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Speech by Prof. John K. Lonyangapuo GOVERNOR, WEST-POKOT COUNTY Delivered on Tuesday 10th Oct 2017, During Official Opening of the County Assembly

- Madam Speaker

- Members of Parliament

- MCAs

- County Executives

- Invited Guests

- Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to thank the Speaker and MCAs for inviting me to grace this auspicious occasion as you formally embark on discharging your various mandates in this County Assembly. May I congratulate you Madam Speaker for your election and wish you all the best as you discharge your duties. I also congratulate you, MCAs, for having been bestowed with the great honour of representing your various wards in this Assembly. I'm pleased to be with you today as we officially embark on a 5-year journey of making a difference in the lives of the people of West-Pokot County. I’m in the process of forming my government which will be completed soon. The members of the County Executive Committee (CEC) were sworn in recently and are now discharging their duties. The Chief Officers will soon be brought on board to complete the set-up of the top team of managers to run the county affairs. Ladies and Gentlemen, the County Assembly is a key component of the County Government. You are the legislative arm that makes laws and approves development plans and policies for the County. In other words, you are the major factor (Engine) of Devolution. Therefore, as you embark on your legislative duties, I want to remind you that the people of this County look up to you to set and champion their development agenda and welfare affairs. They eagerly expect you to work for them. Therefore, I urge you to debate matters soberly and honestly. Make the resolution of the plight of the common mwananchi to be your ultimate goal. The work ahead is enormous and we have no time to relax. Our people are suffering out there and we must hit the road running in order to create positive change in their lives. As your Governor, I promise to work with you to ensure that the development of this County is achieved and sustained. Personally, I will regularly consult this Assembly to get more views and input regarding our County's development. I will also endeavor to show the right way (guided by my manifesto); so that we achieve positive results. Ladies and Gentlemen, as you all know, there is little to celebrate in our county in terms of development across all spheres; be it in the economy, education, health, agriculture, etc. Let me say something has been done; but we still have a lot to do in all the sectors that will uplift the living standards of our people. We are confronted with numerous challenges such as high illiteracy levels, poverty, malnutrition, school dropouts, low income, poor infrastructure, lack of industries, incidences of insecurity, lack of adequate tertiary colleges and no public university. My government will be at the fore front in confronting such challenges and many others and also in providing lasting solutions that will be beneficial to the residents of this county. We have a manifesto which lays down key areas of focus mainly education, health, irrigation, industrialization, peace building, water and environment, among others. The implementation of this manifesto will go a long way in addressing challenges facing our county. However, to achieve this development, my government will work closely with this Assembly to ensure that the aspirations of the people are well addressed, articulated and delivered to the grassroots effectively, seamlessly and equitably. Ladies and Gentlemen, although I took over office barely two months ago, my government has ear-marked various projects to kick-start our development agenda. We have committed about Sh. 200 million for bursary and scholarships to benefit our students in secondary schools, colleges and universities. Plans are underway to constitute a County Bursary Committee to be in charge of this fund. This tem will be up and running by November this year. The underlying factor is that we shall ensure these funds are distributed equitably and fairly. Last month, we launched a Sh. 300 million irrigation project funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB). The project is located in Batei Ward and it will benefit over 500 households with approximately 10,000 people. It will cover over 800 acres of irrigated land. Meanwhile, we are also in the process of constructing affirmative action Free Boarding Primary Schools at the border points prone to insecurity. They are Sapulmoi, Akulo, Apuke, Nauyapong, Kanyerus and Katikomor. These schools will increase enrolment, retention and transition of pupils to secondary schools and other tertiary colleges. They will mainly target boys and girls who would never have had a priviledge of going to school. Likewise, we are in the process of establishing model Early Childhood Development Centres (ECDCs) in every ward across the County. I also wish to bring to your attention that we have started conducting free vaccination of animals in Pokot North where we have already spent about Sh. 10 million. We will roll-over the same exercise to most of our County where threats of outbreak of livestock diseases are reported. Furthermore, one of our major endeavours is to provide clean water through sinking of boreholes and construction of various dams across the County. We are also going to provide solar street lighting in major towns or centres in our wards. In the next few weeks we shall be buying maize from farmers and storing them in Kacheliba and Sigor to ensure food security in our County. Furthermore, my government is working on a bill of County Community Service (similar to NYS) so that we constructively engage our youth in every ward or location; and thus enable them earn some income. We have also set aside money for Co-operative loans (better known as loans mashinani) to be loaned to business people at low interest rates. In terms of infrastructure, our priority is to construct and maintain the major roads in every ward. We shall also tarmac some roads in our Sub-County towns; starting with Chepareria and Ortum. The rest, such as Kabichbich, Sigor, Keringet, Kishaunet, Kacheliba, Amakuriat, etc, will follow later. In regard to security, we all know that some areas along the borders of our county face sporadic incidences of insecurity which must be addressed by all residents and security arms of the government with the urgency it deserves. In this regard, we shall work closely with our neighbouring County governments and the central government in ensuring that citizens live in harmony. I appeal to security agencies, elders, NGOs, and all citizens of goodwill to reject and expose the perpetrators of insecurity so that lasting peace can be realized and meaningful development can take place. I have just singled out a few areas of development among many others. We shall be discussing and initiating more development projects in the days to come. Finally, I believe that if we work together as leaders and put our resources to maximum use, a lot of wealth will be generated in this County and our people will no longer live miserable lives. I'm glad that despite the numerous problems faced in this County, our devolved system of Government has given us the powers and resources to tackle most of these problems. The burden is upon us to deliver. God bless you all. Prof. John K. Lonyangapuo GOVERNOR, WEST-POKOT COUNTY

Members of the County Assembly have been asked to prioritize the needs of the locals of this county.


