News Highlights

News Highlights (64)

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Thursday, 24 May 2018 12:09

BRIGHT YOUNG MINDS VISIT THE COUNCIL

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Bright Young Minds“Education is the best investment you can have; it is the only thing people can’t take away from you,” these were the opening remarks of Prof. Paul Chepkwony, the Governor Kericho County and Chairman of the CoG’s Education, Gender, Youth and Sports Committee. He noted this while addressing some of the top students from various high schools countrywide who were on a visit at the Council offices under the Presidential Rewards Scheme (PURES) programme for a motivational talk. He thanked the President for initiating a programme that will allow young minds to be inspired by professionals and systems across the country to be what they desire to be.

The Council of Governors through the Education Committee, in conjunction with the National Government, has been at the forefront of ensuring that teachers offer the education and skills that students deserve. Additionally, they have engaged parents to ensure students receive a good environment to learn, good shelter, food and even get the necessary academic materials.

For the students all measures have been put in place to set high standards of education, support teachers, and keep school heads on their toes to ensure that quality education is delivered. However, he noted that at the end of the day, the onus is on the students themselves to fulfil their own responsibilities. “Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, respect others and put in the hard work it takes to succeed, these snags will remain part and parcel of you,” he continued.

A lecturer by profession, he urged the students to embrace innovation as a means of job creation and future possibilities. “Your background matters not, the important thing is you as the student, the opportunity you have in your national school is to make a decision to make a difference in your life.” Prof. Chepkwony motivated the students.

It is worth to note that, devolution has revamped Early Childhood Centers (ECD). This has greatly changed the education system and standards by putting emphasis on the foundation a child gets in education, which tends to affect how

such a child engages with education in later life. It has also increased the number of children who get exposed to education, which has directly affected the number of children who stay in school through primary, secondary and university level because a large percentage of school dropouts are based on a failure by students to cope with curriculum requirements at higher classes, due to a poor reading and writing foundation. Furthermore, devolution has seen the re-establishment of county technical institutions. The Governor thanked the National Government for the assistance they have accorded Counties through the school feeding program. The program has seen many needy pupils get nutritious meals at school and improved enrolment, retention and transition to higher levels of education.

Accompanying him during the session was Prof. Richard Mibey a former Vice Chancellor of Moi University and a leading innovator in Africa. The participating schools were; Alliance Boys and Girls, Moi Girls Eldoret, Pangani Girls, Kaaga Girls, Kenyatta High, Kisii High, St Bridgits Girls, Kenya High, St. Joseph High, Mang’u High, Nairobi School, Don Bosco High and St Joseph’s Girls Chepterit.

“As Abraham Lincoln put it “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” I want each and every one of you here today to know that, learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardour and diligence.”

Prof. Chepkwony, Governor Kericho County

Wednesday, 23 May 2018 06:17

National Farmer Registration Workshop

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In the spirit of promoting partnership and consultation between the two levels of Government, the Council of Governors attended a consultative meeting organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology to give updates on critical priority programs currently running in the Ministry. The Ministry and Irrigation is at an advanced stage of finalizing the Agriculture Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS) that will guide the Country’s Big Four Agenda on achieving 100% Food and Nutrition Security Pillar.

The Constitution of Kenya (2010) strongly emphasizes the right of Kenyans to improved access to Government information. In this regard, the National Farmer registration which seeks to list all farmers in the country capturing farm and farmer details, farm Enterprises, and farm inputs and services is a timely exercise. The lack of timely and accurate agricultural data will ultimately hinder development of appropriate agricultural policies hence affecting national food security. Currently, National and County Governments are facing challenges in data collection, analysis and reporting due to lack of harmonized data management systems.

Through the National farmer registration process National and County Governments will be able to perform Acurate Food and Nutrition Security Assessment; Accurate Farmer Targeting; Informed Policy Formulation; Informed Investment and Manufacturing; Informed Infrastructure Development; Inclusion and Affirmative Action; Track and Trace; Pest and Diseases Control; Informed Capacity Building; Contract Farming and Aggregation for Groups and Cooperatives. The Farmer Registration exercise will be conducted by Complete Enumeration of all farmers across the country in three (3) phases. Phase 1 which is set for May - July 2018 will register all farmers in Trans-Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Siaya, Bungoma, Bomet, Laikipia, Kirinyaga, Narok, Nakuru, Nyeri and Kakamega. Phase 2 set for September to November 2018 will register all farmers in Kisii, Kiambu, Nyamira, Muranga, Machakos, Makueni, Nyandarua, Embu, Meru, Tharaka Nithi and Kisumu. And finally Phase 3 set for January to March, 2019 where farmers from the remaining 24 counties namely Nairobi, Kitui, Kilifi, Kwale, Kericho, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Turkana, Migori, Mandera Marsabit, Mombasa, Kajiado, Garissa, Isiolo, Baringo, Busia, Elgeyo Marakwet, Homa Bay, Lamu, Vihiga, Samburu, Wajir and West Pokot will be registered.

