In a bid to harness sports talent in Elgeyo Marakwet, the County Government has supported county teams in over 90 athletics events within and outside the County.
It has also been organizing other tournaments such as soccer and volleyball tournaments from the ward level culminating to the County level to showcase and tap variety of talent inherent in other sports.
“We have exposed these talents to national events including the Kenya Youth Inter-County Sports Association games that have been held in Siaya and Makueni respectively,” Sports CEC Anita Kimwatan.
Some of the youth have been identified and selected to join Kenya Academy of Sports and others have been recruited by professional clubs.
The County also embarked on sports infrastructure development to further improve talent development opportunities and upgraded a total of 65 fields.
“However, this plan to enhance accessibility to standard sporting facilities has been hampered by inadequate budgetary allocation and lack of public spaces with enough dimensions to accommodate standard fields,” regretted the CEC.
On skills development, the County has supported 930 youths to undergo technical courses in our VTCs and other institutions such as Kenya Institute of Highways and Building Technology (KIBT) to enhance the capacity of our youth to engage in self-employment.
The courses include plant operators, building technology, plumbing, design and garment making, hair dressing and beauty therapy, carpentry, motor vehicle technology among others.
“The County also launched the County Youth Forum to give the youths a voice to air their opinions and ideas on youth socio economic development initiatives from grassroots level,” said Kimwatan.
To increase special interest groups engagement in productive ventures, the County supported 329 groups comprising 160 women groups, 103 youth groups and 66 groups of persons living with disabilities with income generating activities.
They include heifers for dairy farming, merino and dorper sheep for sheep production, bee hives for honey production, diesel posho mills for business, car wash machines, water pumps for irrigation, attires for cultural groups, indigenous improved chicks for poultry production, tents, chairs and public address systems for event organizations among others.
The County further supported 1,200 women and some men in helping them to abandon illicit brew business and consumption, and engage in legal and meaningful ways of earning a living.
Most of the women who underwent rehabilitation courtesy of the County have formed a self-help group called Women of Change, which has continued to receive empowerment support from the County Government and other donors.
“On Social protection, we have enrolled 2,115 elderly persons of 65 years and vulnerable members of our society such as orphans into the NHIF medical cover which is currently ongoing. We started this programme four years ago in a bid to enhance universal health cover,” said the CEC.