Wanachi Watukufu wa Marsabit; Distinguished Guests, Ladies &
Gentlemen;

I am delighted to join you all as we commemorate 55 years of our independence from a colonial master. This is a significant day in our national calendar that reminds us of the time when the British flag was brought down and for the very first time, our own Black, Red, White and Green flag flew over a free Nation called Kenya.

That day marked the beginning of our journey as an independent and sovereign nation. The raising of our flag on that first day signalled the birth of “the land of the free and the home of the brave”.

This year, we have decided to celebrate this historic day from here, in Moyale – a day that has a double significance for us Kenyans – the day we obtained our independence in 1963 and a year later in 1964 when Kenya was admitted into the commonwealth and the United Nations Assembly as a
sovereign State.

Once again, we pay tributes to our freedom fighters for their struggle, most of whom paid the ultimate price to set us free from the shackles of colonialism. This independent, sovereign and a free nation called Kenya, is their gift to us.

As we commemorate this important day, let us thank the Almighty God for all the love and favours He has bestowed upon us – as a people and as a Country. Through the changing motions, during the last 55 years of our national history, we have always seen the hand of God in guiding this young
nation.

My Beloved People:

We, in Marsabit County, derive a special feeling of re-birth from Jamhuri day because, during the first 50 years before the advent of devolution, our story has always been that of a painful struggle, desperation and lost opportunities which are instigated by years of state marginalisation and neglect.

But we have now decided that we will no longer dwell on marginalization of the past years, because devolution has now brought us a more realistic and practical meaning to the right to self-determination. With devolution,
we have the freedom and responsibility to re-build our County, and restore our dignity as a sovereign people just like the rest in other parts of Kenya.

Whilst it will be too far-fetched to claim that, even with devolution, everyone in Kenya now lives in dignity and freedom, we can say that hope, that never was, has been rekindled; and opportunities that never were, have now been made available. And already, just only after 6 years, success stories of devolution are told everywhere. We have every motivation to celebrate this Jamhuri Day differently from the pre-devolution Jamhuri days.

I am standing here in Moyale to celebrate this day with you as your Governor, because devolution made this a reality. I am determined to ensure that the success stories of devolution will also be seen and told everywhere in our county.

Fellow County Men and Women:

It is now about 15 months since you gave me the mantle of leadership as your Governor with the clear mandate to oversee the affairs of this great county. I can state with great pride that I have endeavoured, every day and
every minute of the past 15 months to live up to your expectations of our people.

Certainly, I cannot claim that I have already met all your expectations. Challenges still abound, and they are still areas where we are either yet to intervene OR the results are not being achieved at the required speed. But there is no doubt that we have made immense progress and the story of Marsabit is already fast changing- from the narrative of fragility to that of hope for a much brighter and promising future in the days ahead.

We have put in place measures and mechanisms for an overhaul of our health sector, with intent to promote, in every respect, the Marsabit people’s right to quality, affordable and accessible healthcare services.

As part of our efforts to improve healthcare service delivery we have in the last one year recruited 175 Community Health Extension Workers, 80 Nutritionists and 10 Pharmacists and 3 Medical Officers which are evenly distributed across all the sub-counties.

Immediately after assuming office, I made a promise to work toward a Universal Health Care in Marsabit through a progressive increment in the number of persons with a medical cover. We have fulfilled that promise.

Today, thanks to the support programme we initiated, a total of 60,000 vulnerable persons (10,000 Principal Members, 50,000 dependents) in Marsabit can access medical insurance cover through the NHIF medical scheme anywhere in the Country.

That is is why NHIF paid Kshs. 314,000 as medical bill for Nacha Woge Ushe from Marsabit town admitted in Nairobi; Just as Ali Mohamed Hussein from Moyale and Nanguro Loricho Leala from Karare got their medical bills of Kshs. 150,000, and 130,000 respectively covered by NHIF, because their
annual subscriptions have been taken care of by your Government.

