, GARISSA, Kenya, May 21 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has told North Eastern residents not to allow past ills to hold back the region and undermine progress.
The President said devolution has presented an opportunity for people of North Eastern to accelerate development and create jobs for the youth.
The President spoke on Friday evening when he commissioned the Garissa Power Sub-station which connects the town to the national grid.
He challenged Garissa residents and their leaders to use the increased supply of electricity to the county to create jobs for the youth.
President Kenyatta said the connection of Garissa County to the national power grid through Kindaruma-Mwingi-Garissa power project has provided one of the important ingredients for industrialization which should not be allowed to go to waste.
“Now you have the energy to run mega industries in the region. It is upon you to look for investors who will complement your efforts and make Garissa an economic and industrial hub of the region,” President Kenyatta said.
The connection of Garissa County to the national grid will get rid of reliance on diesel generators which were more expensive to run.
The KETRACO’s Kindaruma-Mwingi-Garissa project falls under the Kenya Electricity Expansion Project which is part of the national government’s electricity scale-up program funded by the World Bank at a cost of over Sh822 million.
President Kenyatta also launched the street lighting project in Garissa town and encouraged residents to ensure that the concept of a 24-hour economy takes root in the town.
“This project has boosted the security of the town. It is now upon you to ensure that you take advantage of it to improve your welfare and that of the county,” President Kenyatta said.
The President was accompanied by his Deputy William Ruto and local leaders.
Later, President Kenyatta chaired a leaders’ meeting at the Regional Coordinator’s residence in Garissa town where he urged the leaders to embrace devolution so that the region can fully realise its development potential.
The leaders thanked the President and the Jubilee Government for the development initiatives in the region including the connection of Garissa County to the national power grid.
They noted that the power project will open up the region for rapid development and economic growth.
Assuring the President and his deputy of their support, the leaders – in a memorandum read by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji – outlined areas that still required support from the national Government.