The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) is carrying out a one-month exercise to map out riparian lands in Miwani Special Economic Zone.
Kisumu is one of the three counties spearheading the SPEZ initiative as a flagship project to stimulate and revive economic development in the region. The mappingis already complete in Lamu and Mombasa.
Led by NEMA’s Deputy Director, for Environmental Planning &Research Dr. Charles Lange, the delegation is set to visit Miwani and collect initial information for the mapping after which the findings will be presented to the county government and relevant stakeholders.
According to Lange many wetlands lie in the SPEZ and they must be protected to prevent investors from flouting environmental laws through encroachment. He made the remarks this morning during a courtesy call to Kisumu Deputy Governor, Dr. Mathew Owili.
The development of the SPEZ will spur industrial development in line with the government’s Big Four agenda.
Dr. Owili assured NEMA of the County Government’s support in making the process successful for Kisumu and the region.
The SPEZ will link farmers, fishermen & the business community with business enterprises which will be located in the area. It will also create jobs and improve the economy.
The County Government through the Department of Lands has already allocated 1000ha for the project in Miwani.
By Collins Owuor
Kisumu County government in collaboration with gender partners has continued to make strides in developing policies on gender rights in recent years through the directorate of Women, Youth and PWD Affairs.
Gender Technical Working Group (GTWG) secretariat including representatives from national and county government, the civil society organizations and gender experts, this week gathered to champion and highlight gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) as a tool to gender mainstreaming, ending gender inequalities and ensuring that institutions respond to the needs of the most vulnerable.
The 3 days meeting organized through a partnership with the County government of Kisumu, Kenya Female Advisory Organization (KEFEADO) and SDG Kenya Forum, provided a platform to present and deliberate on how to achieve results in GRB and agree on future steps to share results of gender-responsive policies and budgeting initiatives in Kisumu County and elaborate on innovative approaches and activities foreseen in the upcoming projects.
Eva Komba of SDG Kenya Forum stated that Gender-responsive budget is key for enabling equal opportunities for women and men. To show commitment to achieving gender equality, institutions must make gender-responsive budgets. According to Madam Komba, ‘’County project to promote gender-responsive policies and budgets is very important for empowering women and for building an equal society in which finances are distributed more equitably.’’
To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 5 (Gender Equality) with full support from the executive, the county assembly and gender partners, are set to jointly work on developing comprehensive gender-responsive budgeting that would strengthen the efficiency of the gender equality mechanisms in Kisumu.
Led by the County Directorate of Women, Youth and PWD Affairs, through Director Junior Omondi and Gender affairs officer Adah Omedi, the work towards gender mainstreaming in Kisumu has gained more influence following the enactment of the Disability Act of Kisumu County, the launch of Sexual gender-based policy and the gender mainstreaming policy underway. The County GTWG kicked off an initiative to promote Gender-Responsive Policies and budgets in Kisumu County. The initiative brought together members of the county assembly, County directors and the gender secretariat to form a county gender committee that is expected to champion and promote Gender-responsive budgets.
Why we need gender-responsive budgeting
Having been feted as a county aspiring towards global integration in the context of the Agenda for Sustainable Development, the County government has obligations to implement the international standards in line with the Sustainable Development Goals on gender equality. Incorporation of the gender-responsive budget in all county departments at all levels advances the commitment by the county government in realizing gender equality and women’s empowerment in line with national SDGs priority targets.
In line with Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o’s agenda on the inclusion of women youth and people living with Disability, the implementation of gender-responsive budget sits at the core of the County governments framework.
Efforts by the County government and gender stakeholders to fast track implementation of the gender mainstreaming policy and the legislation of programs on social transformation through holistic gender-responsive budgeting is a commitment towards the elimination of inequality.
By Matilda Atieno
Livestock farming in Kisumu is highly evolving in response to the rapidly increasing demand for dairy products in the county.
It is in this regard that the county department of Agriculture and livestock has embarked on the donation of the dairy livestock to farmers to maximize dairy production to improve food security. The department adopted the Governor’s agenda which aims to revitalize agriculture for food security and agribusiness.
Given the importance of livestock in the economic livelihoods of low-income earners, improvement of livestock production and particularly dairy farming is globally considered a promising avenue for supporting and improving household welfare.
In a bid to reinforce the dairy farmers across the county, the County directorate of livestock embarked on issuing dairy animals and poultry to promising farmers who were carefully selected and were prepared to own and keep the dairy animals’.
