H.E. Peter Munya's Speech During Business Community Dinner Hosted By The County Government

The Deputy Governor,
County Commissioner,
County Executives,
County Speaker,
Members of Business Community,
Invited Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is with great pleasure that I stand before you to officiate the coming together of the business community of this town to deliberate on important issues concerning our county. Allow me to welcome you all and thank you sincerely for your presence in this important dinner.

Ladies and gentlemen you will all agree with me that image is everything. Our town’s image will speak louder than words about us. We are proud to be associated with this town "Mutindwa" as it was once known and thus why we have businesses here. In order for these businesses to thrive, security is vital. There is need to embrace some of the security enhancing initiatives like Nyumba Kumi initiative, clearing of illegal structures, and bushes, lighting our streets, getting street children out of towns and community policing among others.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is important to note that getting the street children out of our streets is fundamental in enhancing security. Street children are visible, invisible and vulnerable. They are visible as they live and work in the streets. But surprisingly there is no reliable data regarding their numbers, their identity, making it extremely hard for authorities to ensure that they receive vital health care or education and are kept safe from harm. They are also invisible because many people choose to ignore these children who are the physical picture of the worst kind of failure in our societies hence making them grow up to hate their parents, the government, the laws, everything and everyone.

Their plight is as a result of poverty, family disintegration, abuse, abandonment, neglect and social unrest. Street children are vulnerable as they engage themselves with whatever that come their way i.e. Prostitution, trafficking, crime, drugs, gangster activities, even police violence and all of these are real risks for many. The problem of street children is not only in our county but global and it is escalating.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We all agree that security is of essence within and without our businesses and homes. With the influx of street children, we cannot guarantee security. It is imperative to think of a strategy that will deal with the street children menace once and for all. At this juncture allow me to give a brief of what the county government has done and what it is planning to do.

  • We have established an NGO coordination office to coordinate all the NGOs in the county and more so those dealing with street children for collaboration.

  • The county through department of Education is supporting 18 street children at Kithoka Youth Polytechnic and Fr. Riwa has offered to give them accommodation during the school holiday.

  • With help of the security sector the county has been able to roundup most of the street children in Meru town and taken them to St. Francis rehabilitation centre at Kathwene and Nchiru. The home is owned by the diocese of Meru and coordinated by Fr. Riwa Limo. After rehabilitation the children will be taken to schools for basic education and for the over age will be given technical skills in youth polytechnics.

  • In this financial year the county has allocated a budget for the programme though not enough to run the programme to term.

  • The county endeavor to take the programme to a higher level where we intend to take all the street children in the county to schools and technical schools.

  • We have intentions to embark on the hardware bit of the programme so has to have a home for those who cannot be repatriated to their homes even after school. In the next financial year we intend to construct a rehabilitation centre that will be run in conjunction with an independent non-profit making institution.

  • The County Government has also started a talent academy programme that will ensure nurturing, developing and exploiting talents among the youth in our County. The programme has since started and running on well.

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    I would like to recognize all those who have support this course. and be involved in the initiative namely; Silver Spread, Mafuko industries, Meru Farmers Union, Action Aid, Meru Catholic Diocese (St. Francis rehabilitation centres),

    Strategic planning is of essence for the county to sustain the initiative and this is why we have called all of you, the business community to share our thoughts and concerns about the street children in order come up with a lasting solution on this matter. As government we recognize your enormous role in ensuring law and order is maintained in our town and also helping these children attain a gainful livelihood.

    Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to call upon everybody in this room to join hands and create a synergy that will make us proud of our towns and the county as a whole.

    As I conclude, may I thank all of you once more for creating time to be with us in this function and for your continued support. Enjoy your week end.

    God bless you and God bless our county.

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