Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga has now vowed to address the water, land and infrastructural issues plaguing the Coastal region if he clinches the presidency in the forthcoming August polls.
Odinga, speaking during his tour of the region on Saturday, said he understood the woes of the region and is well-placed to solve them.
He recalled his tenure as the country’s prime minister during which, he said, himself and then president Mwai Kibaki had a well-outlined plan of putting an end to the water shortages in the region to combat drought.
The former premier said that if he succeeds President Uhuru Kenyatta in August, he will prioritize setting up dams and come up with a water distribution system to ensure the locals and their animals easily access water sources without necessarily trekking long distances.
“Hapa kwenu shida zote sisi tunazijua; kwanza maji. Yale mengine ni mambo ya ardhi. Hayo yote sisi tunajua. Maji yakikosekana, ukame inakuja ikifuatana na njaa. Ni mpaka tupate suluhu ile ya kudumu,” Odinga said.
“Tulipokua kwa serikali, mimi na Kibaki tulichora mambo ya kuleta mabwawa hapa kubwa ili mvua wakati ule inanyesha, tunavuna maji ili wakati wa ukame nyinyi mnatumia hayo maji.”
He added: “Tulisema tutaleta mifereji karibu na miji mahali watu wanaishi ili akina mama wasiende mbali kutafuta maji na ndiposa mifugo isikose maji. Hiyo itaweza kufanyika na itakuwa our first priority.”
Consequently, the Azimio la Umoja leader promised to ensure that the infrastructural sector in the region was revamped, citing his experience in the roads ministry.
“Mimi nilikua waziri wa barabara na ujenzi. Mipango yote ya barabara zote zilizo hapa zilichorwa wakati wangu nikiwa waziri; upande wa miundo msingi tutatengeneza kabisa,” he said.
Odinga similarly reassured Coast residents that he would roll out his agenda with a focus on the health and education sectors as well as dealing with unemployment as a means to eradicating poverty.