About 454 in-calf dairy cows have been evenly distributed to farmers in Kisumu since the year 2017 to date, with the recent distribution of 24 in-calves worth 3.1 million issued to farmers across the 7 sub-counties.
Some of the beneficiaries of the distribution include Seme dairy cooperatives in Seme Sub-county, Seke farmers dairy cooperative in Kisumu West, Kajulu Dairy cooperative in Kisumu East , Ahero farmers dairy cooperatives in Nyando , Osiepe practical Action in Muhoroni and individual farmers including, Samwel Ochieng, Mary ondego and Linet Ouko of South East Nyakach among others.
According to the CEC Member for Agriculture and livestock Mr. Gilchrist Okuom, the County government has invested in Agriculture and livestock production as a way of improving livelihoods.
Mr. Okuom also acknowledges that the department has concentrated on the high potential areas such as South East Nyakach Ward in Nyakach Sub County which he says has presented a positive performance in dairy farming. Mr. Okuom congratulated the Member of County Assembly for southeast Nyakach, Hon. Johnson Guya for the continuous investment in dairy livestock farming through development funds to the benefit of the ward.
The Southeast Nyakach ward has been earmarked as the model ward in dairy farming. Small scale farmers in the area are engaging in dairy cattle, showing prospects in the sector with a vision of becoming competitive through fostering the cooperative society and mobilizing sufficient resources to invest in modernizing and expanding the dairy enterprises.
Dairy farmers are encouraged to focus on the value addition of dairy products and this can be achieved through the formation of cooperatives. It is worth noting that by acting collectively, dairy farmers seek to overcome constraints in the marketing of their products. They need to be assured of a secure market that is real and can be met by dairy farmers cooperatively, establishing their collection system.
The department led by the CEC Member has promised to work together with the farmers to invest more in dairy farming through the donation of the animals and also providing modern technological expertise including Artificial insemination (AI) and other veterinary services
Mr. Okuom affirms that so far the previous herds of in-calves issued to farmers are healthy and he encourages farmers to change from traditional cattle to grade cows as a means to improving livelihoods. “In the face of livestock theft, dairy cattle are the best alternative to the people of Nyakach and also a means to maximizing profits due to its value addition.” Stated Mr. Okuom.
Hon. Guya is one of the MCA’s who has often invested the ward development fund in support of the dairy production with confidence that dairy cattle’s profitability outweighs traditional cattle farming in the area.
The department is hopeful that despite the challenges, Opportunities in dairy farming are more attractive and that the growth occurring in the dairy sector would create demands for supportive inputs and services in knowledge application herd health and breeding.
The challenges experienced in dairy production in the county include limited, untimely support on veterinary and extension services. However, the CEC member promises to strengthen Artificial Insemination (AI) support to dairy farming and widespread extension services that will be available on demand.
Follow-up mechanisms to support the farmers through extension services, monitoring and evaluation have been put in place to help the department in assessing the progress of livestock invested by the county government as a way of ensuring sustainability.
“As a department, we are committed to supporting farmers’ to improve the quality of dairy production” stated Chief Officer Agriculture and livestock Madam Rosemary Raluoch.
The department also invests in improved day-old chicks and Dorpe rams in which youth groups women groups and people living with disabilities have benefited from the over 21,119-day old chicks as well as 35 rams for improved livelihood.
By Matilda Atieno
In response to an increased emphasis on quality and effectiveness of healthcare,Kisumu governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’ today handed over 4 ambulances to boost prehospital care and ambulatory services in the county.
The move shows that health services in Kisumu can be accessed even outside the traditional hospital. The ambulances will be essential to health service delivery being that they assist in stabilizing patients until they are transported to a health facility.
The 4 ambulances are additional to the 17 other fleet that was previously distributed to the 7 sub counties and are set to be distributed to Nyang’ande, Muhoroni Maywanda in Seme and to Kisumu East.
The ambulances are fully equipped with ECG monitor that helps keep track of the vital signs of the patient transported, spinal board that assist in lifting patients during transportation, suction unit for relieving vital organs on an internally bleeding patient, oxygen supply units that helps patients with breathing difficulties, a sphygmo for measuring blood pressure and bandages.
While flagging off the ambulances, Governor Nyong’o said that the service is going to be very key in creating a seamless connection in the referral system.
“This is part of our journey to strengthen the ambulatory services as I had promised earlier” said the governor.
Kisumu County today boasts of having a total of 21 ambulances compared to the number of vehicles across the neighboring counties. The new ambulances are coming in the face of COVID-19 pandemic to boost referral preparedness in the county. This brings to 10 ICU Enabled ambulances that have so far been acquired by the county health sector towards the evolving role of hospital based emergency care.
The ambulance can be accessed through a toll free number 0800 720 575.
By Matilda Atieno
Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili has been tested for COVID-19 as part of new protocols to manage infections in the county.
Under a directive issued last week by Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, all county staff will be tested for COVID-19. The same will be applied to the County Assembly as well rotational fumigation of county offices.
Dr. Owili urged Kisumu residents to keep adhering to set government protocols on COVID-19 management and visit the nearest health facilities whenever they showed any symptoms.
The rest of the staff will be tested tomorrow and coming subsequent days.
By Collins Owuor
The County Government in partnership with Pharmaccess and Maseno University have launched a digital platform to trace and manage COVID-19 infections.
Kisumu become the first county in Kenya to roll out the application that is currently being used to manage COVID-19 related cases in multiple countries in Europe and Africa.
Dubbed COVIDConnect, the mobile application will enable Kisumu residents carry out self checks for corona related symptoms from the comfort of their homes and work places. The app is branded Luscii and is readily available for free on Google and Apple Play Store.
The developments are among the new protocols initiated by the county government to contain the virus spread; others include mandatory testing of staff working within prosperity house. The same will be applied to the county assembly including the rotational fumigation of county offices.
Speaking during the app launch at Maseno City Campus, Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o lauded the developments a game changer in revolutionizing COVID management in the health sector.
The containment measures have demanded a great deal of innovation that has seen the county government launch a toll-free call center at the varsity.
According to the Governor the innovations will boost capacity for early detection of suspected cases, testing and containment saving space for high risk patients in hospitals.
In his address Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili stressed the county government’s commitment to robustly enforce mechanisms to ensure all set guidelines on Covid management are adhered to.
Users are expected to sign up for the service on a daily basis and record their symptoms including; sore throat, fever, breathing and coughs. The data is then analyzed by standby doctors who in turn provide the user with required medical support.
So far, the county has recorded 24 COVID-19 positive cases with 21 of those being imported and three from community transmissions, eleven patients have since recovered and discharged.
The county government has already up scaled its preparedness to handle the virus by procuring 300 new beds to boost the isolation capacity which stands at 87.The beds will be distributed for use by the weeks end.
Maseno Vice Chancellor Prof. Julius Nyabundi called for more collaborations in areas of research between the Varsity and the county government to effectively win the war on COVID.
Present were Pharmaccess Country Director Isaiah Okoth, County CEC’s among other varsity and county officials.
In a joint address they urged members of the public to keep adhering to set government measures to keep the virus at bay.
By Collins Owuor
The County department of Agriculture and livestock today issued 24 dairy cows at a cost of 3.1 million to be distributed across the 7 sub-counties.
Speaking during the flagging off of the distribution exercise, the County Minister for Agriculture and livestock Mr. Gilchrist Okuom stated that the county government has invested in Agriculture and livestock production as a way of improving livelihoods.
The County Minister also acknowledged that the department has concentrated on the high potential areas such as South East Nyakach Ward in Nyakach Sub County which he said has presented a positive performance in dairy farming. Mr. Okuom congratulated the Member of County Assembly for southeast Nyakach, Hon. Johnson Guya for the continuous investment in dairy farming through development funds to the benefit of the ward, adding that the Southeast Nyakach is the model ward in the county in dairy farming and promising that the department will work together to support dairy farming in the area.
Mr. Okuom confirmed that the previous herd of livestock issued to farmers are healthy and he advised farmers to change from traditional cattle to grade cows as a means to improving livelihoods. “In the face of livestock theft, dairy cattle are the best alternative to the people of Nyakach and also a means to maximizing profits due to its value addition.”
Hon. Guya was confident that the cows were of the best quality, adding that the dairy cattle’s profitability outweighs traditional cattle farming in the area. He urged the department to strengthen Artificial Insemination (AI) to support dairy farming in Nyakach.
The event was attended by the County chief officer for Livestock, Madam Rosemary Raluoch, County director for livestock Mr. Charles Kakuku among other county officers.