While delivering his first state of the county address as governor at the county assembly chambers, Prof. John Lonyangapuo urged the MCAs to be part of his five-year journey of changing the livelihoods of the people of West Pokot county. The governor said that he will consult regularly with members of the County Assembly to confront challenges and provide lasting solutions.


The county boss maintained that he is committed in ensuring that every resident in the county benefits from his government, “My government is working on a bill of County Community Service, which is similar to NYS with the aim of engaging our youths.”
He reiterated his commitment towards the realization of his government’s manifesto, saying it’s implementation is key in changing the face of this county.

Follow this link to read Governor's speech:

SPEECH BY PROF. JOHN K. LONYANGAPUO GOVERNOR, WEST-POKOT COUNTY DELIVERED ON TUESDAY 10TH OCT 2017, DURING OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE COUNTY ASSEMBLY

Livestock is the backbone of our economy in West Pokot County. The governor commissioned a free vaccination exercise against the Contagious Borine Pleura Pneumonia (CBP) disease on Saturday at Kanyerus in Suam Ward of Kacheliba Constituency . The week long exercise will be conducted in North Pokot along its borders with Uganda and Turkana County. It is a preventive measure and targets 30,000 livestock.

It's being coordinated by county's livestock officers, the governor calls upon the national government to boost the exercise through additional funds which will ensure that all the animals along the border will get vaccinated.

Area MP Hon Mark Lomunokol thanked the county government for initiating the exercise and called upon all farmers to avail their livestock at designated cattle dips for vaccination.

The vaccination improves immunity of livestock for a period of 6-8 months and the move seeks to improve livestock productivity and enhance its marketability, West Pokot is the largest supplier of meat to Kitale, Western Kenya, Mai Mahiu, Nairobi and others areas.

Governor Lonyang'apuo was accompanied by County Executive Committees (CECs), Geoffrey Lipale (Pastoral Economy), Luka Chepelion (Roads and Public Works), Joel Arumonyang (Lands) and Augustine Lotodo (Trade) among other top county officials.

A major financial crisis is looming in West Pokot County following delay by the National Treasury to release funds for counties.
Development projects in the county have stalled and workers have not been paid their salaries.
It is more than three months now and activities in the county have come to a halt.

 
 Governor Prof. John Lonyang'apuo addressing the county staff


Area Governor Prof John Lonyangapuo has protested over delay in disbursement of quarterly release of funds saying it has crippled services and running of activities in the County.
He said the delay had greatly affected operations, with health, education bursaries, disaster management and public works, county public service and procurement being the most affected.
“We are not doing anything on the ground yet KRA is operating. We cannot buy drugs or pay for operations in our hospitals, and we are worried that our employees might down tools due to the delay to pay their salaries,” said Lonyangapuo.

 
 Education and Technical Education staff pose for a group photo with the governor


He said development projects and payments to suppliers and contractors in the County may be put to hold due to a financial crisis.
Speaking during a meeting with County staff in Kapenguria, Prof  Lonyangapuo cited that  the repeat election should not affect operations in Counties.
“Presidential elections and politics should not affect working in counties,”he said.  
The Governor blamed the national government for delayed disbursement of funds to County government which has greatly affected service delivery.
“We are facing a lot of pressure to offer critical services to residents due to lack of funds. We have not received   funds the last three months   which has made us unable to implement most of our projects,” he said.
The Governor warned National Government officers in the County over misuse of government resources. “They should change.” cited Lonyangapuo.
Prof Lonyangapuo issued a stern warning to county workers over engaging in corruption, laxity, absenteeism urging them to style up and follow the code of conduct and adhere to code dressing.

 
 From left sitted: Honourable Elijah Kasheusheu, Governor Prof. Lonyang'apuo and County Assembly staff


“Politics are over and we need to work. Everyone must be in ties from 8.00 am -5 pm. We shall supply 5000 copies of code of conduct for workers,” he said.
He asked workers to read his manifesto to ensure service delivery to residents.
He asked workers to go to their respective work stations cautioning them on many seminars and inductions and trips outside the County.

CEC RUTH CHEPKOECH KISABIT

  • She attended Talau Primary School and did her CPE in 1982
  • She joined Nasokol Girls Secondary between 1983-1986 for her O levels and proceeded to Moi Girls High School-Eldoret for her A levels between 1987-1988
  • She graduated with a Bachelor of Education from Moi University in 1992
  • She is currently a student in Kisii University- Kapenguria Campus undertaking Masters in Education Management and Administartion
  • She has been a Secondary School teacher and Principal Laikong Secondary School