Residents of Elgeyo Marakwet County have expressed their joy after their Governor Wisley Rotich managed to secure a donation of three fire engines for the county from the International Rotary Club in the United Kingdom.
Joseph Kiptash, a businessman from Iten said traders from the county had lost property worth millions through fire due to lack of a fire engine saying they have been relying on fire engines from Uasin Gishu county.
The businessman said the county had suffered several fire outbreaks with most of the affected businessmen being forced to close their businesses due to the losses incurred.
'Whenever there is a fire outbreak, we rarely salvage anything as everything is burnt down to ashes by the time a fire engine arrives from Eldoret, a distance of 40km,' Kiptash said.
He said this had negatively affected investment in Iten town which is the county's headquarters saying that the availability of the fire engine will attract more investors to the town.
Paul Sirikwa from Kapchemutwa hailed the governor's efforts saying the county would have not afforded to buy the fire engines if it relied on the treasury allocation, saying past efforts had not yielded any fruits.
The residents hoped that the county government will ensure that the engines are well equipped to ensure fast response in case of any emergency.
The county is among the least funded but the Governor has vowed to use connections to supplement the county's budget.
'I am not going to lament on the revenue allocation by CRA but look into other ways of supplementing our budget. After a long journey I am happy to report that I have managed to receive donations of three firefighting engines for our county,' the governor said.
The governor revealed that during his one week long tour in the United Kingdom he managed to hold discussions on the development of partnerships on disaster management and health care with Mr Ken Kirkwood from the International Rotary Club thus securing the engines.
'This has saved the county over Sh300 million which we would have used to purchase the fire engines,' he said.
The governor said the county has already constructed a fire station which will also act as a disaster management centre in Iten saying the engines are expected to arrive in the country in the next two months.
The governor thanked professionals from the county who are working in the UK led by Dr Kipnyamgo Seroney and Jackson Simatei for leading his global networks.
Source: Kenya News Agency