WhatsApp Image 2020-12-03 at 05.20.26It gives me great pleasure to welcome you Hon. Eugene Wamalwa to the great County of Siaya. I further extend a warm welcome to all our development partners and guests present here today to witness the fruits of devolution.

Our presence here and what we have seen so far reveal one thing to all naysayers; THAT DEVOLUTION IS WORKING.

Evidently, the County Government of Siaya continues to implement high impact projects with a view to improving the socio-economic wellbeing of the citizens and changing the features of Siaya’s landscape.
My Government’s partnership with the World Bank through Kenya Devolution Support Programme and Kenya Urban Support Programme have since seen us implement some key projects in the county in the recent past including the ones we have commissioned today.
In the 2018/2019 Financial Year, the County Government of Siaya received KShs. 103 Million as investment grant from World Bank through Kenya Devolution Support Program. These funds were invested in the Agriculture sector with KShs. 28 Million having been used to rehabilitate five (5) water pans to promote horticulture while KShs. 75 Million was used to construct three Maternity Wings with a Theatre in Ambira, Ukwala and Madiany Sub-County Hospitals at an estimated cost of KShs. 25 Million for each.
During the 2019/2020 Financial Year, the County Government of Siaya further received KShs. 50 Million from World Bank through the Kenya Urban Support Program and invested the funds in the upgrading of recreational facilities in Siaya Municipality namely The Siaya Governor’s Recreational Park and Ahindi Gardens Recreation Park.
While enjoying the above support from World Bank, the County Government of Siaya has also invested its own funds in numerous other key infrastructural projects, among them being; The Siaya County Stadium at an estimated cost of KShs. 400 Million which is work in progress and the construction of Siaya County Headquarters Office Building at a cost of KShs. 75 Million which the Cabinet Secretary has also commissioned today.
In our continued efforts towards preparedness to fight COVID-19 pandemic in the county, we recently invested KShs. 97 Million which we received as a conditional grant from the National Government and a further KShs. 30 Million from World Bank through Kenya Devolution Support Program to construct 300 bed capacity COVID-19 Isolation Units at Siaya County Referral Hospital with 200 Beds, Bondo Sub-County Hospital with 50 Beds and Ambira Sub-County Hospital with 50 Beds. This is additional isolation bed capacity over and above our existing 66 bed isolation capacity bringing our total isolation bed capacity to 366 beds.
It is against this background that we invited the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution, Arid and Semi-Arid Lands Honorable Eugene Wamalwa to commission most of these complete projects that will significantly impact on our efforts to deliver on the devolution promise.
Specifically, the projects we have commissioned today are: –
a. Ambira Sub County Hospital Isolation Unit funded through the support of The Kenya Devolution Support Program at KShs. 21,786,004.50
b. Ambira Sub County Hospital Maternity Wing with Theatre funded through support of The Kenya Devolution Support Program at KShs. 24,902,147.00
c. Governor’s Recreation Park and Ahindi Gardens Park in Siaya Town funded through the support of The Kenya Urban Support Program at KShs. 46,804,701.00
d. Siaya County Headquarters Office Building funded by the County Government of Siaya at KShs. 74,957,375.25.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
Since March 2020 when the Coronavirus was first detected in Kenya, Siaya County has recorded three hundred and eighty-two (382) COVID-19 positive cases and nine (9) deaths to date.
While less than one hundred (100) positive cases were reported between March 2020 and September 2020, over two hundred (200) cases have been reported in October and November 2020 alone. This means that the last two months have seen an upsurge of cases more than ever before. The upsurge has been attributed to general laxity among the populace in observing the Ministry of Health Protocols.
The Siaya County Emergency Response Committee continues to implement and reinforce various measures as recommended by the Ministry of Health to mitigate the virus spread. However, it is individual responsibility that will help us fight this novel disease.
While we continue to adopt and enforce various preventive measures to contain the spread of the virus as a County, we are equally addressing the curative management aspects of this dreadful disease. It is on this basis that Ambira Sub County Hospital Isolation Unit which we have commissioned today becomes important.
As a sustainability measure, my Cabinet has just approved and forwarded to the County Assembly of Siaya a strategic plan which outlines our steps towards recovery during and beyond COVID-19. The Siaya County COVID-19 Socio Economic Recovery Strategy Plan will help Siaya County to build back better on the social, economic and cultural fronts as we continue to grapple with the virus.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
On a separate front, the commissioning of a new Maternity Wing at Ambira Sub County Hospital will significantly increase the number of hospital deliveries in Ugunja Sub County and its environs. This will enhance safe deliveries hence lead to reduced mother and child mortality rates during deliveries as the facility now has increased bed capacity and modern Theater arising from the establishment of the Wing.
You will further agree with me that the improvement of Ahindi Garden Recreation Park and Siaya Governor’s Recreation Park have significantly improved the image of Siaya Town. The two Parks have now undergone proper landscaping and have various services including storm water drainage, garden benches, fountains, washrooms and walkways which have greatly enhanced their value and use.
The green and serene environments created by the two Parks will improve on environmental health of residents within Siaya Municipality and our visitors. Additionally, it will increase the property value of buildings within the surrounding areas of both Parks.
To safeguard the aesthetics and nature of the Parks, my government has developed a Park Management Policy to ensure proper management and sustainability of the projects. I therefore urge all Park users to adhere to the Park guidelines and to keep our Parks clean and safe for all.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
The need for a central and modern working station for effective governance and service delivery cannot be gainsaid. A county headquarter building consolidates the main offices of County Government thereby making public service easily accessible to the ordinary Mwananchi. It should be recalled that the core objective of devolution was to bring services closer to the people.
 I am aware that there are people who have questioned our near inordinate delay to construct a modern office, eight long years after the County Government of Siaya came into being. To this lot, I wish to state that my government has in the last eight years prioritized provision of basic services to the people of Siaya. Because of this, it would have been insensitive of my government to undertake the construction of such a magnificent building earlier instead of addressing the myriad pressing needs of the general populace of Siaya. The construction of the County Headquarters Office Building at this time when we have already endeavored to mitigate against a number of basic needs of our people, is therefore, timely and justified.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
In conclusion, as the people of Siaya County, we appreciate the support we continue to receive from the National Government and from other partners in the fight against COVID-19 and in other areas of critical services and infrastructural developments. In this regard my government wishes to appreciate in a special way the support we continue to receive from the World Bank through various Programs we are jointly implementing with them in the County including ‘The Kenya Urban Support Program’ which is currently funding the construction of non-motorized transport facilities and storm water drainage in Siaya Town within Siaya Municipality.
I also wish to thank in a very special way, our Chief Guest the Cabinet Secretary, for creating time out of his extremely busy schedule and particularly during these challenging times of COVID-19 when movement is a risky undertaking, to travel to Siaya and be with us on this auspicious occasion of the commissioning a number of our high value projects.
In the same vein, I wish to thank all other guests and indeed all of us who have made time to grace this occasion.
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