Kajiado county is soon going to be a host Sh10 billion leather processing plant as part of the national government’s big four agenda.
The announcement was made on Tuesday by Kajiado governor Joseph ole Lenku during his state of the county address to the county assembly.
Lenku said the processing plant, which is part of the national government’s big four agenda under the manufacturing sector, will immensely transform the incomes of livestock farmers as well as creates thousands of jobs.
It will be put up in Isinya town, in Kajiado East constituency, and it will the first one of its kind in the region.
“Our small and micro enterprises and cooperative development and support programs provide the mainstay of our quest for enterprise development to broaden participation in a growing economy,” said Lenku in his address.
He said his government is also specifically developing a policy of promoting equal and active participation of women in management training, financial services and upgrading of skills so as to empower them and remove them from marginalization.
“Our tourism has always been wildlife based. But the very assets that underpin this wildlife-based tourism – the wildlife itself – is under severe threat,” said Lenku.
He said the threats come from a multitude of sources which include; habitat loss, pollution, infrastructure, climate change, over-exploitation and illegal trade, the most immediate threat to wildlife.
If we lose the wildlife, we lose the wildlife-based tourism and the jobs that go with it.
The governor challenged wildlife authorities to create incentives for communities that neighbour game parks and private ranches to provide habitats to wildlife.
The current hostility between communities and wildlife, he said, emanates from the former not benefiting
from their wildlife.
“I repeat, “their wildlife”. The continued lack of compensation for lives lost and property destroyed by wildlife remains a thorny issue that must be addressed,” he cautioned.
The governor said his government has documented over 25 things that one can do in Kajiado.
“This is with a view to expanding our tourism beyond wildlife and see Kajiado as a haven for rich touristic attractions. Kajiado scores high on natural and cultural resources. Though some aspects of our tourism infrastructure remain underdeveloped, my government will therefore develop the tourism policy for the development and promotion of tourism in the region,” he said.
He said culture ensures unity in diversity, influences identity, debate and dialogue, adding that culture is the fountain of our progress and creativity, and must be carefully nurtured to grow and develop.
“I have therefore set aside funds in the next financial year to document and articulate the specific ways in which the Maasai culture can contribute to sustainable development and our national pride,” said Lenku.
With regard to human resources, Lenku said, a paradigm shift is long overdue. The focus will now be more on contract employment geared towards achieving targeted results rather than permanent and pensionable terms that have been discovered to breed unproductive individuals.
The governor said this performance-based contractual system will be enhanced by commensurate reward system as well as benefits.
“In this regard, Mr. Speaker Sir, I direct that effective July 1, 2018, all officers from the level of director upwards, be put on performance contracts,” said Lenku.
“My Government understands the need to reduce the persistent high dropout rate of learners from grades 1 to 8 and even more so between primary school and high school. A situation where approximately 60 per cent of learners entering grade 1 in any particular year, do not transit to secondary school should not be accepted,” he said.
He said that it is for this reason that he recently appointed a multi-agency task force to bring together education sector players to seek a solution to the worrying situation.
“The health of our people has a direct correlation on productivity. I have trained my eyes on our key referral units in Kajiado, Ngong, Ongata Rongai, Loitokitok, Mashuuru, Ng’atataek and Ewuaso Oonkidong’i,” said the governor.