As of last month, NHIF paid Ksh. 5.5 Million for 195 patients who were admitted in various hospitals across Kenya.This programme will be progressively up-scaled with the view to achieving Universal Health Coverage in Marsabit.

I have been briefed that out of the total 60,000 beneficiaries, only 5,000 (less than 10% of the total) have so far registered with local health facilities for outpatient services. I am now directing the CEC Member for Health and his
counterpart in Administration, to ensure that all beneficiaries are immediately registered with local health facilities.

Last year, on a Jamhuri Day like today, I made a promise of a free ambulance services in Marsabit. We have fulfilled that promise too.

Since the inception of free ambulance services, a total of 978 critical case referrals, within and outside the County, have been recorded. All the costs of the ambulatory services, which stood at Kshs. 70M so far, was borne by your government with no financial burden shared with patients.

Our effort to make the Marsabit County Referral Hospital operate at full level-5 capacity is well on course. As part of Kenya-Cuban Agreement that was signed earlier this year, we have received 2 medical specialists – a General Surgeon and Family Health Specialist who have been placed at the
Marsabit Referral Hospital.

The County has also recruited a specialist gynaecologist to work at the hospital, effectively eliminating the need for delivery-related referrals,except for the most critical cases requiring ICU services.

Further, we have installed the Dialysis Machine at the Marsabit County Referral Hospital and we now have a fully-functional Renal Unit at the hospital. As of last week, the Unit is providing 14 dialysis sessions per week
to 7 patients who should have been referred elsewhere.

During last year’s Jamhuri Day celebration, I also made a promise of equipping both Marsabit Referral and Moyale Hospitals with CT-SCAN machines with the aim of reducing referrals related to imaging services. We
have fulfilled that promise too.

The CT-SCAN at the Marsabit County Referral Hospital has already been installed, ready for use; while in Moyale, the housing structure for the machine has been erected, and the machine will be installed soon.

Great People of Marsabit:

We have also kept our promise of establishing a Medical Training College within the Marsabit Referral Hospital, because the contractor is already on site and construction of the College is well under-way.

Insofar as this year’s plan, we have allocated a total of Kshs. 275 Million for the construction, equipping and/or upgrading of 95 Health Facilities across this County. Equally this year, we plan to commence the construction of a
Level 4 Hospital in Sololo Makutano to serve the populations of Uran, Obbu and Sololo Wards and their environs. And to actualize this, an initial Kshs.35M has been allocated in this year’s budget to kick start the work.

Beloved Citizens:

From day one in office, your government also made a solemn promise to make education and training services, not only accessible and affordable but also of high quality.

Before we took over, there existed a Kshs. 45M Scholarship Fund, initiated by my predecessor, which was limited to supporting students in Universities and middle-level colleges. Recognizing the financial challenges facing many parents with secondary school-going children, your government has amended the County Scholarship Act to increase the Scholarship Fund to Kshs. 60M and extend the Fund’s coverage to secondary schools students from poor background.

Early this year, I made a promise of a Full Scholarship to all boys and girls in our Public Schools, who scored 350 and 300 marks and above respectively in their 2018 K.C.P.E.

Whilst I congratulate all the 2018 K.C.P.E candidates for the efforts they made in the examinations, I want to particularly commend those who posted sterling performances and are able to meet the cut points for access to County Scholarship.

I want to announce to you, that as from January 2018, at least 110 Form one Students will benefit from a Full Scholarship from the County. This was my promise to them, and our word is our bond.

Further, a total of 1150 students in Universities and middle-level colleges will benefit from a partial scholarship, while 650 TVET students will access full scholarship to undergo Technical Vocational trainings at our TVET
centres.

Equally, to improve access and quality of education in all the 300 ECD Educational centres in Marsabit, we recruited, early this year, an additional 204 ECD teachers, bringing the total number of ECD teachers in Marsabit to 420. All of the 420 teachers will be provided with capacity-enhancement opportunities to improve their pedagogical skills.

