has pledged to make the shine in 2019 by enhancing healthcare, increasing access to clean water and promoting youth empowerment.
Speaking when he addressed journalists on his new-year development agenda, Mr Murungi said he is keen on promoting tourism and providing clean water to residents.
Governor Murungi said his administration will 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 the gospel of 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, promote preventive healthcare and provide affordable health services to all people of Meru including the poor and the vulnerable,” Mr Murungi said.
The governor said his county government will build a five-star hotel at the Meru National Park besides promoting cultural tourism.
He said he will 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.
On national politics, the governor said that President Uhuru Kenyatta is doing his best in developing the whole country.
“I don’t agree with those saying he has neglected the Mt Kenya region. He is giving us a lot of support to develop Meru County. He has given us Sh900 million for Kinoru Stadium, Sh900 million for miraa farmers and waived Sh400 million debt for milk farmers. He is supporting the revival of coffee production,” the county boss said.
Governor Murungi urged leaders from the region to strategise on how to mobilise more resources for development.
“With devolved governments, it is for us as governors to develop our counties. Politics of grandstanding and opportunistic rhetoric will not help Mt Kenya region,” he said.