The County Government of Kisumu in partnership with the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority this afternoon held a Leaders Consultative Forum with the County leadership ahead of the construction of the Koru – Soin dam.
The discussions were geared towards providing a better roadmap for the successful implementation of the Ksh. 25 billion project.
The Koru Soin Dam is a Vision 2030 flagship project expected to serve at least 1.7 million residents of Kisumu and Kericho counties running from the slopes of Got Alila hill in Muhoroni and slopes of Koitatui hill in Soin, Kericho county.
Already, the government has set aside Ksh. 5 billion for the commencement of construction with another 15 billion awaiting National Treasury’s approval in the October 2020 Supplementary budget. At least Ksh. 2 billion will be used towards compensation of project affected persons to acquire the 2500 acres needed for the construction. These include 206 parcels of land from the Kisumu side with Kericho County expected to part with 110 parcels.
The realization of this dam is expected to alleviate the impacts of floods in the lower reaches of river Nyando and provide additional portable water supply of approximately 71,279m3/day. The economic impacts will also be enormous with the project employing at least 1,500 locals as well as availing enough water for irrigation and institutional use that will enhance food security and other infrastructural developments like hydro power generation.
The authority plans to have water gravitate from the hills to the treatment plants downstream into storage tanks at different locations to boost the distribution especially in Muhoroni, Chemelil, Awasi, Ahero, Miwani, Rabuor, and Kibos. Kibos will have a booster tank distributing water to Riat hills and finally Maseno back to Kisumu.
Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili who spoke on behalf of the Governor reiterated the County’s commitment to ensure that the project is fully implemented owing to the benefits that will accrue upon its completion. The project, he said will help bring a permanent solution to the perennial flooding along the Nyando Basin that has continuously led to destruction of lives and property.
He assured the leaders of the County’s total support by ensuring that all stakeholders are brought on board to deliver the project.
He extended a message of appreciation to H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Raila Odinga for their role in spearheading infrastructural developments around the region especially Kisumu.
The Chairman of the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority Erick Okeyo reported that the procurement process is at evaluation stage and conclude in a month’s time upon which they shall hand over the site to the contractor.
On the issue of land acquisition and compensation of project affected persons, the Chairman said that the National Land commission is already in custody of Ksh. 400 million to kick start the process thus allaying fears of many residents. He NLC is expected to carry out fresh valuation in order to ensure the affected persons are compensated in good time.
Joining the DG was the County CEC in charge of Water and Environment Hon. Salmon Orimba who shared with the team the County’s wish list. He requested the authority to consider having additional water storage tanks in more areas such as Nyakach Sub County like Katito, additional booster tank at Mamboleo and Maseno to supply Riat, Kisumu West and Seme sub counties and finally another tank in Kabonyo Kanyagwal to serve both Kabonyo and Kobura wards. This he said will help increase water supply within the county which now stands at 18,000m3/day against a demand of 66,000m3/day
On the irrigation component, the CEC requested the authority to direct the irrigation channel to cover up to Kisumu East in Kolwa East to increase the area under irrigation. The authority had proposed to increase area under irrigation schemes in Ahero and West Kano by 2,500 Ha and power generation by 2.5 MW.
Other leaders present were; Muhoroni MP Hon. Onyango Koyoo, counterparts from (Nyando) Hon Jared Okello and (Seme) Dr. James Nyikal, County Commissioner Madam Susan Waweru, MCAs and other County and National Government officials.
By Nancy Juma
Governor Nyong’o warned the County residents against complacency in adherence to mitigation measures in place toward the fight against Covid – 19 pandemic.
Currently, the responsibility of the management of Covid-19 has been shouldered on communities following the opening of the country after 3-months cessation on COVID -19 prone areas.
“You cannot defy death when it comes, take personal responsibility of your health by observing the basic rules” the Governor said during the official launch of the UNHABITAT- CSUDP supported informal settlement Covid -19 response in Kisumu.
Sentiments echoed by His Deputy Dr. Mathew Owili who urged the residents not to drop their guard but observe the basic preventive measures of wearing masks, keeping social distance and hand washing to mitigate the impact of Covid 19.
