Governor Bii revives push to have Eldoret town elevated to city status

Governor Jonathan Bii Chelilim during this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations

Uasin Gishu County Governor Jonathan Bii Chelilim.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Bii has urged the government and stakeholders to support the quest to have Eldoret town elevated to a city status.

Speaking at the Mashujaa Day Celebrations marked at Central Primary School in Eldoret, Mr Bii said the status elevation was one way of honouring international athletes from the region as heroes and heroines.

He challenged all stakeholders to join forces towards creating an environment that will spur the town into a city status.

Mr Bii promised to create a conducive environment for investors in the region to boost economic growth in Eldoret town and satellite towns in the county.

“For this town to become a city in honour of international athletes, we must all work together in respect to the law. We have the blessing of our President who is a resident of this county and we must be a town that will be emulated by other towns bearing in mind that this is where the President comes from,” he said.

He hailed President William Ruto’s speech which revolved around mobilizing transformational patriotism and value-driven heroism for the well-being of the citizens of Kenya.

However, he warned against the resurgence of street children in the town, terming it a threat to security.

He revealed that the county has embarked on peaceful relocation of all street children from the town.

The governor said all street children below the age 18 years will be taken to Eldoret Rescue Center while those above 18 years will be taken to training and technical institutions to acquire technical skills to help them earn a living.

“I have instructed our officers to work with all stakeholders in order to relocate street children to Eldoret Rescue Centre and the adult street families will be helped to acquire technical skills so as to use the skills to earn a living,” the governor said.

County Commissioner Dr Edison Nyale said his office is working with the governor to ensure all government projects in the county are implemented, in line with President Ruto’s bottom-up model of development.

Food shortage, insecurity dominate speeches

In West Pokot, food shortage, unemployment, poverty and high illiteracy levels dominated the Thursday celebrations.

Governor Simon Kachapin said there is food shortage due to high prices of farm inputs and high cost of living.

"We need affordable farm inputs," he said, noting that unemployment remains high in the region.

"We are solving these problems and devolution is addressing some of these challenges," he said, calling for collective efforts to end poverty in the region.

County commissioner Apollo Okello said measures are in place to ensure relief food gets to families hit by food shortage in Masol and North Pokot sub counties.

Mr Okello also called on elected leaders in the county to support the government of President Ruto deliver on its election manifesto.

In Baringo, the perennial insecurity menace dominated speeches at the celebrations held at Kabarnet Museum grounds.

County Commissioner Abdirisack Jaldesa assured locals in troubled border villages that banditry will soon be a thing of the past, warning criminals that their days were numbered.

The administrator promised that criminals terrorizing residents in the region will be flushed out in two months.

“We want to roll out development in the area, including opening up of roads, sinking boreholes in the far flung areas and hideouts for bandits, including Silale and Akoret villages,” said Mr Jaldesa.

He also issued a stern warning to parents in Tiaty who have turned school going children into herders, saying they will be arrested if found.

He said starting January, with the help of chiefs and elders, they will roll out forcible schooling in remote areas where banditry and stock theft is rife.

Governor Benjamin Cheboi said his administration will continue to play its part to try and solve the perennial problem.

“Even as we do so, I urge the national government to continue acting decisively and clamp down on this vice once and for all,” said Governor Cheboi.

Key projects

In Bungoma, Governor Ken Lusaka announced plans by the county government to make radical changes in healthcare and infrastructure.

Addressing residents who attended the celebrations at Posta grounds in Bungoma town, the governor said focus will be on key projects to ensure efficient service delivery.

“I have to fulfil what I pledged during our campaigns. Our people have to see a working government, which will serve them well,” he said.

He added: "This will help us unlock and benefit from additional resources needed from development partners such as the World Bank.”

He urged MPs to support his efforts by enacting appropriate laws that will help with implementation of key programs.

“We must harmonize our priorities and ensure our actions are mutually supportive of each other, and that these are directed at the realization of our development goals," he said.

By Titus Ominde, Oscar Kaki, Florah Koech and Brian Ojamaa