Farmers are set to experience a reduction in crop production losses, following the launch of the Plant Clinics Programme that tailored to help small holder farmers with the opportunity to diagnose plant pests and diseases as well ways of management for improved crop productivity.
While he officially launched the Programme, Kisumu County Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Ochieng Owili noted that food security remains a priority for the County and Kenya at large.
He reiterated Kisumu Governor’s commitment to put all structures in place to ensure the situation of food insecurity is alleviated even as he urged the farmers and stakeholders to make use of the Clinics to get the right information concerning pests and diseases and best agricultural practices.
Dr. Owili also issued a directive to the County Department of Agriculture to put into place a Programme that will ensure proper information dissemination to all local farmers thus ensuring adequate access to necessary information.
The County Minister for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation Gilchrist Okuom on his part, assured the partners that the County will address the issue on staff attrition by ensuring a smooth skills transfer. He however sent a special plea to the local agrovets not to sell expired or unnecessary pesticides to the farmers but instead allow them to buy the recommended products by the plant doctors.
The launch of the Programme will allow small holder farmers access valuable information, share experiences on various crop challenges as well as update themselves on modern technologies they can embrace to ensure increased crop production for improved livelihoods.
The farmers will also be able to access extension services at designated markets across the seven Sub-Counties using modern technologies thus ensuring timely management of crop pests and diseases, a key component in the reduction of crop production losses.
The Plant Clinics will be operational every month in the following centres: Nyamasaria market – 1st & 3rd Thursday of the month, Daraja Mbili market- 1st & 3rd Tuesday, Kombewa market -1st & 3rd Friday, Rabuor market – 1st & 3rd Wednesday, Ombeyi Market – 1st & 3rd Wednesday and Katito market – 1st & 3rd Thursday of the month.
The event was made possible by the Kisumu County Government through the Department of Agriculture with support from Self Help Africa and the Centre for Agriculture and Bio-Science International which was instrumental (CABI) in the training of the plant doctors.
By: Nancy Juma
Kisumu County through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, yesterday sensitized key stakeholders on the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) implementation at Acacia Hotel in Kisumu.
Kisumu is one of the four Counties identified for piloting of the UHC program. The others include: Machakos, Nyeri and Isiolo.
According to the County CEC for Health and Sanitation, Dr. Rosemary Obara, the main objectives for the sensitization was to equip leaders and partners with the needed knowledge on implementation of the UHC program, facilitate exchange of views and also ensure access to quality health services for all without financial hardships.
She reiterated the fact that all stakeholders including the Members of the County Assembly, County government , National government together with the private sector need to work together to realize affordable health care.
UHC has three key elements: equity in access to healthcare in terms of geographic coverage and the range of available health services; high quality health services; and financial protection against any hardship to users of health services which may arise from out-of-pocket payments.
Dr. Obara also highlighted key areas the county has achieved in terms of improving access to health care. One being operationalizing maternity theaters in all sub counties to reduce referrals and mortalities.
The mobilization started officially in November last year. The County has so far registered 306,697 households with a total of 887,038 persons being captured which reflects 75% above the estimated number of 250,000.
The County director, Dr. Dickens Onyango, highlighted that since the mop up exercise began, the County has had an influx in the number of people seeking for health services in the County hospitals increase significantly with 82% increase in outpatient workload.
The County was allocated Kshs. 217,383,080 in the first half, and it has already spent Kshs. 158,242,582 which reflects 72.79% expenditure of its allocation in just the first quarter.
Other presentations included Health and Nutrition Contingency Plan 2019, Systems Responsiveness to UHC which included cost containment measures and UHC dashboard.
The county is looking forward to addressing human resource deficits which has been brought about by the high enrolment of residents on the program, ensuring adequate commodity supplies in laboratory and pharmaceuticals, expand capacity of existing facilities and also to ensure funds flow, efficiency and accountability.
