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Murang'a governor to fight alcoholism

19 April 2013, 13:17 Kelvin Wanjohi

Murang’a County governor Mwangi wa Iria will give priority to revival of the agricultural sector which is the main economic activity in the region.

Among ills that the governor will be confronting include falling levels of education, unemployment among the youth and alcoholism which is among the major challenges facing production.

Mwangi said the county is yet to reap from its potential despite being richly endowed with key resources such as infrastructure, power generation plants, water and proximity to major markets such as Nairobi and Thika.

He promised to harness the resources in a bid to improve the economic status of the county and ensure food sufficiency for the residents.

He decried high poverty levels in the one million populace county that also produces coffee, tea, macadamia and horticultural crops.

Make Murang'a a food basket

The governor envisions making the county a food basket with enough to feed its residents and for export.

Currently, the county is a net importer of food from the neighbouring counties of Kirinyaga, Nyeri and Nyandarua.

The governor hopes to tap into the 36 permanent rivers, which he said can supply water to the lower parts of the county whose production is hindered by the dry and unreliable weather patterns.

“I will ensure there is availability of water for irrigation as wells as certified seeds and seedlings in a bid to increase food production and boost local economy,” said Wa Iria.

‘One-youth one-cow’

On youth empowerment, the governor had promised to start a dairy project to benefit the youth. In the ‘one-youth one-cow’ initiative, each youth can earn up to KES 10 000 per month as a way of empowering them economically. The project will be carried out in conjunction with local financial institutions.

As former executive officer of the New KCC and with the ‘one-youth one-cow’ scheme, Mwangi has the dairy sector at heart. He reckons that the sector’s potential is yet to be exploited in the largely farming community.

“My expertise in revival of KCC remains a platform to help the youth earn millions of shillings monthly. I will put in mechanisms to ensure the youth issues are addressed as I had promised during the campaign period,” he reinstated.

The question of development in the county is tied around brewing and consumption of illicit brew, a trade practiced with impunity.


Alcoholism is also cited as the major reason for declining levels of education and high unemployment rates. The youth and especially men have been rendered unproductive and Wa Iria plans to fight this vice through legal channels.

Illicit brew den.

"Let me make it clear that I have known alcoholism to be a challenge but I will make policies in support of the county assembly to make sure the availability of liquor becomes a rare,” he reaffirmed.

This has received the support of women in the county who have been in the forefront voicing concerns over alcoholism among the youth.

County Women Representative Sabina Wanjiru Chege, in conjuction with religious leaders has been raising voice over the vice.

Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau said the county administration with support of county assembly is equal to the task of reducing poverty levels in the region.

“The governor has a lot of respect for the leaders and is ready to have meetings in effort to find ways of solving some of the urgent problems,” said the Kigumo MP.

Murang’a consists of seven constituencies; Kiharu, Kangema, Mathioya, Maragua, Kigumo, Kandara and Gatanga.

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