President Uhuru Kenyatta continued with his charm offensive in western Kenya.
Uhuru attended a church service in Vihiga County and later commissioned projects worth Sh2.5 billion.
Uhuru’s visit came a day after the National Super Alliance (NASA) pitched tent in the area, campaigning in the five sub-counties before holding a major rally in Mbale on Saturday.
This was the President’s fourth visit in the past three weeks as Jubilee intensified its hunt for the region’s estimated 1.4 million votes.
Among the projects commissioned was the Sh1.8 billion Vihiga water supply and Sh200 million business complex at Kaimosi Friends University College, a constituent college of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology.
Other goodies include the revamping of Kaimosi Teachers College at a cost of Sh82 million, Sh26 million allocation to Kaimosi Technical Training Institute and Jumuia Friends Hospital, Kaimosi, to be refurbished at a cost of Sh400 million.
Uhuru also directed that a 10km road stretch in Kaimosi be tarmacked and Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited to renovate a 2.7 MW hydro-power generation plant to provide electricity to the community.
The President presided over the opening of the refurbished Jumuia hospital in Kaimosi complex.
On Saturday, Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi poured cold water on Uhuru’s visit, saying Jumuia Friends Hospital was a private facility.
Mudavadi accused Uhuru of ignoring the region for the past four years, saying he had not initiated any tangible projects.
But Uhuru outlined projects his administration has implemented in the region.
The President was accompanied by Cabinet secretaries Eugene Wamalwa (Water) and Henry Rotich (Treasury), and Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka.
Uhuru, who avoided politics, lauded the role of church-run medical facilities in providing services to Kenyans.
“I want to personally thank NCCK for renovating and modernising the hospital. We are celebrating the greatest healthcare project in the region,” he said.
Kaimosi Complex consists of several institutions including Kaimosi Friends University College, Kaimosi TTC, Kaimosi Boys and Girls schools and Friends Church Theological Bible College.
NCCK General Secretary, Rev Peter Karanja requested Uhuru to intervene and have a road passing through the complex tarmacked.
The president further directed Kengen to immediately renovate and operationalise the 2.7MW electricity plant at Kaimosi to provide electricity to the hospital and surrounding areas.
He said the Sh1.7 billion water project would be implemented in partnership with the government of Belgium.
“The Vihiga Water Supply system will be able to cater for Kaimosi, Mbale and Emuhaya, benefiting over 200,000 people,” he said.
He asked the Ministry of Health to hasten a proposal forwarded by the church and Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology to convert the Kaimosi Hospital into a teaching and referral facility.
The President said that under his rule, two hospitals in Vihiga had been equipped at Sh810 million, and Kenya Medical Training College in Mbale renovated at Sh12 million.
Uhuru urged the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the National Hospital Insurance Fund to increase capitation for Jumuia Hospital in Kaimosi to a Level 5 facility to cater for a larger population.
The President announced that his administration would help construct women’s hostels and a dining hall at Kaimosi Technical Training College