Other key stakeholders who attended the sensitization were representatives from the National government Ministry of Health, Kisumu County Assembly, and Members of the Health Committee, NHIF, and Community health workers among others.
By Enose Ambani and Felix Nyabala
INTERNATIONAL HOUSING CONFERENCE IN KISUMU
Kisumu County played host to the three day International Housing Conference held at Grand Royal Swiss Hotel.
The conference that was presided over by the Kisumu Governor, Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o flanked by his Deputy Dr. Mathew Owili, focused on the implementation of adequate and affordable housing which is one of the Big Four agenda
The Governor reiterated on the importance of maintaining green space in the County as development takes place, since it is the only way of ensuring that residents of Kisumu have habitable homes
In line with the theme ‘Adequate and Affordable Housing for all’, the noble initiative links different international development partners, the county government of Kisumu and the civil societies to collaborate in the delivery of the key objectives to this agenda.
In respect to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every person has a right to accessible ,adequate housing and sanitation as stipulated in the Kenyan constitution article 43(1-b). This can be attained when the County Government is fully involved as the national government plays the role of policy direction to ensure residents finds quality life and human dignity.
The social expectation of the Kenya vision 2030, adequate housing is given weight to entirely change the face of this nation. It is envisaged that by that then, Kenya will be an urban country, where a lift to livelihood is to be loud.
The conference made the following resolution,
There will be an improved system of community mortgage programmes that will help in land acquisition through the community association based on the concept of the community ownership.
Adequate housing is a basic human right that ensure their peace and dignity. This focus on initiating affordable housing especially for the poor.
Effort to strengthen the non-profit community-based organisations to ensure community stewardship.
The need to enlarge public awareness on their rights and lastly the implementation of the housing agenda.
The conference aimed to address and provide strategies that can be used worldwide in thirst to achieve affordable housing.
The calls on Sugar Companies Privatization continues to gain momentum as stakeholders try to find a lasting solution to the ailing sugar industry.
Currently, the sugar industry faces a myriad of challenges which include: experiencing loses, slowed down operations due to deplorable state and lack of modern equipment, late payment of sugar cane farmers, late harvesting of cane as well as corruption that has made sugar production unsustainably expensive.
In a consultative meeting held at the Grand Royal Swiss Hotel, brought on board Rt. Honourable, Raila Odinga, CS agriculture, Hon. Mwangi Kiunjuri, Chairman Council of Governors. H.E. Wycliffe Oparanya ( Kakamega), H.E Zachary Obado ( Migori), H.E Cornel Rasanga ( Siaya), H.E. Stephen Sang’ ( Nandi), Professor Hamadi Boga, Privatization Commission, Senators, MCAs, among other leaders from the sugar growing region to chart the way forward
The Ministry of Agriculture disclosed in a report that about 1.9 billion has been disbursed to pay farmers debts even though the sugar sector still faces a multiple of financial challenges.
On his part, the Rt. Honourable, Raila Odinga, underscored the urgent need to find a lasting solution to the problems facing the sugar mills to ensure sustainability and profit realization in their operations.
“The sector cannot be revived through accusations and counter accusations, we should be prepared to take bold steps” said Rt. Hon. Raila
Some of the resolutions made during the meeting include:
That, in view of urgent need to revitalize the public mills and the industry at large, the Privatization Commission identifies strategic partners in the next 120 days.
That, County Government to represent the interest of farmers on matters privatization.
That, a special Committee be set up by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation to come up with a revival strategy for revitalization of Mumias Sugar Company
That, the Sugar Industry Task force to complete its work within the next 14 days
That, the remaining 808 million owed to farmers be captured in the supplementary budget.
That, the Ministry of Agriculture to provide leadership in bringing together relevant government departments and agencies to address financial requirements of the public Sugar Companies, particularly debt write off.
That, the Sugar Act be reinstated to provide independent sugar regulatory body and sugar resource body.
That, the Sugar Regulations be gazette to provide a conducive business environment for the Sugar Sector.
