BY FRED MAKANA
A high level Kirinyaga County leaders was left highly impressed after the Presidential Delivery Unit outlined the development projects by the Jubilee Government concluded or ongoing in the devolved unit.
The meeting organized by Interior Security PS Dr Karanja Kibicho and attended by the PS Road Prof Mwangi Maringa, Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kibiru, Kirinyaga Central MP Wambugu and Mwea MP Kabinga Wathayu among other high ranking officials, while Woman Rep Wangui Ngirici sent apologies.
It emerged that in terms of roads alone in 2013, the entire Kirinyaga County had only 59kms of tarmacked roads but this has grown by 633% to 433kms, active water connections have risen by 60% while new electricity connections have grown from just 28,503 to 137,730 connections a rise of 380%.
As at the time President Kenyatta assumed power in 2013 Kirinyaga County was grappling with challenges of underdeveloped roads, low electricity coverage and connections, lack of safe piped water with low coverage and connections of the little that was available.
However today, Kirinyaga residents bask in glory thanks to the Jubilee government which has expanded the road network. There are tarmacked rural trunk and access roads which has eased movement within the country and the neighbouring Embu, Muranga and Machakos counties.
“We are able to deliver our perishable goods at the Kerugoya and Mwea markets without difficulties we used to face in the past. Similarly, fellow traders who are interested in our rice and vegetables come as far as from Nairobi and Kiambu to buy our produce. We are very thankful of the Jubilee government,“says Salome Karaba, a resident of Kutus.
Under the stewardship of President Kenyatta his government has seen 108,227 homesteads connected to electricity both in urban and rural areas of Kirinyaga County. Within the said period the government has also seen the last mile electricity connectivity and construction of new substations at Kigumo and Kiamutugu.
Another milestone is whereby 345,688 residents are today beneficiaries of clean water whereas an additional 383,964 have benefited from a new sewerage system, something that was a pipe dream in the past years. And as part of boosting agriculture especially rice farming, the major cash crop for locals, the government initiated the construction of Thiba Dam and canals to expand Mwea irrigation scheme to boost rice production at a cost of Shs 8.2 billion.
The Jubilee government is also quick to point out major investments in public infrastructure upgrade and expansion. For instance, within President Kenyatta’s nine years in power his government has constructed the Kithingo-Kerugoya Road and Sagana – Marua Road at a cost of Shs 20 billion.
Moving on to special projects, back in 2013, President Uhuru promised Kirinyaga residents that he could look into their welfare by working on dilapidated sports and social facilities.
True to his word the Jubilee government Constructed Wang’uru Stadium to International standards, leading to the economic improvement of Kirinyaga County and supporting youth talent development.
As a result Kirinyaga county which has never hosted a National public holiday event was privileged to host Mashujaa day celebrations in 2021 at the Wang’uru Stadium
In the Health sector where President Kenyatta has been placing mwananchi at the core of transformation, the government has achieved a lot for Kirinyaga residents. As at 2013 the county was struggling with limited public health facilities and obsolete medical equipment.
As at the end of last year major investments in primary, specialised and referral hospitals, Investments in Medical Equipment Services (MES) Programme were built at a cost of Shs 806.4 million in Kirinyaga county.
At the same time, very few mothers were able to access safe maternity services within the five sub counties of Kirinyaga East, Kirinyaga West, Mwea East, Mwea West and Kirinyaga Central.
The government committed itself and as President Kenyatta exits office his government has provided modern medical equipment to Kerugoya and Kimbimbi hospitals while over 59,000 women have benefitted from a Shs 41.9 million Linda Mama, a Free Maternity deliveries programme.
As part of empowering youths in Kirinyaga the government Constructed and upgraded four Technical Training Institutes across all the four Sub-counties of Kirinyaga which were also equipped with the relevant tools, teaching and learning materials to ensure trainees acquire high quality training.
Additionally, the Jubilee government saw the construction of three Constituency Industrial Development Centers (CIDCs) at Kerugoya town, Wanguru town and Kianyaga market which has several youths benefit from the Digital empowerment programmes (Ajira) and Mbele na Biz grant financing.