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.
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.
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.
County department of Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock, and Fisheries in partnership with Council of Governors (CoG) and Association of Women in Agriculture (AWAK), yesterday organized a training for Kilimo Biashsra Women Group on the benefits of the use of biochar drum kiln to manage farm waste at Wathorego, in Kisumu East ward.
The recycling of farm wastes through production of the biochar is an initiative being propagated across Counties to empower the women both agriculturally and economically.
Biochar, also means charcoal made from the farm wastes such as maize cobs, beans straws, rice husks, twigs, maize stalks among other farm wastes.
The residues from the charcoal is also intended to be taken back to the soil with the an aim improving the soil nutrients for agriculture.
During the production of the biochar, the blue flame produced from the drum kiln can be tapped to produce bio gas for cooking.
The Sub County Administrator of Kisumu East, Mr. Peter Abiero on this occasion, embraced the move and pledged support towards the integrated approach to development.
The CEO Council of Governors, Jacqueline Mogeni while giving her remarks noted that devolution works, though it has its challenges, but the people at the grass-roots are now being empowered to engage in income generating businesses that they can pass on to their children and the coming generations
The County Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Gilchrist Okuom, reiterated that wastes if used wisely can give a decent amount of return to the farm owners and can also help in reducing waste by proper utilization.
He thanked the partners for the innovation that will ensure farm wastes that are generated in very large amounts and in most cases left on the field, become a source of livelihood for the residents in the County.
Other facilitators present included Dries Roobroeck (AWAK), Judy Matu (AWAK), Jackline Migide, (CoG) and Robert Kiteme (CoG).
County department of Special Programmes, led by Madam Ruth Odinga, on Monday received a satellite application for disaster risk recovery systems worth Ksh. 500million that will Enhance co-ordination, command and control of disaster response at local, regional and national level.
The satellite system was donated to the department after the SatDRR company undertook a Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) capacity development programme embedded in capability and knowledge to improve County officials’ capacity to effectively plan for and respond to disasters using satellite technology.
The system provides a secure, resilient, always-on infrastructure in disaster situations – providing critical tools for emergency communications and situation assessment.
Madam Ruth Odinga reiterated that the system will be useful for detection of early warnings, early actions and even better evacuation centers on higher grounds.
The County Assembly Speaker, Hon. Elisha Oraro on his part, lauded the initiative saying the system will be key in GIS planning, monitoring and communication. He added that the trained staff should be retained for consistency and conservation of the institution’s memory.
Speaking while receiving the satellite system at the Acacia premier Hotel, the Deputy Governor. Dr Mathew Owili, thanked the development partners for the good gesture and that the satellite system will enhance quick response to disaster when disasters struck the County.
Apart from Kisumu County, the project is also being implemented in Nairobi, Kilifi and Baringo Counties by a group of companies namely: Torchlight, Airbus, Global Radio data Communications, UK Space Agency, Avanti Communications and the Kenya Red Cross.
Also present during the event were MCAs: Hon. David Arao of Railways ward, Hon. Maurice Ngeta from Awasi /Onjiko ward, Mr. Brian Edwards from GRC, Mr. Charles Kamau from Avanti, County Head of GIS, Mr. Tom Ogolla among other top County Officials.
As the world celebrates World Cancer day, Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o and Mama County Dorothy Nyong’o toured Ober Kamoth sub-county hospital in Kisumu west on the second day of the ongoing Free Medical Camp which includes cancer education and free cancer screening.
The governor encouraged residents and beneficiaries of the program to show up for treatment and cancer screening. He also interacted with some of the patients and volunteer doctors as he went around the facility.
Area residents are streaming in large numbers waiting to be attended to. Lillian and her fellow students from Nyang’inja Secondary School said, “We should have more of these camps, at least two to three-yearly as it makes access to cancer screening easier.”
Another resident Rose Akinyi brought the daughter with fungal infections and was grateful as she was finally able to treat her, something she couldn’t do before due to financial constraints.
More residents are expected to show up in the next two days before the camp moves to Nyakach at Nyamarimba Hospital
Governor, Professor Nyong’o and USAID Mission Director, Mark Meassick today presided over the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on a joint commitment to Kenyan – led development in Kisumu County, at the Acacia Hotel in Kisumu.
The MOU reflects the shared vision on devolution among the two countries, focusing on meeting the needs of the people.
It provides a framework on how the County and USAID will transact business together including aligning activities, plans and budgets, designing new programs and priorities, monitoring and evaluating programs, working jointly to counter corruption and protect the beneficiaries.
The County Assembly Speaker, Hon. Elisha Oraro said the move will steer development across all sectors, hence enabling environment is key to any development. He promised to work on the required legislation to support the move going forward.
The Nyando Member of Parliament Jared Okello said the MOU is a vision that will steer the County to greater heights. He called for a concerted effort to find a seed variety that fits the soil in Ahero, and a rice milling plant in Nyando that will put an end the exploitation of farmers by brokers.
Speaking during the event, USAID Mission Director Mark Meassick said the MOU puts to an end the foreign aid and it transforms the trade relationships among the public, civil society and private sectors to generate opportunity for all Kenyans and to accelerate self-reliance.
“The United States Government is shifting the way we work. We want our programs to be co-created, co-implemented, and co-measured to address problems and solve them at the County level,” reiterated the Director.
He further explained that USAID will develop a five-year plan to resonate with the MOU, where resources will be channeled directly to the County government.
Kisumu Governor, Professor Nyong’o on his part lauded the move by the USAID, that will spur transformation both in the fields of agriculture and health where the needs of the people are paramount.
He reiterated that the MOU will provide opportunity and the ability to respond to the needs of the people through the established village councils who are mandated to deal with the maintenance of access road, monitoring sand harvesting activities that messes the environment, family healthcare and health preventive measures within the village.
Besides the MOU will provide ready markets locally and internationally for the local products, and it is against this back drop that the County plans to revive the growing of BT cotton and to do value addition to the Ahero rice to stop exploitation of local farmers by the middlemen.
Also, in attendance were the County Executive Committee Members(CECMs) for: Finance and Economic Planning Mr. George Okong’o, Agriculture Irrigation, livestock and fisheries, Mr. Gilchrist Okuom, Health and Sanitation, Professor Judith Attyang’, The County Legal advisor, Mr. Idris Omondi, City Manager Doris Ombara, Majority leader for County Assembly Hon. Kenneth Odhiambo, County Chief Officers, among other invited guests who also welcomed the initiative.