By: Emily Mikwa
COMMUNIQUE OF THE SIXTH ANNUAL DEVOLUTION CONFERENCE HELD FROM 4TH TO 8TH MARCH, 2019, KIRINYAGA UNIVERSITY, KIRINYAGA COUNTY
The Sixth Annual Devolution Conference was convened jointly by the Council of Governors (CoG), Ministry of Devolution and ASAL (MoDA), Senate and County Assemblies Forum (CAF) between 4th and 8th March, 2019 at Kirinyaga University, Kirinyaga County. In line with the overall conference theme “Deliver. Transform. Measure. Remaining Accountable’, the conference made the following resolutions,
1. The National Government and County Governments (hereinafter referred to as ‘both levels of government’) shall, within one (1) year, develop a policy and legal framework for harmonization of revenue collection by both levels of government.
ACTION: National Government and County Governments, Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA)
2. The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shall enhance their collaboration with both levels of government to produce data and statistics and Parliament shall, in six (6) months, fast track the consideration and passing of the County Statistics Bill.
ACTION: KNBS, Parliament, County Governments
3. Constitutional Commissions and Independent Offices shall ensure provisions on prudent financial management procedures are enforced.
ACTION: Office of the Auditor-General (OAG), Controller of Budget (COB), Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP)
4. The Penal Code and the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, among other laws, shall in the next one (1) year be amended in order to strengthen enforcement of laws and enhance collaboration and coordination of all agencies in the war against corruption.
ACTION: Parliament, AG, Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC), Judiciary
5. All State officers and public officers that are charged in court in corruption scandals shall, moving forward, step aside. Investigative institutions shall strictly follow the law in the execution of their mandate.
ACTION: ODPP, DCI, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Judiciary
6. MoDA and the National Government Development Coordination Committee (NGDCC) shall develop a policy and institutional framework to facilitate coordination between both levels of government in the implementation of the Big Four Agenda.
ACTION: MoDA, NGDCC, CoG, Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC)
7. Annually, both levels of government shall publish and publicize the implementation scorecard of the Big Four Agenda initiatives, including information on public finance management.
ACTION: County Governments & NGDCC
8. Since the Big Four Agenda focuses on four (4) devolved functions, the National Government shall, in the next budget cycle, allocate resources to facilitate County Governments’ support for the implementation of the Big Four Agenda.
ACTION: County Governments, National Treasury, Parliament, CRA
9. Both levels of government shall, in the next one (1) year, make substantial investment in cottage and agro-processing industries to create employment and wealth generation for women, youth, people living with disabilities, and marginalized groups.
ACTION: State Department of Industrialization, State Department of Gender, Ministry of Agriculture, State Department of Vocational Training, County Governments
10. Both levels of government shall invest in Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) to strategize, implement and evaluate the Big Four Agenda.
ACTION: ICT Authority, State Department of ICT, County Governments, Private sector, Development Partners
11. Both levels of government shall, in the next six (6) months, operationalize the existing Performance Management Framework.
ACTION: Public Service Performance Management Unit, State Department of Public Service, County Governments’ Service Delivery Units
12. Article 203 (3), providing that audited accounts be approved by National Assembly shall, in not more than one (1) year, be amended to ensure timely approval of audited accounts. For the other constitutional reforms, devolution shall take centre stage.
ACTION: Parliament, OAG, AG, County Governments, Building Bridges Initiative (BBI)
13. Political leaders shall ensure that the discourse of constitutional reform will be all inclusive.
ACTION: BBI, Civil society
14. County Governments shall, in the next budget cycle, prioritize responsive interventions towards adolescent and teenage health needs and gender based violence.
ACTION: County Governments, Ministry of Health, Development partners
15. County Governments shall, in the next one (1) year, establish County Service Delivery Units to monitor development projects.
ACTION: County Governments, Presidential Delivery Unit
16. Both levels of government shall, in the next one (1) year, develop a policy to guide water resource sharing across Counties and increase investment in water infrastructure.
