Buoyed by the latest report by the Controller of Budget which singled out Narok County as the only devolved unit that spent a satisfactory amount of money on development, Governor Samuel Tunai is bullish, vowing to do even more this financial year.
The 2018/19 report indicates that the county administration spent Sh847.48 million on development, representing 25.9 percent of the annual development budget of Sh3.27 billion.
Mr Tunai has prioritised roads and early education infrastructure in the six sub-counties of Narok North, Narok South, Narok West, Narok East, Kilgoris and Emurua Dikirr.
“Apart from realigning the county development to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Fou Agenda, we shall also go big on youth employment and introducing livestock breeds that can change residents’ fortunes,” Mr Tunai told the Sunday Nation after flagging off 11 new ambulances leased from the Red Cross.
The county government had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kenya Red Cross Society in 2013 to provide emergency medical services in all the sub-county hospitals.
The Sh79.2 million deal was renewed this week as the 11 ambulances replaced the old vehicles.
“Kenya Red Cross will strive to respond to medical emergencies professionally and offer life-saving training to empower the public to handle emergencies safely,” Kenya Red Cross secretary-general Abbas Gullet said during the ceremony.
In a number of initiatives which appear geared at warding off criticism that he did not do much in his first term, Mr Tunai has also allocated land for the construction of a Sh1.7 billion sewerage system in Narok town.
The first ever sewerage system will serve the nearly 80,000 residents of the fast-growing agricultural and tourism hub.
Mr Tunai told the Rift Valley Water and Services Board (RVWSB) and Chinese contractor Sinohydro Ltd that the county will offer support to ensure a speedy construction of the sewer system.
The governor said the project includes construction of sewage treatment plant and treated waste water reuse facilities at Polon'ga in the outskirts of the town.
“The old plan had not envisaged the rapid growth of the town. Setting up of a modern water and sewerage system will attract more investments and pull more visitors,” he said on Thursday at Season Hotel during the ceremony to hand over the sewer site.
During the event, RVWSB chairman Samuel Oruma said the Africa Development Bank-sponsored project will improve sanitation in the town and its environs.
Mr Tunai said the county has started implementing the new curriculum for early childhood development education (ECDE) by distributing textbooks to learning centres.
The governor — who was accompanied by the Kenya Literature Bureau chairman Francis Baya when he flagged off lorries with 55,000 books to the sub-counties — said the books for distribution to pupils in the county’s pre-primary schools included additional 9,600 teaching guides for teachers.
Mr Tunai said all pupils at ECDE centres will receive five books each — one book for each of the five subjects they study.
The sixth subject, physical education, will be covered by teaching guides. Every teacher will get a teaching guide for all the six subjects.
Last year, the county unveiled a Sh150 million CT scan, which the governor said will boost the fight against various forms of cancer and other non-communicable diseases by enabling early detection and management.
The centre has been fitted with a fully operational theatre, renal unit, an automatic generator for power backup, cloud imaging devices, laser and thermal printers and equipment to measure radiation levels.
Mr Tunai said the universal health coverage programme launched in the county by Deputy President William Ruto will benefit 12,000 needy households.
“The NHIF Supa Cover cards will be provided to the elderly, widows, orphans and families that cannot afford the Sh6,000 annual fees for the card,” Mr Tunai said.
He said the high cost of medical care had impoverished families in the county.