Devolution has seen Narok County make significant developmental strides in the various sectors of the economy namely: Agriculture, Health, Roads and Infrastructure, Tourism as well as other sectors of the economy.
Achievements in Agriculture
From historical watershed years of being a semi-arid, sleepy region endowed with immense resources yet known only for wheat and barley growing, Narok County is now emerging as a reservoir of multiple agricultural produce and arguably the bread basket of the emerging larger Nairobi Metropolis.
The county produces virtually most of Kenya’s barley and most of its wheat. The county is also the second largest producer of maize and a major producer of beef and milk. In addition, Narok has a vibrant horticulture sector and a sugar growing belt in the Mara region.
The County Government has boosted agricultural and livestock farming, inspired by President Kenyatta’s Big 4 Agenda, because agriculture is the mainstay of majority of the residents of Narok County.
To boost dairy farming, Narok county government has procured and distributed milk coolers to various cooperatives managed by county dairy farmers for sustainable dairy farming.
To enhance quality and productive dairy farming, the county bought and distributed high quality breeds of bulls to the cooperative societies across the 6 sub-counties.
To guarantee sustainable dairy farming, the department of Agriculture has distributed Artificial Insemination (AI) kits to farmers, and has employed professional Artificial Insemination workers to give requisite support to farmers. This is a calculated effort toward milk value chain development mission in Narok. Further, the department of agriculture regularly facilitates cross-border disease surveillance, which has so far seen approximately five (5) million livestock units vaccinated.
Towards boosting meat production, the county government has bought and distributed high breed bulls to different wards. The breeds, including Boran and Sahiwal bulls, were distributed to farmers’ cooperatives across the 30 wards that produce dairy ad beef livestock after the inaugural annual livestock show which took place in December 2018.
Achievements in the Health Sector
Over the last 7 years, the county government has made remarkable strides in provision of health services turning the County into a quality and accessible healthcare services destination. To facilitate universal healthcare services for residents, the county government has partnered with NHIF to provide SUPA cover for residents since December 2018. So far over 15,000 residents are fully covered and can access healthcare services for free at all county hospitals.
The Narok Level 5 Referral Hospital is now a fully equipped state of the art referral hospital with an ICU center, a High Dependency Unit; MRI and CT-scan services; and also serves as a cancer treatment center, where dialysis takes place and all other oncological services.
To ensure effective emergency healthcare services, Narok residents have access to free 24-hour ambulance services provides by 11 ambulances, which are effectively managed by professional paramedics.
In addition, the county has employed 430 healthcare workers. Across the county, there are now total of 119 health facilities, 30 of them new and the others have undergone major facelifts. The facilities are stocked with essential commodities and medical supplies per quarter in order to ensure that residents have access to every kind of health service within Narok, including cancer patients, without them having to travel all the way to Nairobi.
The Construction of the new Emurua Dikirr level 4 hospital is on-going.
Achievements in Roads Infrastructure
The county is gradually opening up for cross-county and inter-county trade through transformative infrastructural development. The now functional road networks has been made possible by the availability of road maintenance equipment procured by the county government.
The county government has opened, constructed and rehabilitated majority of roads within the county and continues opening up feeder roads in order to facilitate timely transport of fresh and perishable farm produce to the markets. Development of the roads infrastructure is very critical as it is a catalyst for both economic development.
The county government also tarmacked the 5km road from the highway junction to Nairagie Enkare, which had initially been neglected for decades.
The Department of Roads has recently fully rehabilitated the full length of the road from Siyapei to Ntimama Ridge which is a very significant road that facilitates commerce within the county. The improvement of roads connectivity has enabled the people of Narok to be food secure.
These roads include the following among others:
• Emarti-Kabolecho-Olchobesei Road - 30Km
• Ewuaso-Nyiro-Naroosura-Morijo Road -100Km
• Kehancha-Lolgorian-Mararianda-Lemek-Nkorinkori -130Km
• Emarti-Kirindon-Kawa Road -40Km
• NCPB-Oletukat-Iltumutum-Enkorika -30Km
• Enengetia-Olokurto-Olpusimoru -45Km
• Siyiapei-Olchorro -47Km
• Oronkai-Tororek Road -27Km
• Narok Township Roads Tarmacking ongoing -10.1Km
Given the significance of the tourism sector and the importance of Maasai Mara Game Reserve to the county economy, the county government developed and is now implementing the strategic Mara Management Plan, which is focused on enhancing proper park management, improving coordination with tour operators, improving security for wildlife and tourists, and effectively handling human-wildlife conflict.
The County government has in place a county Act, the Maasai Mara Community Support Fund Act, which stipulates that 19% of the total revenue collected at the Mara goes to support community members around the Mara through support programmes in education, health and economic development, all aimed at encouraging community members to help in wildlife conservation. As a result, most members of surrounding communities have allowed the conversion of their huge tracts of land into wildlife conservancies.
To enable effective Mara management, the county government recruited and trained over 300 new rangers, who have now been deployed around the Mara to boost security.
Additionally, the county government facilitated the purchase of new communication gadgets to aid in the surveillance communication and management processes.
On matters of infrastructure development towards quick and easy access of the Maasai Mara though the Narok-Sekenani Gate, tarmacking of the road is on-going. The County government has also rehabilitated all the airstrips in the Maasai Mara.
It is noteworthy that the county government of Narok has enhanced the revenue collection at the Mara, and presently records high revenue collection.
All these have contributed to the world-acclaimed Maasai Mara Game Reserve being named six times in six consecutive years as the winner of the World Travel Award for Best National Park in Africa, beating other competitive game parks in Africa such as those in South Africa, Tanzania and Botswana among others.