Sober discussions on reproductive health must take center-stage in public forums to help reduce teenage pregnancies in the County, Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili has said.
Dr Owili said that cases of teenage pregnancies have risen sharply in Kisumu since mid-March when the government ordered the nationwide shutdown of schools following the Covid-19 outbreak, with the county recording at-least 3,500 cases since January.
Speaking at Hippo Point near Dunga beach, during an anti-teenage pregnancy campaign, the Deputy Governor called for a robust approach to address teenage pregnancies, as he expressed concern over the rising numbers.
Dubbed Linda Kesho, the campaign spearheaded by the Mama Ida Odinga Trust aims to halt new cases and stir up national debates against the prevalence.
In her address Assistant County Commissioner Madam Joan Chebet issued a warning to individuals preying on minors.
The government, she said would act swiftly to ensure such individuals are prosecuted, she urged the girls to focus on education and report any harassment cases to relevant authorities.
Joining the discussions were area MCA Joseph Olale, Public Health Director Fred Oluoch, his Trade counterpart Bovince Ochieng, Adah Omondi, from Mama Ida Odinga Trust were Hon. Caroline Ogot,Tuli Tulitu and Hellen Opiyo among other officials.
By: Collins Owuor
Public participation underway at Rabuor Chief’s camp in Kochieng’ village ( Photo by David Wadulo)
The first public participation under the new County village Units Act of 2019 of the devolved system of governance was convened across the county.
The 10 days exercise created a forum for ‘bottom-up’ engagement through which village representatives selected by the communities spearheaded their project priorities to be incorporated in the upcoming County Annual Development Plan (CADP)2021/2022 which also marks the fifth and final year of implementation of the CIDP 2018/2022.
Being cognizant of the COVID-19 pandemic, the forums adhered to restriction on the number of participants and the MOH regulations on Covid -19 mitigation measures during the exercise in all 70 the county village units.
Not only was the number of participants limited to 20, but also the selection was done based on having a representation from each sub locations, having those who can actively debate, opinion leaders, representatives from the thematic sectors and the special interest groups.
This year’s exercise is set to identify and capture priority projects in each sector for every village unit, following the enactment of the Kisumu county village units Act of 2019 by the Kisumu County Assembly which saw the establishment of 70 Village Units for effective coordination, management and supervision of the general administrative functions in the Village Units and for connection purposes.
According to the County Director Public Participation Mr. Wilson Nindo, Previously Public participation was organized at the ward level, but this year it was taken to the village units in form of focused group discussions that has resulted to quality debate as opposed to the ward level that was crowded and sometimes chaotic.
“The exercise was overwhelmingly embraced by the people; hence it is a positive direction to take, an indicator that the strategy of the Governor is working beyond expectation” said Mr. Nindo
He reiterated that going forward, county activities involving the public such as county budget review outlook paper and development of County fiscal strategy paper will follow the same trajectory.
Some of the participants interviewed during the exercise were elated having their views incorporated from the grass roots.
“Previously when the exercise was held at the ward level, the PWDs were not easily identified and given a chance but at the village level, I am happy that my views have been heard and considered. Going forward in the next forums we should have a representation of both male and female PWDs brought on board” said Mr. Charles Ocholla from Kolwa East, representing persons living with disability (PWDs).
On her part, Mrs. Elizabeth Ayugi from Chiga sub location said “Before it was not easy for our opinion to bought in such forums, it is a good move today that our views as women at the grass root have been captured. This will empower more women to air out their views without reservations”.
Subsequently, Mr. Jack Nyumba, a youth representative in the forum said “in the past youths have been misguided by political tussles, involving us youths in such forums will change our mindset to development conscience. I request the Governor that if the projects proposed will be implemented, let us youths get opportunities in our localities for economic empowerment like in the case of road maintenance”.
By: Mikwa Emily
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe has praised Kisumu for its comprehensive Covid-19 preparedness.
Addressing the Nation from Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital today, Mr Kagwe said that besides Covid case management preparedness, Kisumu was operating a successful fully digitized Covid-19 Response Call Centre, which he described as the only one of its kind in the country.
Mr Kagwe praised Governor Anyang Nyongo over high level of cleanliness in Kisumu City. “Kisumu is beautiful, clean and well planned. I thank Prof Nyongo for this great job. You Kisumu people are lucky to have him as your Governor,” said Mr Kagwe who was accompanied by his education counterpart, Prof George Magoha.
Mr Kagwe had earlier visited Kemri/CDC research at Kisian which is the COVID-19 testing centre for the whole region and later toured the Kisumu Covid-19 Response Call center at Maseno University, City campus.
“Kisumu is far ahead of the pack in Covid-19 preparedness. I challenge other counties to borrow a leaf. We have learnt a lot today,” said the CS. He was particularly happy that Kisumu has trained and sensitized over 2400 healthcare workers and 2900 Commumity health workers on how to handle Covid-19 patients on Home Based Care as well as security personnel including police officers manning the county’s 12 border crossing points on a 24-hour basis.
Prof Nyongo said Kisumu’s success story was due to good working relationship between the County, the National government and political leaders.
Kagwe also recognized the gains accrued from the cordial partnership between Maseno University and Kisumu county, that saw the establishment of the Covid-19 Response Call Centre and the CovidConnect or Luscii App, a digital platform for self-assessment of coronavirus symptoms.
CS Kagwe who was on a fact finding tour to appraise himself and Ministry about the County’s preparedness to manage and mitigate Coronavirus infections also used the opportunity to release the daily National government Covid-19 Situational Report.
In today’s briefing, the CS said that the current cumulative number stands at 26,436 with the country having registered 599 new infections and two mortalities. He however noted that the last 24 hours has also seen 1,062 recoveries, the highest ever recorded bringing the total recoveries to 12,961. 983 of those recoveries were recorded from home based care fortifying success of that strategy.
The function was attended by Ag.Director General of Health, Dr Patrick Amoth, Deputy Governor Ochieng Owili, County Commissioner Susan Waweru, Mps Aduma Owuor, Shakeel Shabir, Jared Okello and James Nyikal.
By. Kodera Ager
photo by: Lenox Omondi
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
In the recent past, poultry keeping was done in small scale for subsistence and not for business. Most farmers then kept indigenous chicken which took six months to be ready for the market.
It is in the light of this that the County directorate of livestock production embarked on an intensive promotion of raring improved indigenous chicken, which has proved lucrative to the farmers within the County.
Alice Akinyi, a poultry farmer in Kajulu could not hide her joy when the chicken basket team; a poultry value chain actor visited her homestead on Monday last week to purchase her broilers at a cost of Ksh. 550 each.
She received 200-day old broilers from the County livestock directorate on 24th April this year and had attained table weight just in two months.
“I am happy, I love chicken raring since they mature very fast and you can still engage in other economic activities alongside it. The droppings from the poultry has also enriched my kitchen garden, I don’t buy vegetable from the market anymore” she said
Mr. Evans Gichuru, a resident of Kisian and a second-year student at Maseno University, taking Special Needs Education, deferred his studies due to lack of fees and found a solution when he attended an agricultural meeting held by the County and FAO on poultry keeping. He became a beneficiary of 103- day old chicks two months ago, and are almost ready for the market.
“I decided to keep poultry to raise my college fees. It is a profitable project that any youth can venture into and it is easy to manage” he said.
In a bid to encourage more youths to venture into the project, the directorate also supported PASU youth group in Kaloleni by constructing for them of a poultry cage to the tune of 1.2million, supplied 1,000 day -old broilers each purchased at Ksh. 150, feeds and a deep freezer to preserve the chickens during marketing.
Timon Ogunde the chairperson of PASU youth group in Kaloleni said they took up the project to engage in a profitable business and that in the future they plan that every member of the group will have his/her own poultry and that they will share the proceeds of the same after expanding the business.
Persons with disability are also not left out in this business, Mr. Peter Osano (hearing impaired) received 100-day old chicks two months ago and they are almost attaining the market weight.
“I love keeping poultry for income, I keep many in the village and I thank the county for their support in this project” he expressed in sign language.
The project targets to improve the livelihoods of the women, Youths and the vulnerable across all the sub counties. So far, Ksh 1, 195,350 has been spent to supply day old chicks, to the targeted group in Kisumu central, Kisumu East, Nyando, and Kisumu west sub counties.
The Livestock production directorate has also partnered with the Chicken basket, a poultry value chain actor based in Kisumu to supply feeds, extension services, vaccination and ready market when they attain table weight approximately 1.7- 2kgs within three months.
By: Emily Mikwa
The Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium as Sports Ground Gets a New Name
Yesterday County residents witnessed a historic moment when the Cabinet Secretary for Sports and Culture Amb. Amina Mohammed in the company of Kisumu Governor, Professor Nyong’o presided over the ground breaking event of a 20,000-seater international Stadium and the renaming of the Jomo Kenyatta sports ground to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Recreational Sports Center.
This is to pay tribute to the two most important figures in the history of this nation – the Nations first President and vice president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.