The Council of Governors and the Ministry of Health on 14th May 2018 signed the MoU that will govern the operations of the specialist doctors from Cuba. The event was attended by the CS, Ministry of Health Mrs. Sicily Karuiki, Excellency Governors from the 47 counties, Deputy Governors, County Secretaries and CEC’s health and Ministry of Health representatives.
Speaking during the ceremony, the chairman of the Health Committee and Governor of Isiolo County H.E. Mohammed Kuti started by thanking the president of the Republic of Kenya H.E Uhuru Kenyatta who initiated and procured the doctors from Cuba to work alongside our own specialists and other health workers as we work towards the realization of the Universal Health Coverage. He went to state that the process of acquiring the Cuban doctors was very consultative and all-inclusive as organized between the Ministry of Health and the Council of Governors.
“Counties have heavily invested in health facilities and equipment and are also directing money to primary health care, both the preventive and promotive aspects so that we can reduce the high costs incurred in providing curative care. We therefore welcome and appreciate the coming of specialist doctors to support counties in delivering quality 12 and affordable healthcare to Kenyans.” Said H.E Anne Waiguru, Vice chair, Council of Governors.
The Cuban doctors area of specialty include Radiologists, Nephrologists, Orthopedic surgeons, Plastic/reconstructive surgeons, neurosurgeon, urologists, cardiologists, endocrinologists, gastroenterologist, anesthesiologists, maxillofacial surgeon, neurologists, ophthalmologist, dermatologist, critical care physicians and general surgeons.
Mrs. Sicily Kariuki, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Health made it clear during her remarks that in addition to exchange programs for medical specialists, other areas of cooperation with the Ministry of Public Health with Cuba include; the Malaria Vector Control project which endeavors to eliminate the larvae of the Anopheles mosquito that spreads malaria, the training of 1000 nurses and clinical officers in a higher diploma course in family medicine and collaboration in research in the areas of HIV vaccine development and Hepatitis vaccines.

Thursday, 17 May 2018 18:05

Kenya Climate Action Learning Conference

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The Council of Governors and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry convened the Kenya Climate Action Learning conference dubbed "Climate action (SDG 13): Kenya’s journey and the path ahead " between 9th -10th May, 2018. The conference was graced by the Deputy Governor of Wajir Ahmed Ali Mukhtar.
UKAID has been supporting Kenya's efforts to address climate change since 2011 through two phases of the StARCK programme (Strengthening Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change in Kenya (StARCK+). The first phase from 2011-2013 supported the development of the National Climate Change Action Plan (2013-2017) and the second phase has proceeded with support to Kenya for the implementation of the Action Plan by; Catalysing private sector innovation and investment; Strengthening climate change governance: stronger policy, institutional and regulatory framework established to plan, budget and deliver climate resilient development; Supporting civil society advocacy to hold government to account on climate change delivery and impact, and demand delivery from government and stimulate the private sector on climate change products and services.
The programme has been implemented through six components but more importantly the Adaptation Consortium which implemented an integrated approach that comprises of four inter-related components:
• A Climate Change Fund at the county level;
• County and ward levels climate change planning committees;
• Integration of climate information and other climate resilience planning tools into adaptation decision-making at all levels;
• Piloting of the Tracking Adaptation and Measuring Development (TAMD) framework to
track how adaptation builds resilience and strengthens economic development.

The consortium supported more than 2 million people across the five counties of Isiolo, Garissa, Kitui, Makueni and Wajir to be able to cope with the effects of climate change as a result of receiving climate information services, with 278,858 of those people with improved resilience as a result of the 82 investments in public goods financed by the County Climate Change Funds (CCCFs). In addition, the five counties have completed County Climate Information Services (CIS) plans and mainstreamed climate change into their sectoral and
County Integrated Development Plans.

Through these components, the intended impact of the programme was to enable Kenya achieve sustainable growth through improved response to climate change risks and opportunities. A lot of lessons have been learnt in the process and the Programme sought to share these lessons with County Governments to guide future processes.

Thursday, 10 May 2018 07:22

NORDIC AMBASSADORS VISIT AHERO TOWN

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Ahero town played host to Nordic Ambassadors who were in the County to discuss the potential of devolution while looking at areas of support from their respective Countries. Ahero town is one of the Symbio City Kenya Pilot Counties and the Project team had the opportunity to explain in details what interventions their quick win and change projects will address.

H.E. Ambassador Anna Jardfart of Sweden was happy that funds were going into good use and looked forward to bigger fruitful partnership with the County and Kenya as a whole. She lauded the partnership between the Council of Governors and her country through the Embassy and Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR).

