The County Director for Special Programs, Madam Ruth Odinga today chaired a multidisciplinary disaster response meeting in her office to forge the way forward on strategies that can be put in place to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus among the residents across the sub counties and Wards within the County.
The meeting which brought on board the Deputy County Commissioner, Mr. Cheruyot who represented the County Commissioner, all the Sub county Administrators who sit in disaster response committees, representatives from the Kenya Red cross Kisumu branch, Fablab, and County officers from line departments was to discuss their inputs towards the response to the pandemic.
Speaking during the meeting, Ruth Odinga implored on the health department to fast track the sensitization sessions to the Special Programs officers, Sub county Administrators, Ward Administrators in order to equip them with the right information that they need as they go to meet the people on the ground. She also tasked them to come up with a screening strategy at the bus park, cross border vehicles such as buses and trailers.
The Director for Public health and Sanitation, Mr. Fred Oluoch used the forum to educate the members on the basics of the disease, that it is a respiratory disease that can be spread through contacts and droplets. He further outlined the basic hygiene measures that individuals must adhere to such as hand washing among others.
He Further mentioned that currently the department is conducting training sessions to front-line health workers across sub counties, then later the Community Health Workers and the rest of departments in that order. A part from trainings, isolation wards have been set up and sensitization sessions in local radios is ongoing. He called for support from line departments in ensuring that the right information reaches the people.
The Special Programs agreed to support the initiative by printing for them posters done in English, Kiswahili and Luo to be posted at the ward levels, while the county water department has offered to supply clean water for the needy areas.
The Deputy County Commissioner Mr.Cheruyot on his part said they have put local structure in place that can help disseminate information up to the local level and that their people have been trained and currently they are using door to door approach to sensitize the people in attempt to minimize gatherings. He pledged that their office is willing to work with the team asking the health department to take lead in giving guidance.
The Red cross branch Manager, Mr. George Opidi said they have trained, a Clinical Officer and a Public Health Officer, now Trainers of Trainees whom have also trained 35 volunteers who are equipped to train should their services be required.
Currently, they have prioritized to do hand washing demos and sensitization sessions to a lean forum among the people in the evacuation centers such as Ogenya, Kasindi, Kaloo and Kibuye market. They have also provided hand-washing equipment in the above-mentioned areas.
Representatives from Fablab said they have come up with a USSD code that can be used to trace suspect cases.
Avocado farming in Kisumu has received a boost after the County Director Crops, Mr. Sylvester Okech today presided over the dispatch of 2,600 Hass variety avocado seedlings from Maseno Farmers Training Center (FTC) to local farmers across the wards within the County.
The seedlings were issued through the support program from the USAID Kenya Crops and Dairy Marketing Systems (KCDMS) through an agency called RTI.
The Hass variety is considered suitable for the region due to its high returns in yields and it is also rich in oil.
Besides avocado, the organization is also offering support on banana, African leafy vegetables and the dairy value chains in Kisumu.
This is in line with the Governors manifesto on promoting horticulture value chain and introduction of diversification on agricultural produce within the County.
The seedling distribution was done according to the wards’ suitability in giving high yields: Koru Muhoroni Ward , 500 seedlings, North Kisumu Ward 400 seedlings, North Seme ward, 350 seedlings, Kisumu East Ward, Kajulu 350 seedlings, North West Kisumu Ward, West Kisumu ward, South East Nyakach , South West Nyakach and West Nyakach each received 200 seedlings.
The Sub county Agricultural Officers and the Agricultural Extension Officers have been tasked to sensitize the farmers on how to plant the seedlings in order to get good yields. For example the recommended spacing that should be 8m by 8m. They will also do monitoring and evaluations after the farmers have planted the seedlings.
The Director crop was flunked by Sub county crops officer form Kisumu West, Mr. Simon Obwolo and Sub county Agricultural Officer Kisumu West, Mr. Tobias Olwero.
The County department of Energy, Industrialization and Special Economic Zone, led by the Chief Officer, Eng. Daniel Okiya played host to top County officials from Kiambu.
The duo comprising of the Deputy Director, Esther Gatuguta and her counterpart Mary Muthoni from the department of Trade, Industrialization and Tourism, were in Kisumu for three days in learning program that would give them insights on how Kisumu County performs on matters trade and industrialization.
The purpose for the visit was to share ideas and challenges experienced in the fields of industrialization and trade programs among the two counties in so far as development is concerned.
They chose to come to Kisumu for the exchange program since both counties are beneficiaries of the special Economic zone (SEZ) projects.
Apart from Kiambu, other beneficiaries include: Kisumu focusing on Agro vet value addition, Mombasa and Lamu counties are focusing on transport infrastructure and Machakos County working on Konza City.