Governor thanked the UNHABITAT – CSUDP for the donations of 15 dispensers, 50 jerricans, 2,000 litters of hand sanitizers, 3,000 face masks, water supply from KIWASCO and a retainer fee for 30 volunteers who will manage the wash stations for 30 days to be distributed across seven informal settlements namely: Bandani, Manyatta A, Manyatta B, Kaloleni, Nyawita, Obunga and Nyalenda.
It is against the backdrop that the informal settlements in Kisumu are more pre-disposed in the wake of such transmissions due to their dense nature of occupation and special attention has been paid to these areas in the continued fight against the pandemic.
The Chairperson for the Kisumu County Covid -19 Emergency Response Committee Emeritus Deputy Governor, Ruth Odinga urged the UNHABITAT to extend the initiative to the rest of the sub counties and called on other development partners to marshal resources toward the mitigation of Covid- 19 pandemic.
The CEO CSUDP, Mr. George Wasonga on his part thanked both the County Government and UNHABITAT for embracing the initiative that will enlighten the people that Covid -19 is no longer a health problem but also poses economic and social challenges within our communities.
He added that the Production of the state of art hand-washing equipment has impacted positively on nurturing the innovative skills of the youths in the TVET sector.
Persons living with Disabilities were also not left behind since they were the producers of the quality masks donated.
There will also be a Comprehensive database mapping the status of Covid-19 response, facilities and actors in the seven informal settlements in the city of Kisumu.
Also present during the event were: The City Manager Doris Ombara, a host of MCAs, Chief Officer Lands Housing and Urban Development Mr. Geoffrey Ochieng, members of Kisumu Covid- 19 Multi –Agency Technical Group on Informal Settlement (KCMATGIS) among other top county officials.
By: Emily Mikwa
Religious institutions play an important role in society and their contribution to fighting COVID-19 must be commended.
Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili this afternoon hosted Christ Is The Answer Ministries(CITAM ) Presiding Bishop Dr. David Oginde who doubles up, as a member of the Inter-Faith Council of Kenya.
They conversed greatly on the inter-dependency role played by the State, County Governments and Religious institutions in ensuring set COVID -19 protocols are met in places of worship.
“Places of worship are sacred and it remains our responsibility to safeguard them. To achieve this we must adopt stringent protocols and guidelines to protect the congregants” ,stressed the Bishop.
According to the Deputy Governor, the County Government has already up scaled it response services with members of the public urged to be collectively responsible.
“To beat COVID, we must treat it with the seriousness it deserves”, added Dr. Owili.
Bishop Oginde urged religious leaders to join the COVID fight by supporting the Ministry of Health guidelines on containing the virus.
By Collins Owuor
The CEC Member for agriculture, livestock, fisheries and irrigation, Mr. Gilchrist Okuom today signed a grant agreement with Research Triangle Institute (RTI) to provide in kind grand aid of up to a total of KES 886,000 for supporting the establishment of the farmers’ helpline call center.
The farmers help line is set to work as an alternative agricultural extension services that will be provided virtually in this COVID-19 pandemic period, to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic on farm households and agricultural productivity.
RTI will provide in kind support to Kisumu County, 100% of the costs related to the phone service FOR the call center for 12 months, 100% of the internet costs for the call center for a period of 12 months,100% of the office chairs and for the call center and 100% of the cost of four laptops and four mobile phones for the technical officers manning the help line while Kisumu county will contribute 100% of staff salaries and 100% of office space costs for the call center.
The help line will be operational from Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 5.00pm and wll serve farmers in Kiswahili and Luo. The calls will be free of charge for the callers
Kisumu finally has a substantive Cabinet Committee Member for Health and Sanitation following the swearing in of Prof. Boaz Otieno Nyunya earlier today.
Prof. Nyunya who previously served as the Associate Director of Programs, Western Kenya at the Center for Disease Control in Kisumu was sworn into office this morning by Kisumu Law Courts Principal Magistrate Joan Wambilianga at a ceremony held at City Hall.
As he welcomed the new CECM, Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o who witnessed the ceremony alongside his Deputy Dr. Mathew Owili congratulated Prof. Nyunya on his new assignment describing him as Kenya’s most leading medical practitioner.
