H.E Prof. John Krop Lonyangapuo is the second and current governor of West Pokot county. Prof Lonyangapuo, a seasoned politician and a member of KANU, recently served as the first senator of West Pokot county before embarking on his journey for the gubernatorial position.
Prof Lonyagapuo has risen from humble beginnings to now; a household name in Kenyan politics. Previously, the governor held senior government positions during Kibaki administration where he served as the permanent secretary-Min of Industrialization (2010-2012) and later on served in the same capacity, Min of Public works (2008-2010) following a reshuffle by the then president Kibaki.
During his tenure as the PS, Prof Lonyangapuo facilitated a lot of development; improving the state of roads and building bridges across the county. He is also credited for initiating academic institutions in West Pokot, Tiaty in Baringo and Eastern Uganda.
The governor, who is passionate about matters education was appointed the principal of Chepkoilel campus, which was a constituent of Moi university then, serving from the year 2002-2007.
Early life & Education.
Prof lonyangapuo was born in 1964 in Kanyarkwat, a remote village in the then West Pokot district, Rift Valley province. At the age of 10, he joined Kanyarkwat primary school where he sat for his certificate of Primary Education(CPE), then proceeded to Ortum Secondary School for his ‘O’ levels, subsequently emerging top in his class.
He then joined St. Mary’s School of Yala for his ‘A’ levels in 1985. Prof. Lonyangapuo joined Egerton University for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. In 1995, he got a scholarship for Doctorate in Applied Mathematics in the University of Leeds, UK. After three years in Leeds, he returned to Kenya and joined Egerton University as a senior lecturer.
After close to two decades of experience in the field of academia and public service, Prof. Lonyangapuo joined politics in 2007 and contested unsuccessfully for the Kapenguria parliamentary seat on a KANU ticket, emerging third.
In September 2012, he resigned as PS and vied for the West Pokot senatorial seat, competing against seasoned politicians Hon. Samwel Poghisio and Rev. Julius Murgor who were then serving members of parliament for Kacheliba and Kapenguria, and minister and assistant minister, respectively.
He became the flag bearer of the KANU party where he won with a landslide, garnering 72% of the votes. The CountyTrak Senator’s approval survey, conducted by Infotrak Research and Consulting on behalf of the Daily Nation in 2015, Prof John Krop Lonyangapuo of West Pokot was the highest ranked Senator in the country, with an approval rating of 74.5 per cent.
He was then referred as ‘senator 1’ by his colleagues and constituents for his debating prowess and contributions in the senate. In 2016, Prof. Lonyangapuo declared his interest to run for the West Pokot county gubernatorial seat which was hotly contested and he subsequently won during the elections conducted on 8/8/2017.
Six years ago, Kenyans voted to decentralize government, ushering in a new era of leadership. When we began this journey almost a decade ago, our key agenda was and remains to improve the livelihoods of our people. All our initiatives and programs have been pegged on that goal so as to achieve shared prosperity, enhanced delivery of vital services and improved management of public resources.
We have prioritized strengthening our three key pillars; improve and provide quality education to our people, boost the county’s economy and achieve a more inclusive society for all. From annual bursaries to every student from high schools to colleges and tertiary institutions to ECDE infrastructure improvement, we are committed to ensuring that every child gets an equal chance at securing their future. With initiatives such as free distribution of cash crop seeds to improved livestock breeds and WEPESA Sacco, our economy is booming. These initiatives have and continue to provide equal opportunities to all county residents. This is our commitment.
Our county is vast and endowed with natural resources that provide endless opportunities for investment. With the setting up of milk and mango processing plants, the county’s economy is set absorb a number of unemployed youths, this will result in the demand for housing as well as hotel investment. We pride ourselves also for being the county with quality honey, that continues to be a source of income for communities in lowland areas of the county. This is an area for investment too and this county welcomes investors.
Through partnerships with various organizations and entities, we have mobilized financial, technical and partnership support for initiatives to develop stronger institutions, enhance service delivery and increase citizen engagement in governance. As a result, our heath sector has seen rapid and positive change towards the provision of quality healthcare. We have also improved our road networks, a key factor towards economic development.
While challenges remain, there are several bright spots, successes and good practices across the county. These achievements can be attributed to effective partnerships with development partners, government institutions, civil society and others.
We are in a state of progress and we continue to strive to provide solutions and exemplary leadership to our people.