Isiolo Governor Abdi Ibrahim Guyo has announced plans to establish an accident and emergency centre at the county's referral hospital to decongest the overburdened casualty department.
The hospital, which serves hundreds of patients daily, has been struggling with limited space at the casualty department, forcing accident victims to incur additional costs to seek services at hospitals in neighbouring counties.
The completion of the centre will come in handy as the hospital prepares to be upgraded to Level Five status.
The governor revealed that a team from the Ministry of Health had recently visited the hospital to check whether it met the requirements for upgrading and would soon make its recommendations.
"With the expected upgrade, the centre will serve Isiolo and neighbouring counties," said Mr Guyo as he led residents in Madaraka celebrations at Merti yesterday alongside County Commissioner Geoffrey Omoding.
Accompanied by Woman Representative Mumina Bonaya and other leaders, Mr Guyo also unveiled plans to upgrade local hospitals in Merti and Garbatulla sub-county to Level Four status to ease pressure on the referral hospital.
Patients in need of specialised treatment in the two sub-counties have been travelling more than 100 kilometres to the referral hospital, incurring high costs and running the risk of dying before reaching the hospital.
"This is in line with my quest to ensure that all residents have access to quality and affordable services close to their homes and do not incur high costs to access essential services," he said.
This comes as occasional drug shortages continue to be a major impediment to healthcare delivery in the fast-growing county.
The governor also announced a number of measures to ensure better water coverage in remote areas where residents have to walk longer distances to access the vital commodity.
The county, in partnership with the Water Sector Trust Fund, will implement the Sustainable Management and Access to Water and Sanitation Project, which will provide clean and safe drinking water to more than 1,700 households in Chari, Garbatulla and Sericho districts.
Mr Guyo recently commissioned the Korbesa domestic and livestock water project, which will benefit hundreds of families in Chari ward.
The county boss also announced that a water project at Modogashe on the Isiolo-Garissa border will end the water crisis that residents have suffered for decades.
"The water supply will be completed in the 2023/2024 financial year and the pipeline design and bill of quantities have already been completed. I will also drill more boreholes in hard-hit areas to ensure access to clean water," he said, adding that the water supply will also help prevent disease outbreaks.
To ensure food security, the county government will work with the national government to bring 50,000 hectares of land under irrigation.
President William Ruto has already announced the construction of two mega dams; Crocodile Jaw in the Ewaso Nyiro River and another in Kubiqalo to encourage residents to diversify their livelihoods and increase their incomes.
"This will enhance our capacity to produce more food at community level and also generate income from surplus production, which will help address the menace of food insecurity," said Mr Guyo.