During this financial year, your government will procure and supply a total of 18,000 chairs; 4,500 tables; 4,800 New Curriculum ECD Books; and 4,200 New Curriculum ECD Wall Charts to all our centres.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

We remain focused on our commitment to improve access to clean water both for domestic and livestock use. That is why your Government, in the last one year, constructed 10 underground water storage facilities, 14
masonry tanks and 4 water pans; drilled 13 boreholes, out of which 8 were successful. Further, with the view to increasing water connectivity to homes,we have connected 30 systems across the County.

In Marsabit town, the county government in partnership with national government has commissioned a 1.6B Shillings Project to construct and install Sewerage system as well as Sewerage treatment facility in Marsabit
and its surrounding. The Contractor is already on site.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

You all know we are grappling with high rate of youth unemployment. It is clear that in the past, Kenya as a country did not respond, quickly and sufficiently, to the changes in the job market demands. But now the world is
changing. Kenya is changing. And we in Marsabit too must adapt to the changes around us.

We need to employ pragmatic approaches so as to combat the real challenges of unemployment. We must first and foremost realize that white collar jobs are becoming fewer every year, and other alternatives must be pursued.

However, despite our best intention the past one year, to give due priority to Marsabit youth, our responses to issues affecting the youth have been somehow ad hoc. This was so because a purposive policy that is supportive
of youth agenda has been lacking.

This challenge will now be addressed through the development of Marsabit Youth Service Policy which has been approved by Cabinet. Similarly, a County Assembly bill to operationalize the youth policy and create fund to address priority youth issues -Marsabit Youth Fund Bill 2018, is being developed.

The bill will create fund to support programmes for Youth Empowerment,
Community Service; Skills Development; Sport and Sporting programme;

Youth Enterprise and Business Development; and Post Training Support, including Paid Internships.

My Fellow County Men and Women:

These are just but a snapshot of the progress we have made in select sectors over the last 15 months. But similar progress has been registered in all other sectors.

Your government is determined to take devolution to the lowest administrative unit, the village, as outlined in the County Government Act 2012. The Village Administration Bill 2018, which will guide us in the creation of Village Units, has been before the County Assembly for approval and enactment into an Act of County Assembly.

We will undertake comprehensive land surveys and physical planning of all towns; we will re-possess all illegally acquired lands, as well as idle parcels of land. I have already written to the Kenya Civil Authority requesting the de-gazettement of old Moyale Airport to enable us put the land to productive use.

We will exploit our blue economy to enhance Marsabit people’s livelihoods. To do this, we have set Kshs. 25M to procure 20 fishing boats to increase the fish catch, while a 100-Million-Shillings fish processing factory will be constructed at Loiyangalani to increase volumes of fish processed.

Ladies and Gentlemen; if the KAYO government is not a working government, then no government can be called a working government. This is a government determined to work for you, no matter who you are and no
matter where you are. But we should be given space to deliver.

Whilst constructive criticisms and demands for better service delivery are vital, empty criticism will only serve as distraction that consume time and drain the drive of the government to deliver services.

Finally; we are familiar with the saying that the wearer of the shoe knows where it pinches most. It is in cognizance of this that devolution embraced public participation as the core principal, making people part and parcel of
the planning process.

This Government will pride itself in being a trustee of resources on your behalf, and to use those resources only in causes determined by you. I therefore urge you to get involved in development planning and decision making processes through the public participation.

Beloved People of Marsabit: As we celebrate the end of year festivities I request every one of us, to work toward our common goal of building a united, prosperous and equitable county. As your Governor, it remains my
most cherished endeavour to work towards uniting all Marsabit communities, and move them together to a better future.

I take this opportunity to wish you all, blessed holidays and a prosperous new year. Let us continue to show love, care and compassion for the less fortunate amongst us during this end year festive season as a great people
in this great county.

I Thank you all!

May God bless you; May God bless your neighbour; May God bless Marsabit: