By Prudence Minayo
Running a county government is no walk in the park. It requires a clear transformational roadmap and a team that is visionary. As a matter of fact, Kenyans should consider electing future presidents from the best performing governors. This writer takes a look at Kenyan governors and the projects the electorate will remember them for when their term of office come to an end.
Wycliffe Oparanya-Kakamega County
Wycliffe Oparanya is the Kakamega governor and chairman of the Council of Governors. He has spearheaded a number of projects that have been beneficial to the people of his county. They include:
- The rehabilitation and modernization of Bukhungu stadium, transforming it into the best sporting facility in the region.
- Tarmacking more than 50km of road.
- Building the Sigiri bridge in neighboring Busia county after it collapsed
- The Oparanya care, a maternal health program that gives new mothers Kshs.2,000 after birth and the same amount whenever they visit the hospital to vaccinate their children.
- The county set aside Kshs 10,000 to pay each of 550 teachers per month under a scheme dubbed ‘top up.’ This led to a legal fight with the Teacher Service Commission which the county won.
In a past interview with the Standard, Oparanya said of the program:
“We distribute those teachers in the ratio of enrolment. For instance we gave schools with one stream one teacher, while those with two streams got two teachers and so on. We said in addition to what the school boards were paying them, we top up Sh10,000 each”
These are just to mention but a few projects initiated by the county government under governor Wycliffe.
Alfred Mutua- Machakos County
Alfred Mutua is an outspoken Kenyan governor who came to the limelight thanks to his position as a government spokesman. He is also well known for his TV series Cobra Squad and Beba Beba, both were aired on NTV.
- Launched Machawood and funds filmmakers. This is not a surprise as he is known for his love for entertainment and arts. The main aim of Machawood is to make the county the premiere location for entertainment in Kenya.
- State of the art Machakos People’s Park. The park has a mini golf course, children’s playground, and a swimming pool under construction in the 40-acre piece of land overlooking Maruba dam.
- Water harvesting project. A clean water piping project for every Machakos home is in the works.
- Improved security including purchase of more police cars and24-hour CCTV surveillance all over Machakos have been installed.
- ‘White House’ Mutua will definitely be remembered for the county government offices that cost Ksh.350 million.
Charity Ngilu-Kitui County
The Kitui governor is a seasoned politician who has had her fair share of scandals. Just recently MCAs were plotting to push a motion for her impeachment.
Projects within the first 100 days as governor:
- Pursuing trade treaties with lucrative foreign markets for local produce with the aim of empowering Kitui farmers.
- In a partnership with Kenya Red Cross, the county government distributed 400 tons of green gram seeds worth 108 million Kenyan Shillings to 200,000 households in the county.
- She secured donor support from an international non profit health organization, Jhpiego, affiliated with United States’ Johns Hopkins University to recruit 60 nurses.
Cornel Rasanga-Siaya County
Rasanga is yet another governor in the country who does not make the headlines every other time but has launched a number of projects in his county.
He launched 93 Projects in his county early 2020:
- Construction of Kshs.9 million Ndira box culvert and Kshs3.6 million Got Abiero Borehole projects in Bondo constituency in order to end the perennial water shortage and ease movement of people and goods.
- He launched a Sh4 million Katoo ECD block in Gem Sub-county before commissioning Siala Kaduol maternity wing that cost another Sh4 million.
- Ambira level 4 x-ray services costing Sh3.4 million.
Kivutha Kibwana-Makueni County
Kivutha Kibwana is a humble man whose sight is set on the presidency. He relates with members of his county in an engaging fun way.
- Construction of a massage park in Wote. The park contains green recreational spaces, an open-air theatre, food courts, an ICT innovation center complete with free WIFI walking path and a dedicated art space with murals for graffiti artists.
- The building of Thakwe bridge which is coming into fruition
- Kinyambu-Kilungu water project in Kibwezi East.
- 120-bed capacity Makueni Mother and Child Hospital in Wote town built at a cost of Sh135 million.
- Kathonzweni Milk Processing Plant that pasteurizes 1000 liters of milk per hour.
- Makueni Fruit Processing Plant
Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o-Kisumu Country
The good professor is a veteran politician who has served as a member of parliament, a cabinet minister and now a governor.
- In 2018, the county government spent Sh9.5 million to purchase dairy cows for farmers as it sought to take advantage of the Sh123 million dairy multiplication center funded by the United States Agency for International Development.
- Under his administration Sh130 million has been spent to upgrade Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital. Through the initiative, the county government constructed a 31-bed ward and renovated the emergency and trauma center.
James Ongwae-Kisii County
The governor of Kisii county was praised by interior cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i for being one of the best performing governors. Some locals however thing otherwise.
- He has worked with his people to give the Gusii stadium a face lift.
- He has also opened several kilometers of rural access roads.
- Launching a Sh40 million lighting project in Kisii town. Residents of the area can now happily enjoy the lit streets at night.
Stanley Kiptis-Baringo County
Although he has been accused of not doing any development and threatened to be impeached by MCA’s, Stanley maintains he has done a lot including launching over 1,000 projects only that he does not advertise them in the media.
Back in 2019, he launched a Sh5 million liquid oxygen plant system for the county referral hospital in Kabarnet town. The facility was procured in partnership with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) to offer emergency oxygen service to critically ill patients.
Mike Sonko-Nairobi Governor
Troubled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko run as the county boss has not been easy as most of his powers have been usurped by the National Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director General Mohamed Badi.
Also Read: Director General Mohamed Badi Biography
- Funding over 40 small and micro businesses.
- Construction of Karandini modern market in Dagoretti South Sub county.
- The construction of the Ksh493 million Gikomba quarry road market.
- Construction of Dandora Stadium
- Construction of TB clinic at Mama Lucy Hospital
- Kangundo Road Fire Station