On the first day, in a discursive meeting meant to welcome the duo to Kisumu, the guests were treated to presentations on the development plans along the lakefront and the investment opportunities that come with Special Economic Zone that is set to be established in Miwani. These include industries such as the cement manufacturing company, Bio fertilizer plant, revival of the KICOMI industry among others
The program also involved touring the Kisumu lakefront, Miwani factory and KIRDI.
Day two of the exchange program kicked off with touring Miwani sugar factory, the location set for the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project, led by the County Director Industrialization and Special Economic Zone, Mr. Enos Otieno Adala.
The purpose for site visit was to share experiences how prepared Kisumu is for the SEZ project on matters land acquisition and challenges faced in so far as the project is concerned.
“Kisumu has earmarked 1000 acres in Miwani sugar factory for the project since it is adjacent to the CBD and it has soils and water sources that favor agriculture. Its potential is also expected to open up the sleeping Miwani milling giant that closed down in 2001” said Mr. Dan Muga the Miwani nuclear Estate Manager who also doubled as the host.
Day three was crowned with visitation of Kenya Industrial Research Development Institute (KIRDI), working in partnership with the County government in the line of SMEs; hence it was a learning experience for the guests on the importance of partnerships with the existing public institutions to spur development on matters trade.
The guests commended the good plans Kisumu has and that the realization of the same will open up more opportunities and network with investors both locally and internationally.
Also present during the site visit were: Miwani Agricultural Supervisor, Mr. Fredrick Boge, Jared Akello, Ward Administrator Mr. Lameck Ochieng, and Mr. Phelix County officer department of industrialization among others.
By Matilda Atieno
Kisumu County marked the International Women’s Day (IWD) 2020, as women come together at a time hallmarked to honor their achievements in the political, economic, and cultural sphere in an event organized in partnership with various organizations advocating for gender equality at the Jomo Kenyatta sports ground.
The event graced by Mama Kisumu Dorothy Nyong’o, in the company of Kisumu Governor Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, this year’s IWD celebrations themed, “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights,” is aligned with UN Women’s new multigenerational campaign, Generation Equality, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China.
“We must never tire of different advocacy programs to end all kinds of discrimination, violence and harmful practices against women.” Said Mama Kisumu, acknowledging that the Sexual Gender-Based Violence Policy (SGBV) and The Gender Mainstreaming Policy Formulation as a commitment towards the empowerment of women, youth and people living with disabilities.
Mama Kisumu also recognized that Kisumu was the second county nationally to unveil a comprehensive policy framework designed to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence and the local level.
In his remarks, Kisumu governor commended the women of Kisumu led by Mama Kisumu for the great strides that have been achieved.
“We have come a long way to ensure that women have the same access to life’s basic needs as men.” Said Governor Nyong’o.
The Governor also announced that on the 27th of March Kisumu County will receive the biggest prize as the best County in involving women and special interest groups in development issues.
The National Taxpayers association called on the government to make taxes work for women and to ensure gender-responsive budgeting, recognizing that Tax justice is vital to providing gender-responsive public services.
March 8th marks the global annual IWD celebrations; however, Kisumu scheduled its celebrations for the 12th March 2020. The day also serves as a reminder that women around the world still have a long way to go when it comes to obtaining the same opportunities and liberties as their male counterparts.
The colorful event was occasioned by a procession from Kondele, Awarding of recognition certificates to various stakeholders and entertainment from various groups as women, men and special interest groups danced their heart out in celebration to mark the achievements made in realizing gender equality in Kisumu and Kenya at large.
The celebrations focused on five key thematic areas of discussions which included; Enhanced Equality and Non- discrimination, Protection of women from violence, Promoting Rights relating to marriage, Improved Health and Reproductive Rights and Championing Right to peace, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The event was also graced by the County Ministers, Dr. John Obiero Ogone of Education ICT and Human capacity development and his counterpart for health and Sanitation, Prof. Juddy Attyang’, members of the County Assembly led by the gender committee chairperson, Hon. Rashid Miruka, Representative of the County Commissioner, Chief officer Women, Youth and social services Mr. Haggai Kadiri, county officials together with the members of the Gender technical working group stakeholders.
The county department of Women, Youth, People with Disability (PWD) & Social Services and its partners organized a county gender technical working group workshop to validate the Kisumu county gender mainstreaming policy framework in Bondo, Siaya County.
The two-day workshop which was organized in partnership the gender mainstreaming technical working group, gender experts, civil society members and the Sustainable Development Goals forum (SDG Forum) was graced by the chief officer for Women, Youth, People with Disability (PWD) & Social Services, Mr. Haggai Kadiri.
The chief officer emphasized the County Government’s commitment towards the policy formulation adding that the goal of the policy for gender mainstreaming is to address the existing barriers that may hinder equal participation of women, men and special interest groups in expanding access to opportunities.
