By Reuben Olita
President Dr William Ruto on Sunday announced many goodies for the County Government of Busia, thanks to the good collaboration between Governor, H.E Dr Paul Otuoma and the head of state.
Addressing county residents and leaders who had attended an Inter-Faith Thanks Giving Service at Busia Stadium, the President said the Government has set aside Ksh1billion for the construction of an Export Processing Zone and a further Ksh250m for construction of an Aggregation Industrial Park at Nasewa, with the county government also contributing Ksh250m.
“My government has rolled out the project in 14 counties, but Busia is number one in initiating the program, adding that this will get rid of cartels and it will help remove Busia as a poor, ” he said, regretting that Busia is among the poorest counties in Kenya yet it has the highest potential of being number one.
Dr Ruto said his government has also factored in the budget the dualization of of the Busia-Kisumu road from One Stop Border Post to Korinda. We shall later extend the same towards Korinda-Nambale road.
He noted that the tarmaking of Public Works-Alupe road is 40 per cent complete while the Multipurpose Ang’ololo Dam project in Teso North that is shared between Kenya and Uganda is on course.
Other projects to be executed include the Kocholia Dam, Mt Elgon Gravity and Kocholia Dam projects, added that there are 100 big Water projects, 1000 smaller projects and 3800 water pans spread across the country.
The President also revealed that each of the 35 wards in Busia County will benefit from an ICT hub to enable the unemployed youths benefit from digital jobs.
He concurred with the Governor that there is need to embrace oil crops production in the country like simsim, groundnuts and palm oil among others which can realize over Ksh100 billion per year.
“The President said 42 counties including Busia will benefit from affordable housing, revealing that 5000 cheap and affordable houses will be built in Busia with the Governor already allocating land for the project; Ruto revealed that about 25,000 youths from Busia will be recruited to plan for the housing project. They include engineers, quantity surveyors, electricians, carpenters, plumbers and labourers, among others.
The President said all these, including additional 15,000 households to benefit from electricity is due to his goodworking relationships with Azimio Governor, Dr Paul Otuoma whom he described as hardworking and who values his people and development.
Busia Governor, H.E, Dr Paul Otuoma said there are 40,000 boda bodas in the county with a turnover of Ksh Ksh40m per month and Ksh1.2b per year but with the riders remaining in abject poverty.
” The riders remain poor because of shylocks who inflate the prices of motorcycles; we are going to get rid of them to enable the county reap from improved revenue collection and to better economic well-being of the members.
He added: ” My government is making deliberate efforts of reviving the economy. Cotton and cassava production declined and granaries used to be a must. There is no re-inventing the wheel. About 80 per cent of land is good for agriculture. We need to embark on edible oil production in our economic recovery program.”
Cabinet Secretary, Ababu Namwamba said the 50-acre International Stadium at Nasewa will be named Busia Industrial Park Sporting City, adding that the County Government will refurbish Busia County Stadium with the National Government to construct the Internatonal Stadium at Nasewa.
He also dymstified alleged false notion that the President had failed to absorb people from the county, naming 22 who have been absorbed by the Ruto administration.
Former Governor, Sospeter Ojaamong said his community will support President Ruto’s development agenda. ” I will also work closely with my successor, Dr Otuoma who is my friend and because I will not be Governor again.”
Deputy Governor, H.E, Arthur Odera said water scarcity is a major challenge in the county that needs an urgent solution to address the anomaly including the actualization of the Mt. Elgon water project.
“The rain challenges in Busia is a reality caused by climate change. We need the fast tracking of the completion of these projects to enable county residents receive adequate water,” he said.
In his sermon that captured the mood of leaders present, Sheikh Ramadhan Musa urged all leaders to cultivate the gospel of tolerance despite provocation to ensure peace prevails in the country.
Othe leaders present included Busia Senator, Okiya Omtatah, Bungoma Governor, Kenneth Lusaka, MPs Geoffrey Mulanya (Nambale), Mary Emaase (Teso South), Oku Kaunya (Teso North), Joseph Oyula (Butula),Michael Muchira (Oljororok), Kwenya Thuku (Kinangop), John Waluke ( Sirisia), Women Representatives, Beatrice Adagala (Kakamega), Susan Ngugi (Tharaka Nithi), Former Busia Senator, Amos Wako, Cabinet Scretary Trade, Moses Kuria, PS MSMES, Susan Mangeni, UDA Secretary General, Cleophas Malala, former Busia Women Rep, Florence Mutua, CECMs, Chief Officers and MCAs.