ACTION: Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Water and Sanitation, County Governments
17. Both levels of Government shall, in the next three (3) years, convene a water congress for all stakeholders to discuss responsibilities for each level of government and concurrent functions.
ACTION: CoG, County Governments, Ministry of Water, AG, Senate
18. Both levels of government shall, in the next one (1) year, develop a Kenya Industrial Policy to support establishment of cottage industries.
ACTION: State Department of Industrialization, County Governments
19. Both levels of government shall, in the next one (1) year, develop strategies to reduce the cost of doing business in Kenya.
ACTION: State Department of Industrialization, CoG, Private Sector
20. Both levels of government shall, moving forward, partner with research, academic and private sector institutions to provide practical solutions for service delivery.
ACTION: National Government, County Governments, Universities and Research institutions
21. Both levels of government and private sector shall, moving forward, create land banks, mobilize privately owned land and provide critical infrastructure in order to unlock land potential for affordable housing and revenue generation.
ACTION: Ministry in charge of housing and infrastructure, County Governments, Ministry of Lands and Housing, Private sector
22. All County Governments shall, in the next one (1) year, enact Civic Education Laws and establish Civic Education Units in compliance with the County Governments Act.
ACTION: County Governments, Parliament, MoDA, Civil Society
23. Fast-track the finalization of the policy and legal framework in the next one (1) year on the County Regional Economic Blocs policy.
ACTION: MoDA, CoG, IGRTC, Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC Senate, County sseblies. AG)
24. All sector resolutions shall form part of this communique.
H.E. Mwangi Wa Iria
Co-Chair of the Sixth Annual Devolution Conference and the Vice-Chair of the Council of Governors
Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, EGH
Co-Chair of the Sixth Annual Devolution Conference and Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Devolution and ASAL
Sen. John Kinyua
Co-Chair of the Sixth Annual Devolution Conference and Chair of the Senate Committee on Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations
Hon. Eric Mwangi
Secretary- General, County Assemblies Forum
By: Mikwa Emily
The sixth devolution conference in Kirinyanga provided opportunity for drawing lessons and accumulation of experiences and different innovations across all the Counties.
The conference themed “Deliver, Transform, Measure, Remain Accountable” was pegged on the Big 4 Agenda that is focused on Health, Agriculture, housing, trade and manufacturing.
On trade, and manufacturing, the Counties resolved to promote value addition to products as well as creating employment opportunities for the youth by 2022.
On his part, Kisumu Governor, Professor Nyong’o sited the need to establish innovation and incubation centres and establishment of cottage industries that will enable young people to engage in ventures that are income generating. It was also noted that Counties should review multiple taxation to reduce the cost of doing business.
The conference brought together 47 Counties including Kisumu who showcased unique products which included furniture made of hyacinth, among other items and health services at the exhibition booth.
During a health breakaway session, panelist discussed issues on governance, creation of an enabling environment, as well as health financing.
The speakers observed the need for the counties to embrace UHC and that the initiative is set to provide primary healthcare for all beneficiaries “I think we are pretty well-positioned to take full advantage of the political good will following the much popular handshake and community needs on health to ensure that UHC works,” said a participant.
It was noted that having a healthy populace is a priority of every County Government and thus through setting of realistic revenue counties are able to determine the cost and needs of the devolved services.
BY: Matilda Atieno
Food security was a more sensitive area that called for all counties to invest in commercialized agriculture in the quest to address food shortages in the country
A late goal from Shadrack Omondi against visiting side Thika United ensured Kisumu All Stars finished at position four in the first leg of the National Super League.
Both teams shared equal possession of the ball in both halves before Omondi broke the deadlock to keep the hopes of the Blue Eagles title race alive.
The Francis Oduor’s side is currently two points shy league leaders Ushuru,Wazito and Nairobi Stima respectively.
All Stars is seeking to continue with their impressive run when they will be facing Administration Police in the midweek fixture at Camp Toyoyo, Nairobi
By: Innocent Oleche