According to Mr. Kadiri, the policy is set to mainstream gender in the County government programs, projects and initiatives implemented by the states, including large scale infrastructure projects and investments.
The policy is a flagship program for the department with the overall objective to contribute towards increased access to modern, affordable, and reliable services, security and environmental sustainability by tailoring national and regional policies, projects and programs to the gender needs of women and special interest groups.
The representative of the SDG Forum, Ms. Rosemary Oluoch also commended Kisumu County for the efforts towards achieving the gender mainstreaming policy adding that SDG Forum is ready to support the initiative at any given time.
The envisaged output from the workshop include; Validation and endorsed draft of the Kisumu County gender mainstreaming policy framework and a preliminary draft of the Implementation Strategy for the Policy for Gender Mainstreaming in accessing services.
By Matilda Atieno
Cotton production in the region is set for a major boost following the introduction of a new seed variety by the government.
BT cotton is a high yielding insect-resistant transgenic crop with high production returns upon maturity.
The introduction of the new variety is in line with the governments agenda to fast-rack and revitalize the textile industry by setting up 1000 BT demonstration farms in cotton growing areas countrywide.
With demand of quality cotton on the rise,counties in the Lake Region Economic Bloc counties have already made steps to scale up cotton production.
The Ministry of Agriculture has already set aside funds to revive ginneries and train farmers in planting the new variety.
BT technology has been used to mitigate effects of pests and diseases, drought stress and other challenges facing farmers globally.
Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew. Owili joined Agriculture CS Hon. Peter Munya, his Devolution counterpart Hon. Eugene Wamalwa and host Governor HE. Sospeter Ojaamong in unveiling the high yielding variety at Alupe University College grounds.
Principal Secretaries Ali Noor, Prof. Hamadi Boga, Busia Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi, LREB CEO Dr. Kodek Omwancha, CEC Agriculture Gilchrist Okuom were among dignitaries present at the launch.
Mama Kisumu, Dorothy Nyong’o today presided over the launch of rice feeding program at Boya Vocational Training Centre in Ahero.
A total number of 719 bags of rice each weighing 25 kgs and 224 jerrycans of cooking oil each containing ten litters each were given to 108 ECDE centres in Nyando sub county.
Feeding program in ECDE schools is key in the learning process as it increases child enrollment, retains children in schools and reduces absenteeism from school.
While addressing the gathering, Mama County applauded the development works that have been done by the County government not only in providing learning materials and improved facilities, but also the introduction of the feeding program for the children in school.
She reiterated that a fed child will be successful in his/her learning, hence she tasked the relevant department to keep improving the feeding program, by gradually introducing other food varieties for the children to have a balanced diet.
She further called on the parents to support the schools by introducing kitchen gardens in their homes with food varieties that can improve the nutritional health of the pupils.
The County Executive Committee Member for Education, Dr. John Ogone on his part, outlined the achievements realised by the department since Governor Nyong’o took office: increase in enrollment in vocational training centres as in the case of Boya Vocational Training Centre (VTC) where the number increased from 200 to 600 students, currently the county government is providing bursaries to about 25 students per term and they target to give 3,500 students bursaries by the end of their first term in office.
Concerning teachers, the county has doubled the salaries of the ECDE teachers from Ksh. 11,000 per month to Ksh. 23,000 and now the department is working on regularising the national scheme for the ECDE teachers in the County.
Also present during the event were: the Member of County Assembly in charge of education committee, Hon. David Arao, Chief Officer Education Madam Penina, Director ECDE Mr Michael Adara, sub county administrator Maurice Oricho, Ward administrators from Nyando sub county, Sub county ECDE coordinators, County director VTCs madam Pascalia ouma and parents, among other invited guests.
The County and National governments have launched a collaborative cleanup exercise to reclaim the water bodies and stop pollution around the Lake Victoria.
Kisumu Governor, Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o together with Regional Commissioner James Kianda yesterday led residents in a cleanup exercise of River Kisat to combat the widespread of environmental pollution.
According to the Governor, the county government has laid out a ten-day cleanup plan along the lakefront in a bid to sensitize residents on protecting their habitats.
He called for an aggressive approach to safeguard the environment, reiterating the important role it played in enhancing bio diversity and livelihood of the people, sentiments echoed earlier by the Regional Commander.
This initiative is also expected to be carried out in other counties bordering the lake Victoria, specifically counties falling within the Lake Region Economic Bloc.
Joining the cleanup were County Commissioner Madam Susan Waweru, CEC Environment Salmon Orimba, Kiwasco Managing Director Thomas Odongo, Governors Political Advisor Aballa Wanga, partners: Safaricom, Plan International, Lake Basin Authority among other organizations.