, BUSIA, Kenya Jun 14 – The Sigiri Bridge constructed by the National Government at a cost of Sh1 billion will be completed by mid July, President Uhuru Kenyatta has assured Budalang’i residents.
The President expressed satisfaction that the construction of the bridge over River Nzoia that had eluded other regimes for over five decades was done under his watch, saying its completion will prevent deaths and make it easier for people to access hospitals, schools and markets.
“This is a proof that we are honest and deliver on the promises we make. It affirms that we care for your welfare and you will not go wrong by giving us a second term unlike our opponents – who held senior positions in previous regimes but did nothing about this bridge,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta spoke as he kicked off campaigns for his re-election in Busia County at Port Victoria in Budalang’i Constituency, the home turf of Jubilee affiliate Labour Party leader Ababu Namwamba.
The Head of State promised in 2014 that his government would construct the bridge across River Nzoia at Sigiri – just a year after coming to office – when he attended the burial of 11 people, including school children who died when their boat capsized killing everyone on board.
He called on the residents of Busia County to differentiate between the opposition which is selling propaganda and his team which is focused on an agenda that will transform their lives.
Responding to the plight of the fisher folk in Budalang’i who were unable to repay loans from the Agricultural Finance Corporation, President Kenyatta assured them that the Government will write off the debts by Monday next week.
He asked the fisher folk to collect the title deeds they had deposited as security for the loans.
The President also spoke of reviving cotton farming where he his administration will improve seeds to improve production of the crop in the county, Rivatex has been revived and plans are underway to
“Once we revive all factories, the next step will be to revive cotton ginneries for the benefit of cotton farmers,” President Kenyatta said.
On infrastructure, President Kenyatta said his administration is work is already ongoing to improve three critical roads that will open the county for rapid development.
Outlining the Jubilee administration’s delivery track record in the Busia County in the last four years, President Kenyatta cited the connections of electricity to 50,000 households compared to only 14,000 done before 2013, increase in capitation fee for primary and secondary schools, relieving parents the burden of paying examination fee for form four and standard eight candidates.
On health, the President said achievements include the expansion and equipping of two hospitals to status of referrals in every county, the provision of free maternity and Nation Hospital Insurance medical cover for a year for mother and child upon delivery in public health facilities among a host of other transformational initiatives.
The President, who was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto, assured the residents of Busia County of more development projects that will transform the county if they vote for him.
Deputy President Ruto said he and the President want to walk the journey of development with the people of Busia County.
“We are requesting you to join us in forming the 2017 Government. We want to walk with on this journey of development and prosperity,” the Deputy President said.
Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said the Government is set to revive Bunyala irrigation scheme and has allocated Sh10 billion to compensate residents as the Government acquires more land to expand the scheme.
Wamalwa said Sh5 billion has also been budgeted to construct 34 kilometres of dykes to ensure that the suffering caused by floods in the area is a thing of the past.
Namwamba said his Labour Party decided to work with President Kenyatta and urged the residents of Budalang’i, Funyula, Bumala and the whole of the Western region to support him and his deputy as well.
He thanked the President for fulfilling his promise by ensuring that the Sigiri bridge is constructed and for creating employment for 900 young people in Budalang’i constituency under the National Youth Service youth empowerment program.