Kericho Governor, Prof. Paul Chepkwony, was sworn in on Friday to serve for another five year term after winning in last week’s General Elections.
The oath was administered by the High Court Judge, Joseph Karanja, assisted by Chief Magistrate, Samuel Mokua, at a ceremony held at the Kericho Green Stadium.
Also sworn in at the ceremony was Deputy Governor, Susan Kikwai, who will continue running in the same capacity.
Chepkwony, comfortably retained his seat after garnering 287, 511 votes on a Jubilee ticket against his challenger, Kanu candidate, Jonah Keter, who got 14,392 votes.
Addressing residents after taking the oath and possession of the symbols of the County Government, an elated Chepkwony told the gathering that he will deliver on the pledges he made to the electorate.
He singled out provision of quality health care, water, education, promotion and development of talent among the youth, and upgrading of the Kericho Green Stadium to international standards, as some of the critical projects that his government will carry on in the next five years.
The Governor said his government had spent over Sh200 million towards the provision of health care services to its people, earning the county the number one slot for providing quality maternal health care.
Kericho County hospital was voted the best facility nationally in quality improvement in terms of health according to Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) report of 2015, hiring of competent health personnel, building of health facilities and refurbishment of existing ones and upgrading others to the referral level has contributed to the improvement of health care systems in the county, he said.
Chepkwony added that the county has been voted the best in maternal health care due to the reduction of maternal deaths from 14 in 2014 to less than 10.
He said his Administration will ensure that health care delivery conforms to international standards.
Chepkwony said 950 ECDE teachers had been hired and plans were underway to hire more, and also improve on the existing 1,000 early childhood education facilities, to meet the needs of the increasing number of children under the age of five enrolling for the program.
In the education sector, the county government has so far issued bursaries worth Sh500 million to over 80,000 students in secondary schools, colleges and universities, and was currently sponsoring 600 others to undertake courses in metal work, plumbing, civil and mechanical engineering and timber work, revealed the Governor.
Chepkwony pointed out that his government has projected to connect piped water to 52% of rural household from the current 32% and 81% in the urban centers from the present 61%.
Only 32% of the county residents are connected to piped water in the rural areas and 61% in the urban area including the Tea Estates. My government will endeavor to connect an additional 20% of the population in the rural and urban areas to take piped water connectivity to 52% in the rural areas and 81% in the urban centres, noted Chepkwony.
He said apart from the county revenue and grants he will look for funding from other sources, while commending the Nishkam community in UK for their support in notable projects in the health and education sectors.
Present at the colorful event was Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter, East Africa Community Principal Secretary, Betty Maina, as well as hundreds of residents who thronged the stadium to witness the swearing in ceremony.
Others present was the newly elected County Women Representative Florence Bore and MPs elect Silvanos Maritim (Ainamoi), Japheth Mutai (Bureti),Hillary Kosgei (Kipkelion-West), Joseph Limo (Kipkelion-East), Nelson Koech (Belgut) and the area County Commissioner Muktar Abdi and his deputies from the six Sub-counties of Belgut, Bureti, Ainamoi, Londiani, Soin/Sigowet and Kipkelion.
Source: Kenya News Agency