Kirinyaga county concludes public engagement on priority development projects

County Government of Kirinyaga has concluded a two-day public participation exercise on the County Fiscal Strategy Paper (CFSP) 2024-2025 that prioritizes implementation of live changing development projects across all sectors.

The public participation aimed at gathering crucial insights from residents on priority programs, policies, and reforms to be implemented in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Finance and Economic Planning Jackline Njogu said strategy paper aims at building on inclusive and sustainable growth trajectory initiatives by Governor Anne Waiguru.

Allocation for the 2024/25 financial year and medium term will be pegged on need to finance investment that directly creates jobs and transforms lives of the people.

The first round of exercises was conducted a Kianyaga and Wanguru, followed by sessions at Kerugoya and Baricho, with hundreds of residents turning up to give their views.

Njogu attributed success in implementation of development projects in the county to the two-way public participation process.

“If you invest in a project that is not people-oriented, you will be in conflict with the people’s needs, thus implementation becomes extremely tough. Involving people from the planning stages ensures that implementation becomes much easier and helps reduce waste of public resources,” she emphasized

The CEC emphasized on the need of public participation which she said involves “listening to the people,” both to understand their needs and to assess how their lives are actually being affected by government projects and policies.

She said Governor Waiguru’s administration has implemented projects worth billions of shillings in the county with the support of the community.

“The main aim of public participation is to encourage the public to have meaningful input into the decision-making process. Public participation thus provides the opportunity for the government to listen and understand needs of the people,” she said.

The CEC said over the years, the county government has invested in projects that have the greatest impact on people among them construction and equipping of health facilities, water supply, bursaries, road rehabilitation, construction of markets, cabro paving of town, street lighting among others.

“Most of these projects are people driven initiatives, it is through public participation that the community tell us what they want and then we allocate funds for the projects and this way the projects have the support of the people,” she added.

She further elaborated on the significance of the County Strategy Fiscal Paper, emphasizing its dual role as a developmental roadmap and a legal requirement.

“The county strategy Fiscal paper serves as a report that not only shows projects that people want but also as a record of past projects and their impacts. It is required by law and should be submitted to the county assembly by the 28th of February 2024,” she explained.

Speaking during one of the forums in Baricho, Muriithi Murani asked the county government to develop mechanisms to market the Technical and Vocational Education (TVETS) centres so as to attract more youths to pursue career courses.

“Our TVETs have one problem which I would like the county government to address, mobilization so that many of the youths can enroll for the technical courses. We should also have WiFi in our TVETs institution to help the youths get digital space skills course to tap on online job opportunities,” he said.

Another resident Jeniffer Muriuki, said the surge in lifestyle diseases in the county calls for the county government to consider rolling out of free medication for diabetes and hypertension in all medical facilities.

“There are reports of our county being ranked as having the highest prevalence of diabetes and hypertension, we are asking that the county prioritize provision of free medication for the diseases in all the facilities,” she said.

Kirinyaga County Disability Organization Chairperson Lucy Wangari asked the county government to involve representatives of People Living with Disability (PLWDs) while deciding on which assistive devices to purchase for the people.

She further asked the county to follow up on strict adherence to building codes, standard and regulations to ensure all public facility are accessible by PLWDs.

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