The Governor was quick to mention that the appointment was coming in at the right time bearing in mind the new challenges presented by the COVID – 19 pandemic that the world is grappling with. He said the county will now bank on Prof. Nyunya’s vast experience on issues health and development to deliver the health agenda for Kisumu County.
The Governor took time to champion for teamwork among staff to help realize the much needed transformation within the health sector and the County at large. He pleaded with the health workers not to concentrate too much on issues of immediate personal attention but instead seek a deeper understanding on the broader issue of health management.
” serving the people as a whole is very important and all of us must make certain sacrifices to make the engine of the whole government work”. The Governor said as he routed for a culture of consultation and dialogue in addressing grievances.
With the health workers back on duty from the long strike, the Governor promised to ensure that their welfare is taken care of without any discrimination assuring them of engaging in much more bilateral and constructive discussions that will give rise to sound proposals that can not be challenged by those in authority.
In a bid to combat the spread of the dreaded corona virus, the Governor made an appeal to the residents of Kisumu to exercise responsible behavior by strictly following the laid down protocols to help contain the disease.
“The first line of defense against COVID – 19 pandemic is yourself”. He said.
In his maiden address and acceptance speech, Prof. Nyunya said he was up to the task and will use his wide knowledge and experience on health systems while discharging his duties.
He promised to focus more on teamwork to address challenges within the health docket including the COVID-19 crisis and the frequent unrest. He also plans to tap into technology and strong monitoring and evaluation systems to transform the health sector in Kisumu.
Prof. Nyunya who is now the substantive CECM for health and Sanitation is an expert on matters health. He brings in a wealth of experience into the sector having served the country in various capacities including being a consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist, a researcher, leader in reproductive health, an educationist and programs specialist.
He takes over the health docket from Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o who was acting in the position after Prof. Judith Attyang was moved to head the Business docket.
The Governor was joined by the leadership of the County Assembly led by Speaker Elisha Oraro, Members of his Cabinet, Partners from the health sector among other County Officials.
City Hall, 16th July, 2020
The County department of health in collaboration with UNICEF and other implementing partners today launched a campaign initiative to step up the efforts to stop the spread of Coronavirus in Kisumu.
Led by the County director for health and sanitation, Mr. Fred Oluoch, the department released 900 hand-washing units of 20 litres capacity, supported by UNICEF to go towards the COVID-19 preparedness and response through risk communication and community engagement promotion, a move that is set to strengthen the fight against Corona Virus in Kisumu.
Speaking during the launch which was conducted at the Kisumu County Referral Hospital, Mr. Oluoch said the roll-out of the risk communication and community engagement promotion is in line with recently released guidelines by the Ministry of health to carry out health promotion in support of the other COVID -19 interventions.
Having been listed as one of the 14 high-risk counties for community transmission of COVID-19 attributed to Kisumu International airport, Lake Victoria seaport, various landing beaches, international high ways and being a business hub for East Africa, the County health department rolled out an awareness campaign to reinforce the existing COVID-19 preventive measures and demonstration of hand-washing techniques by the Community health workers ( CHWs) in targeted informal settlements, markets, bust stations and beaches.
The department of health supported by UNICEF through a direct cash transfer of Ksh. 1.2M, procured the 900 units to reinforce the fight against the spread of the pandemic in the targeted areas. The units will go a long way in demonstrating hand-washing techniques and will be evenly distributed in all the 7 sub-counties as follows, Kisumu East -100, Kisumu central -380, Kisumu West -80, Muhoroni -80, Nyakach -80, Nyando -100 and Seme to get 80.
The 30 days’ risk communication and county engagement campaign will be rolled out simultaneously to the sub-counties to step up awareness creation in public spaces and informal settlements on the use of face masks, hygiene promotion, and social distancing.
The CHWs have been tasked to ensure the continuous practice of the protocols in the public spaces.
By Matilda Atieno
You can now fly to and from Kisumu thanks to resumption of domestic flights after 99 days of closure of air passenger services due to COVID – 19 pandemic.
Kisumu Governor Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o this morning received the maiden flight to Kisumu from Nairobi as the country gathers momentum on partial reopening of the economy. Flight KQ602 touched down at the Kisumu International Airport at 11:20 am marking the beginning of the new normal.