In their quick win project, Ahero town will focus on improving its drainage system within the commercial area. The project will address solid waste collection system as well as storm water drainage.

Very soon Ahero town will become “A clean, safe and healthy environment that provides a growing economy and empowered society,” as envisaged                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

                                                                                                                                                                                                 

                     

 

Tuesday, 08 May 2018 12:25

SENATE ICT COMMITTEE INDUCTION

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H.E Alex Tolgos the chairman of the ICT Committee at the CoG and Governor Elgeyo Marakwet County, attended the Senate ICT Committee Induction meeting held at Pride Inn Nyali hotel, Mombasa County on 12th and 13th April 2018. ICT although not a devolved function is considered an enabler for the successful implementation of devolution in Kenya. “ICT is the future” said H.E. Tolgos “County Governments are looking to establish private public partnerships to support their individual ICT visions and deliver on their mandate”

Since the year 2013, most counties have done quite a number of projects in their own capacity including automation of revenue collection, automation of land rates and records, digital villages, setup of youth resource centres where youths access ICT services such as recording studios for free and many others. H.E. Tolgos also brought to light the challenges that Counties have been facing in ICT the most urgent being the lack of adequate resources for implementation of ICT projects. In his recommendation H.E. Tolgos proposed that as a standard, a conditional grant should be set aside for the ICT sector and further called on the Senate to assist counties come up with regulations which will set a ceiling of at least 5% of Total budget for ICT projects and harmonise the existing ACTS in line with changes technology and innovations.

Further, discussions during the meeting established the achievements of each institution present and chattered future engagements between them to ensure the fulfilment of the Presidents big 4 agenda and most importantly the seamless implementation of Devolution in Kenya. County governments have made tremendous steps towards using ICT for better governance in all aspects through automation of county operations such as revenue collection and building plans approvals.

The meeting was also attended by the Ministry of ICT, Communications Authority, Post Master General and Kenya National Library Services,

The County First Ladies Association along with H.E First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta, launched a three-year Menstrual Health Management Programme at Boma Hotel, Nairobi.The programme which is an initiative spearheaded by the County First Ladies Association in partnership with Kenya Red Cross and  African Cotton Industries, will be rolled out in all the 47 counties for the next 3 years with the aim of social and economic empowerment of 1 million girls & 1 million boys.
The initiative, mainly seeks to support school girls normally disrupted from learning due to lack of pads. The three-year programme seeks to keep girls and boys in school through a focus on provision of hygienic sanitary towels and dignity packs for one million girls and one mi llion boys across all the 47 counties.The programme also targets appropriate disposal of used sanitary towels, improved access to gender-sensitive sanitation facilities, adolescent sexual health education, adolescent nutrition education, mentorship and psycho-education, life skills development and policy influence.
According to H.E. Nazi Kivutha, Makueni County’s First Lady and Chair of the County First Ladies Association, “The progamme envisages construction of toilets and availing water tanks across the 47 counties which will address the WASH component.” She further reiterated that the partnership will create a platform in which the parties involved will cooperate in the realization of the respective strategies and plans.”

“We must remain committed to preserving the dignity of our girls because ignoring their sanitary needs is a violation of their needs” said First Lady Margaret Kenyatta. She emphasised on creating environments and spaces where women and girls can be protected from neglect and social exclusions merely due to biological cycles. She emphasized on the fact that Kenyans have a lot to do to eliminate the stigma, cultural and social barriers that infringe on safe health practices for women and girls.

H.E. Kivutha Kibwana - Governor Makueni, H.E John Lonyangapuo- Governor West Pokot, H.E. Joyce Laboso- Governor Bomet and Nandi County Deputy Governor H.E Dr. Yulita Mitei were present to support the County First Ladies initiative. Also in attendance was Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and nominated Isiolo Senator Halake Abshiro.