The chief officer stated that the County government is committed to supporting farmers’ to improve the quality of dairy production, adding that the department has put in place a follow-up mechanism to support the farmers through extension services, monitoring and evaluation.
Mr. Akuku also affirmed that the cows are healthy and will be due for calving in the next 4 to 5 months
The team encouraged farmers to focus on the value addition of dairy products through the formation of cooperatives.
By Matilda Atieno
Kisumu city joined African cities including Nairobi, Mombasa, Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg in a partnership with Connected Places Catapult Urban links Africa project worth up to £40,000.
Partnerships will share funding of up to £25,000 or £40,000 to tackle challenges determined by key stakeholders in the six cities.
The Urban Links Africa project works closely with the selected cities to identify the most urgent and the high level urban challenges in building resilience in informal settlements.
In Kenya, the challenges are solid waste management, flooding, wastewater management, and traffic management and active mobility which can addressed in Kisumu Mombasa and Nairobi cities.
Connected Places Catapult helps cities to design, develop and deliver programs that grow innovative companies, with the goal of deploying and scaling high-impact solutions to city challenges to generate sustainable economic success.
The project is now open for application through the Webinar link for launch event: https://cp.catapult.org.uk/events/urban-links-africa-open-call-launch-and-briefing-webinar/.
The project also supports innovators and businesses to discover, create and test new markets for urban solutions that will spearhead the long-term success of cities and their citizens’ well-being.
Interested parties including SMEs are encouraged to get involved in this exciting opportunity through sending application. To get involved, click here: https://www.urbanlinksafrica.com/get-involved/
The Open Call application kicks off on the 24th June through to August 21st 2020.
In compliance with the Presidential directive for 300 bed capacity isolation center, the county government of Kisumu has identified three facilities including Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH), Kisumu County referral hospital and Lumumba hospital to meet the required capacity for isolation measures.
In all, the County health department has set aside 279 more beds in the 3 facilities to be used for isolation wards and treatment of the coronavirus. With a current bed capacity as at 21, the health department has offered to set up quarantine facilities in the hospitals with additional 60 beds at JOOTRH, 119 at Kisumu County referral hospital and 100 beds at Lumumba hospital. The 3 facilities are being readied for keeping the patients in isolation.
Disclosing this earlier on, the County director health and sanitation Mr. Fredrick Oluoch said the County is set to provide the additional beds in the 3 facilities as a precautionary effort, with 30 beds currently ready for dispatch into the facilities.
A series of measures have previously been put in place to help mitigate the pandemic as the country faces alarming projections of the number of COVID-19 cases, the pressure to meet spiraling health system needs is strong especially for hospital based care.
Apart from creating isolation centers, the health department has also to trained health workers on handling the coronavirus cases, if reported, special focus on screening of travelers along the County borders, screening in public spaces, establishment and operationalization of the COVID response management committee, setting up of holding rooms at the Sub County hospitals, operationalization of the call center (Toll free number 0800720575) and contact tracing progress.
By Matilda Atieno
The government has announced measures to cushion the industrial sector by resuscitating local manufacturing as the country gears to reopen the economy.
According to Labour CS Simon Chelugui his ministry has set up a response team to secure and consolidate proposals to mitigate the effects of Covid -19.
He made the remarks in Kisumu where he was joined by Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili in touring the regions National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) branch.
The government, he said has actively engaged local manufacturers to mass produce face masks, PPE’s and essential items to reduce Covid infections.
To effect this, he assured NITA of his ministry’s support going forward to scale up innovations and technical skills in their facilities countrywide.
In addition, the labour and health ministries will partner to ensure local businesses comply with set government guidelines on covid-19 preparedness before reopening.
In his address Dr. Owili lauded the government’s role in enhancing quality industrial skills in TVET and VTC institutions in the county.
The developments he said are crucial in strengthening the county’s manufacturing sector.
Kisumu he said has experienced exponential growth in light of recent mega projects rolled by the national government and development partners, this he added has uniquely placed Kisumu as the economic capital in western region.
Joining the tour were; PS State Department of labour Eng. Peter Tum,(NITA);Board Chairman Dr. Kamau Gachigi,Ag Director General Stephen Ogenga,County Commissioner Madam Susan Waweru among other officials from the national &county government.
In a joint address the leaders urged workers to observe outlined government guidelines as they work to flatten the curve.
By Collins Owuor