Counties can be drivers of Big 4 agenda

Saturday July 14 2018
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A fruit processing expert collects processed mango juice in a fruit value addition plant in Embu. PHOTO | BRIAN OKINDA | NMG


Matters of social security are critical to comfortable living to which every citizen of any civilised society is entitled.

What I know is that the organisation and management of how all that happens should be the duty of any responsible government.

That means the political men and women and the women and men who they appoint to make things happen.

That being the case, we all understand that the leaders in government are about making policy which must be taken care of by the implementers and which we citizens have to go along with unless they hurt our existence. It is a relief and edifying, therefore, to hear leaders talking about universal healthcare, housing, food security and so on.

It would, of course, help a lot if in all these things there is more public participation.

On Tuesday last week, the Daily Nation sought opinion from experts and practitioners on how universal health care can be achieved.



What caught my attention was the testimony of one of our governors.

It is not so much about the governor himself – with whom I have interacted in the past. It was about the import of what he was saying about healthcare.

The man in question is Governor Kivutha Kibwana who was explaining how Makueni did start a healthcare system.

From what he said in that testimony, it seems they are getting somewhere and if they can add to it the renewed NHIF campaign, they will have achieved some level of an effective and hopefully efficient health care system.

Incidentally with regard to Makueni, I have also seen information elsewhere about something else which indicates that the people there led by their governor have started an industry.

This industry was founded to process a locally available resource which had earlier been left to brokers to manage.


Here we are talking about the mango fruit which is apparently plentiful out there. That industry is now processing mango pulp for sale. The county collects mangoes from farmers and pays them a better price than what the brokers used to pay. They then process the juice for the market. Talk of value addition.

I have no evidence about what is happening in other counties but, in the case of Makueni, we certainly have a demonstration of the fact that if led with the interest of Kenyans at heart, counties can in fact be effective drivers of the Big Four agenda for Kenya.

The other thing is that if something is working in one county, the other people do not have to re-invent the wheel. Why don’t they compare notes and get to know what is successfully happening where and follow that model?

The writer is dean of students and sociology lecturer at the University of Nairobi; [email protected]