Meet Mt. Kenya’s revolutionary woman leader


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  • Mitchelle Ogingo

    mitchelle@mtkenyatimes.co.ke

    Profile

    Dr. Caroline Wanjiru Karugu is the 3rd Deputy Governor of Nyeri County.  Born and grew up in Nyaribo-Nyeri; The doctor has proven to be a role model to every village born girl child that every dream is valid no matter where you come from.

    Having attained a BSc. in Commerce at Daystar University and PHD in Business Administration at the United States University, the Doctor has only proven that beauty indeed comes with brains after having reigned as Miss Tourism Kenya Pageant in 2002.

    Introduction

    Dr. Caroline Karugu’s accomplishments have been centered around health care, coffee reforms, last mile connectivity and cottage industry reforms. These affect the economy because they are among the big four agenda.

    With the bid to encourage cottage industry reforms, Dr. Caroline Karugu on 22nd March 2019 visited Dedan Kimathi University of Science and Technology to learn about the proposed science and technology park in the University that will be built at the university premises to aid in the growth of various fields which include leather industry and computer technology innovation.  She also issued scholarships for students between Age 18- 34 who would love to pursue leather technology Diploma course.

    Dr. Caroline Karugu was in the forefront of supporting the Nyaribo Quarry miners industry thatis the backbone of the construction industry to achieve President Uhuru Kenyatta Pillar No.2, which is to provide affordable housing to all.Together with her senior H.E Kahiga, they issued Quatra Sacco officials with registration certificates from the progress of the Sacco’s contributions and mass registration. The initiative would enable the community fight against poverty.

    Dr. Karugu’s track record has been Exploratory having met with the state Department of Mining Ps John M. Omenge on the establishment of a county mining artisanal committee that will benefit the Quarry Workers countywide through organized structures like the already established Quarry workers and traders SACCO (Quatra SACCO) which was formed to assist workers in the mining industry.

    The artisanal miners under their umbrella body Quatra Sacco pledged to work with national and County Government in the implementation of the mining act 2016. This includes formalization of the mining/Quarry industry,licensing of cooperatives and Saccos, tax regulations,training and supporting innovation in the Quarry miners industry.

    The Deputy Governor in partnership with C.S Charles Keter launched the mile connectivity program on September 7, 2018 that would spur the counties 24 hr. economic developments.  The project is ongoing as streetlights are being installed across the 30 wards in Nyeri.

    HEALTH

    Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is one of the “Big Four Agenda” of National development and economic priorities toward achieving the Kenya Vision 2030. Nyeri County was identified as one of the four UHC pilot counties together with Isiolo, Kisumu and Machakos.Nyeri County was ranked 1st among all the Pilot Counties during the first phase of UHC which was the mobilization and registration phase. This was a great success for the people of Nyeri.

    Due to notable zeal towards improving the health sector,Nyeri Deputy Governor H.E Dr. Caroline was appointed as the ambassador for UHC by the Nyeri Governor H.E Mutahi Kahiga. The goal of UHC is to ensure that minor ailments are treated at the dispensary and health center levels, while major medical cases are referred to the Referral County Hospitals.

    An estimate of Kshs 399 million has been set aside on drugs for the UHC model and basic medication supplied within the county and a partnership with Aghakhan University Hospital who have begun rehabilitation of the Ward 7, Nyeri Level 5 Hospital and also Bima Microfinance who have adopted level 8 at the Nyeri County Referral.

    Dr. Karugu has been passionate in strengthening primary health care facilities and ensured that the public got quality services. She was able to quell Kenya Union of Nurses (KNUN)-  Nyeri Branch return –to-work formula that ended the one week strike. In this regard Kahiga’s government has hired over 300 clinical officers on contract in the county.

    COFFEE REFORMS

    The President with a proposed 10 billion Kenya shillings chose Nyeri County as the lead pilot County on the coffee reforms. This financing will go to cherry advance payment to farmers, upgrade coffee mills by rehabilitating existing ones as well as building a coffee laboratory, regulate taxes on farmers, upgrade of roads for farmers to transport their produce and deployment of agriculture extension officers to train farmers in best farming practices.

    Dr. Kaguru set a steering committee that would work with farmers to capture full structure of societies, governance and asset capitalization. The report will give recommendations on the challenges facing the coffee sector, view to improve governance and management of the cooperatives, recommend the use of technology in the production process and provide training programs for farmers on best farming methods.

    ‘’We are transforming Nyeri county on step at a time’’ Dr. Kaguru

     

     

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