The Devolution Conference has without doubt become the biggest and most sort after event in Kenya’s Devolution calendar of Events. For five consecutive years the Council of Governors and its partners from the National Government, County Governments, the Senate, private sector academia as well as civil society have organized and successfully held the Devolution Conference.
This year, April 23rd to 27th, all devolution stakeholders came together at Kakamega High school in Kakamega County for what has been described as a record breaking Fifth Annual Devolution Conference. Over Forty Senators we present at the devolution conference compared to the Fourth Conference held in Nakuru County That saw only two senators participate, a clear indication of improved Intergovernmental relations which are the right recipe for sustainable development in the Country. The Conference that saw more than 6,000 delegates gather in one voice was officially opened by the President of the Republic of Kenya H.E Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta.
“Eight years ago, when we ushered in our new constitutional dispensation, few could have imagined that we would be where we are today, all of you in this beautiful County of Kakamega, celebrating five transformative years of devolution,” said the President.
The Conference, under the theme - Sustainable, productive, effective and efficient governments for results delivery, featured the President’s Big four agenda that has laid huge concentration in four key sectors i.e. Health; Infrastructure, Energy, Urban Development, Land and Housing; Agriculture; and Trade and manufacturing.
“I, therefore, stand here today not only to ask for your support but to convince you that working with the National Government to deliver on the “Big Four” Agenda will be beneficial for each one of you as individual Governors, and for the people whom you represent, both in the near and long term. After all, when I read your manifestos, I saw plans that were not too different from the Big Four. Let us work together, then, to serve the Kenyans whose hopes we were elected to accomplish,” added H.E. Uhuru.
The 3 day Conference presented an opportune moment for stakeholders to chart a way forward, a way that presents the devolved units with an opportunity to grow trade among themselves and with other Countries, improve health care through universal heath as well as present opportunities for manufacturing at the County Level.
Kenya’s devolved system has come of age, eight years since the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, County Governments have outdone themselves with the growth of the Health Sector, Agriculture, as well as the education front. It’s at the Devolution Conference that County Governments get the opportunity to share their good practices in different devolved functions. Other Counties get the opportunity to learn and replicate such practices instead of re-inventing the wheel.
Kakamega County played a great host for the Conference that also saw a curtain raiser football match, “The Devolution Cup”. The three friendly matches saw the Senate win against the Governors beating them 5-0. In a separate match, the County Assemblies Forum beat the CSs and PSs of the Ministries under the Big Four Agenda. The two winners played in the final match that saw the County Assemblies Forum thrash the Senate one goal to none. The tournament was organized by the planning committee to build cohesiveness between different arms and levels of Government.
Other guests at the event was the Rt. Hon. Raila Amollo Odinga who gave a keynote address on the second day of the conference emphasizing on entrenchment of devolution especially in Government programs. The Deputy President of Kenya, HE Willam Ruto closed the event.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018 04:41

Courtesy Call by Hon Mark Dyabul

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Honourable Professor Mark Dyabul, Co-Chair of Centre for Global Health and Quality at Georgetown University paid the Council of Governors a courtesy call. Hon Mark in partnership with the Melinda Gates foundation are looking at innovative approaches to support Universal Health Coverage in Kenya. The initiative seeks to implement youth-led communities of practice to improve healthy choices and uptake health services among Kenya’s adolescents and young people and thus reduce future treatment costs and liabilities for insurance. Based on the wealth of evidence, the National Aids Control Council has identified peer to peer outreach as the optimal modality for reaching youth with information, behaviour change and linkage to health services.

Hon Mark’s approach which is a human centred design aims to use data to catalyse and capture best practises to maximize outcomes and drive policy change for rapid scale up across the health networks. “Communities of practise is where the knowledge is domiciled. We need to find a way to harness and use this data to improve the delivery of health services in Kenya” said Hon. Mark

The Network Model will link communities of practise with policy makers through data and innovation feedback loops which systematically harness the power of communities of practice to improve outcomes and change of policy. This will be done through targeted dashboard drive using the available data across each level of the health systems.

Currently, the data collected is packaged for technocrats. There is a need to package the data for use by the communities at the county level to inspire and encourage innovation for service delivery. Also in attendance were Dr. Kilonzo Nduku, CEO National Aids Council Control, Prof. Susan Kim and Hannah Grant.

The regional strategic meeting of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) for the Eastern Africa Region was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, on April 9th and 10th, 2018. The Council of Governors, in conjunction with UCLG Africa, the Pan African representative and the voice of local governments on the continent, organized the meeting.
East Africa’s regional meeting kick-starts a series of UCLG Africa strategic meetings that will take place across the five regions of Africa; North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, Eastern Africa and Southern Africa.

In his remarks, Council of Governors Chairman, HE Josphat Nanok reiterated that African Countries are now adopting the decentralized system of Governance, “Many African countries have in place a decentralized system, albeit taking different forms across the continent. Transferring financial, administrative and political power to lower units is a perfect strategy to spur growth and development,” he said.

As the representative voice of local authorities on the continent, UCLG Africa is taking initiatives to take stock of the state of decentralization in the different regions and address the priorities of the decentralization agenda in the regions and deliberate on the priority actions required to support local governments to become reliable partners for national governments, the regional economic communities as well as other development partners and stakeholders.

Through a decentralized system of Governance, development in Kenya is thriving with public participation, giving a chance to citizens to have relevant projects developed by and for them.

Devolution in Kenya is currently receiving more support from stakeholders especially with improved intergovernmental Relations between the two levels of Government. The Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and ASALs through his representative CAS, Amb. Hussein Dado assured of his support for devolution and empowerment of County Governments to implement their functions. “We have developed about 51 model laws that individual County Governments can use to come up with their own laws within the County,” assured the CAS.

The next UCLG-Africa regional meeting will be held in Libreville – Gabon on 16th – 17th April 2018 for the Central Africa Region.

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