President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto visited Turkana County on Monday, highlighting the progress the north western county has made in the last four years including the delivery of electricity, water, improved health services and roads.
President Kenyatta and the DP flew to Kakuma, whose facilities were far-stretched by refugees from South Sudan, and then onwards to Lokitaung. They were due to also visit the oil town of Lokichar, before a rally in Lodwar.
The President highlighted the Sh50 billion Turkana County has received over the last four years under the devolution agenda, as well as more billions in investments by the national government that have significantly improved the lives of the pastoral community.
Thousands of Turkana turned up drapped in the red colours of the Jubilee Party causing the President to laugh at opposition suggestions that Turkana was an Orange zone.
“Let me tell you. The opposition leaders were in government holding various positions for decades. One was even a prime minister, the other vice president, the other finance minister, the other foreign minister. What did Turkana have to show in that time? Don’t be led astray by people who have never had you in their agenda,” the President told the Turkana community.
“They are a greedy lot that has always thought only about themselves,” the President added.
The President urged Turkana residents to turn out in their numbers to re-elect Jubilee government which has demonstrated its commitment to their welfare.
He said for the last four years Jubilee administration has initiated the construction and tarmacking of 650 km of roads, while for the first time Kakuma is being connected to electricity through diesel powered generator.
He also said the whole of Turkana is going to be connected to the national grid courtesy of the switching on of the last mile connection project in Lokichar.
“Within two weeks all houses here in Kakuma will be connected to electricity through the diesel empowered generator. However we intend to connect you to the national grid in a few years as we will be switching on the last mile connection at Lokichar today,” said President Kenyatta.
The President also noted that the government has upgraded Lodwar hospital to level 5 by investing Ksh 430 million through the Managed Equipment Services and also Lopiding hospital to level 4 by equipping it with medical facilities of Ksh 380 million under the same MES programme.
“ Today the people of Turkana don’t have to travel to Kitale or Eldoret for better healthcare, we have installed theatre equipment, sterilization and surgical sets, renal, imaging and radiology equipment in Lodwar and therefore locals can get proper medical help within there county,” said the President.
President Kenyatta said the government will soon begin the process of drilling the Lokitipi aquifer to enable the residents access and utilise the underground water for domestic, irrigation and for their livestock.
The President said it is unfortunate that the current Turkana county government has failed to prioritise the needs of the locals key among them water and yet the national government has allocated and reinbursed enough resources for the same.
Deputy President Ruto said the Jubilee administration is an action-oriented government demonstrated by the development projects initiated throughout the county and country.
“Here in Turkana we have initiated several road projects, already the construction of 120 Km Todonyang-Likitaung-Kalokol is ongoing at a cost of Ksh 5.1 billion,” said the Deputy President.
He further said the government had already set aside Kshs 3 billion for the rehabilitation of Leseru-Kitale-Kapenguria-Kainuku- Lokichar.
DP Ruto said the rehabilitation of the road has been awarded to seven contractors who already on site to hasten the completion of the project.
“You used to travel to Eldoret for medical services, now you don’t need to do so as the government has installed equipment worthy Kshs 380 million in Lopiding hospital where you can be examined and given proper health services,” said the Deputy President.
Jubilee aspirants for various seats led by John Munyes, who is contesting for gubernatorial seat, thanked the President and his deputy for demonstrating their zeal to uplift the lives of Turkana people through the initiation of various development projects.
Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro accompanied the President on the visit, part of his nationwide tour ahead of elections on August 8th