Kenya resumes all domestic flights today amid measures put in place to curb the spread of Coronavirus disease. Restriction of movement has impacted negatively both on Kenya’s economy and globally as passengers were reluctant to travel amidst the rising cases of infections. Resumption of activities at the Kisumu International Airport therefore is a clear signal that Kisumu is now open for business.
Speaking at the launch, the Governor reiterated that airport services were and have remained major contributors to the exponential growth of Kisumu Tourism and Business Industries that saw the hotel sector record 85% bed occupancy over the last one and a half years. He highlighted that the hotel industry was the worst hit by the pandemic.
“The industry has lost Sh.1.5 billion in revenue over the past four months, not to mention Sh. 500 million in unpaid salaries and 900 million shillings lost transfers to industry’s service providers”. He said
The effects he says have had a great impact on the county’s own source revenue forcing the county to adapt to new ways of doing business.
Kisumu is at the forefront in the fight against the coronavirus disease and has so far heightened surveillance at all entry points and ensured that all the service providers and the clients in the tourism sector are safe.
Kenya Tourism Board CEO Betty Radier on her part said that aviation is one of the ways that will help unlock the travel and the opportunities around the economy to ensure tourism grows and Kisumu provides opportunity to attract guests. She added that Kenya is lucky to have been awarded through the World Tourism Council with the safe travel destination something important for both the Kenyan tourism consumers and the citizens at large.
Kenya Civil Aviation Director in charge of Safety Tom Ogenche reported that the authority has ensured that all the laid down procedures have been complied with and will ensure that the standards are maintained. He reassured guests that it it is safe to step aboard their aircraft. Some of the safety procedures to be followed include temperature checks, frequent hand washing and sanitizing of surfaces and touch points. He noted that during the preparations towards the resumption, Kisumu International Airport came out number one ahead of Nairobi and Mombasa.
This comes amidst the County’s heightened preparations towards hosting Afri – cities in November 2021.
Joining the Governor were County Ministers Achie Alai and Judith Attyang, officials from KCAA, Kenya Airways, Kenya Tourism Board among other County Officials.
Kisumu International Airport,
As part of the on-going pilot scheme for the County Roads Maintenance Teams Project, the department of Roads and Public Works led by CEC Member Dr. Joyce Osogo was this week in Nyakach Sub-County to carry out inspection of the proposed roads to be managed under the scheme as well as inspection of the ongoing roadworks contracted under County Revenue and Kenya Roads Board funds.
Nyakach being one of the most affected Sub Counties by the recent floods, saw the suspension of all the ongoing roadworks because the deluge. The Sub-county accounts for a third of the 99 county roads worth 400M destroyed by the heavy floods experienced in the past few months. The machine-based road maintenance program currently on going in Muhoroni and Nyando will commence in Nyakach in the coming week. The program will see a total of 15 roads – 3 per Ward, maintained in the 7-day pilot period.
As part of engagement with the affected residents the County minister held a meeting with Sub County political leadership and residents. During a special meeting with members of East and Central Nyakach, whose project, Kadinda – Soko road stalled due to heavy rains and left the region literally cut off, the CEC promised speedy resolution and completion of the road.
In her address, Dr. Osogo sent a strong warning to contractors who had been ordered back to site to do so, failure to which their contracts will be terminated. She assured the residents that the era of briefcase contractors had come to an end with the commencement of Governor Nyong’o’s revolutionary Roads Maintenance Teams agenda, following the passing and enactment of the Roads Maintenance Act by the County Assembly.
Some of the roads earmarked for the pilot phase include Kadinda- Kandaria Polytechnic to Kandaria Dispensary access road in North Nyakach, Kodum – Ligusa access road in central Nyakach and Kong’ou – Sango Rota to Nyadina Dispensary access road in west nyakach among others.
Dr. Osogo stressed that only contractors with capacity and who have demonstrated timely project delivery will be considered for future projects.
As part of the department’s reorganization strategy for improved service delivery, Dr. Osogo directed that from this financial year, all the sub county technical staff – Engineers, Roads Inspectors and supervisors; who will be working closely with roads maintenance teams, will henceforth be stationed at the various sub county public works offices. This will position the officers closer to the public they serve.
In her meeting with the county political leadership the County Minister assured the MCAs of a collaborative engagement in actualization of the planned development agenda.