The renaming besides being the President’s and Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s wish to honour the duo, is also a long time dream of the people of the region to see an iconic commemorative monument in honour of the doyen of the region’s politics in the City in recognition of the significant contributions he made towards the region’s political development as well as the development of Kisumu City.
The International Sports Complex at the iconic Agricultural Society of Kenya show ground at Mamboleo is to be established at a cost of three hundred and fifty million.
During the ceremony, CS Amb. Amina Mohammed said she was back in the County to fulfill the promise of H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta to build an international stadium that will serve the Lake Region Economic Bloc.
The Cabinet Secretary acknowledged the County’s investment and potentiality in sporting activities despite the lack of sporting facilities.
She further commended the efforts of clubs such as Kisumu all Stars who made it to the premier league within six months, Kisumu Lakers, Rugby Union and Tykwondo under 16 who have shown a tremendous performance nationally and Internationally.
The project will not only scale up sporting activities in the region but also open up economic potential of the area. The CS thanked the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga for his support and called for full support from the county as the project takes off.
On the other hand, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga recreational Sports Center is also set for upgrade to a tune of 100million shillings funded by the Kenya Urban Support Program (KUSP) from World Bank.
The component of the upgrade will include an ultramodern football pitch, refurbishment of od Mikayi, Canopy shades, open event garden, monument of heroes, children’s park, tennis court,
Hockey pitch, fountain and restaurants among others
The County commissioner, Madam Susan Waweru asked the CS Amb. Amina to also visit the sub counties such as Muhoroni whose facilities are currently dilapidated and requires her support. She also called on the CS to think of the potential sporting activities within the lake
The Governor thanked the national government for their support and called on the residents to provide a conducive environment for development by focusing on the long-term vision.
Also present were: Deputy governor Dr Mathew Owili, County Assembly Speaker Elisha Oraro, A host of CECs, MCAs among other top county Officials
Governor Nyong’o has today officially established the Covid -19 response fund committee to effectively raise, and manage the funds in an impactful and accountable interventions that will mitigate the adverse effects of the Coronavirus and floods, in a bid restore Socio- economic status of county residents.
This is the second committee formed after the Kisumu Economic and Social Council (KECOSOC) established last year. Its formation is as per the guidelines of the public finance management Act 2012, vetted by the County Assembly procedures.
While charging the committee with the responsibility of managing the funds accountably in the interest of the people of Kisumu, the Governor called on them to work with partners to mobilize more funds in addition to the seed Ksh. 200M raised from the County budget that has so far been approved by the County Assembly, as well as contributions from Senior Government Officials who have contributed Kshs. 3.7 million through pay cuts.
The Committee comprises of the Chairperson Mr. Bhire Chatter, CEC Finance and Planning Mr. George Omondi Okong’o, Chief Officer health in charge of Administration and Partnerships Mr. Alphonse Ouya, Chief Officer Agriculture and Livestock Dr. Paul Omanga, Deputy Governor emeritus Ruth Odinga, Civil Society Organization Representative Madam Winnie Ogot, Madam Jessica Ogombe, Mr. Fund Secretary Mr. Caleb Opon, Mr. Walter Odede, a member of Kecosoc and also representing the youth and Fund Administrator Mr. Akaka Ramoyo
Kisumu Governor, Professor Nyong’o has this morning been installed as the patron of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Kisumu branch, led by the Chairman Mr. Israel Agina and the board Members at the Prosperity House.
This exercise took place as he flagged off supplies worth Ksh. 150,000 donations courtesy of the Khetias Supermarket in Kisumu.
The supplies included 200 pieces of 2kg flour, 200 pieces of bar soap, 200 bottles of one litter cooking oil, 200 blankets and 10 Jerricans for hand washing each carrying 20litters
While receiving the donations, the Governor thanked the Khetias Proprietor, Mr. Ashok Khetias for the generous donations which will go a long way in cushioning 200 households of evacuees in the Nyando camp during this difficult times of Covid 19 and the flood disasters.
He further reiterated that the county is currently working with KECOSOC team to draw a recovery strategy to revive the economic livelihoods of the affected people post the disasters.
On his part, the Khetias marketing Manager Mr. Fred Ochieng who represented Mr. Ashok said Khetias took the opportunity to stand with the people during such difficult moments and that they look forward to give more support in the coming days
Also present were: Madam Caroline Akwacha and Mr. Karanja from the KNCCI, Manager Khetias Victoria branch Mr. Bernard, Manager Khetias Kisumu dala Mr. Otieno, among other employees from Khetias Supermarket.