By Harriet Chausiku
The county government of Kisumu in partnership with the Lake Region Economic Block (LREB) and other partners held a stakeholder’s meeting aiming towards cotton revival in the lake region at Kisumu hotel.
Addressing the team present through zoom, Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o congratulated the team for taking a major step forward and urged the team to work towards implementation.
The Governor assured the team of the county’s preparedness and asked the CEC Agriculture Gilchrist Okuom to present to the cabinet a memo which summarizes their discussion and seeks to put in place the recommendation of the group making awareness of the partners they have in cotton growing and manufacturers along the lake region for allocation of enough resources.
Kisumu county economic and social council had also proposed the establishment of a cotton factory in Kisumu to make among other things sanitary pads.
Governor Nyong’o also encouraged farmers to embark on cotton planting following its advantage as the shortest growing cash crop which rewards in three months.
Cotton seeds are pressed for edible oil and the byproduct which is the seed cake can be feed for our poultry and dairy animals that facilitates increased milk production among others.
Speaking during the occasion CEC for Agriculture Mr. Gilchrist Okuom reaffirmed the team’s commitment to promoting sustainable change to the livelihood of the people.
After the world bank structural adjustment in the 1990s cotton production in the lake region went down and most ginneries became dormant forcing the processing of the products to be done outside the region.
Echoing him is the Chief Officer Agriculture Dr. Paul Omanga who expressed optimism that the strategies kept in place would contribute to the reduction of poverty in the society as job opportunities will be created in both research and information department and also technically with the engagement of the jua kali industry.
Present during the occasion were representatives from LREB, NACOSTI, LBTA, SRI, Gearbox, NITA, AFA, MASENO UNIVERSITY, Rural Youth Development Program and Rivertex among others who joined through zoom.
Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili issuing a stove and a 5 litres to a Kisumu County resident during the launch of of the clean cooking program at Ofafa Memorial Hall
Kisumu County in partnership with Clean Cooking Association of Kenya (CCAK) and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation Kicked off the County Clean Cooking sensitization program with the official launch led by Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili at the Ofafa Memorial hall.
The initiative targeting Health workers, community health workers (CHWs) and People Living with Disabilities (PWDs) across the county was hosted by Kisumu East and central Sub counties with the distribution of Gel Stoves and Fuel. The program is planned to roll out to other Sub Counties, with set Ojola to host Kisumu west and Seme Sub County and Ahero to host Nyakach, Nyando and Muhoroni Sub Counties.
In his speech, the deputy governor on behalf of Governor Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o recognized Sustainable Energy as an enabler to all aspects of development including access to Health, Water, Agricultural productivity, Industrial productivity, Education and other vital services which improve the quality of life, adding that the CIDP II and Governors 10 point outlines transformative agenda committed to promoting access to reliable, sustainable and affordable energy for Kisumu County residents in contribution to the realization of universal access to energy for all and Vision 2030.
Dr. Owili raised concern that up to 79.6% of households in Kisumu still uses unclean fuels including use of firewood at 49.6%, Charcoal-22.2%, and Paraffin-7.8% and that effects of Climate Change will continue to ravage the communities, according to the Kenya Population & Housing Census report, in 2019.
The Deputy Governor implored the community to consider the need to switch to alternative clean sources such as the use of Solar, Biogas, Briquettes, Ethanol, Gel and other technologies for domestic, industrial cooking and heating applications to reduce per capita wood fuel consumption and further reduce the household emissions of carbon emission.
To support this effort, the County Government of Kisumu recently procured 280 Gel Stoves and 1,400 liters of Gel fuel for distribution to members of communities. The initiative targeted Health Workers to be the beneficiaries of the first phase of distribution because of their role of daily interaction with community members.
The project is supported by CCAK and SNV world with the aim of sensitizing communities, and especially vulnerable women, on the need to embrace clean cooking, while prescribing clean cooking as a viable entrepreneurship venture. This initiative is expected to lead to a change of affirmative funding policy for women undertaking energy projects and economic empowerment.
The Deputy Governor also stressed on the importance of keeping up protective measures against the COVID-19 stating that the rate of infection in Kisumu County is currently at 300%. He called on residents not to throw the ball and ensure safety precautions by keeping social distance, sanitizing and masking up.
The CEC Member for Energy and Industrialization Mr. George Okong’o called on resident to embrace clean cooking initiative stating that the shift to clean cooking can improve health, reduce toxic air pollution, increase productivity and protect the environment.
CCAK Director, Mr David Njungi stated that CCAK focuses on ensuring clean cooking solutions which will lead to a 90% drop in health impacts, improve livelihoods and to mitigate climate change in Kenya.
CCAK and SNV world are non-profit development organizations in the clean cooking sector with the aim of creating awareness, engagement, and support for clean cooking.
The event was also graced by County Chief Officer for Energy and Industrialization Engineer Daniel Okia, representatives from SNV world and Flexi Biogas, Practical Action East Africa and a host of county officials.
CEC Member Dr Joyce Osogo, flags off Phase 1 of the machine based road maintenance program in Seme at in West Seme ward- Akado Nyamuara access road in the company of Chief Officer Eng Okia, Senior roads officers, Sub-county Administrator and ward administrators
Efforts to boost county road-infrastructure delivery systems kicked off in Seme sub-county, as west seme ward hosts the launch of the machine-based road improvement program.
This is in line with Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o’s manifesto to maintain county road infrastructure through the machine-based road improvement policy and the Establishment of the County Roads Maintenance Board to involve the Youth in road maintenance and public works as a way of creating employment.
The department of roads has embarked on phase one of the machine-based roads maintenance program set to kick off at Akado Nyamaruaka access road, Chwa arongo beach access road and Kagwal beach access road in West seme.
The new approach is therefore needed to improve the County road network set to be implemented across the 7 sub-counties in phases and in the order of priority. Other roads set for phase one include Lung’a Kondik access road and Kadenge Jopuonje Ogomo access road in North Seme, Riat Awach Access road and Namba Kosea access road in Central seme, Holo Magwar access roads and Guu Kabege Kondik in East Seme.
The program was launched by the able CEC member for roads and transport Dr. Joyce Osogo, who emphasized the county’s policy on the machine-based program and put in place the roads maintenance team through the newly established village administrative office.
Dr. Osogo stated that the program is fully implemented by the department and as desired by the Governor. She reminded residents to embrace development and to cooperate with the engineers on the ground. The CEC member also called on residents to be vigilant and to report cases of vandalism to her office. “While improving our roads, we do as much as we can to minimise disruption and the effect of the road network on the environment.”
According to the CEC Member, the program requires that the marram be provided by the community, urging the residents to sell to the county engineers who will also arrange on how to collect the marram. “County government is committed to investing much-needed funding into improving local roads and long-term investment in local road maintenance to allow the county to deliver the widespread and sustainable improvement of our roads need to the benefit of all road users.”
The chief officer Engineer Daniel Okia was hopeful for the program stating that ‘We will continue to implement ongoing road works as well as maintenance across the county.’
Improvement of the roads is envisioned to attract accessibility and substantial positive effects on area level employment, an increase in the number of business establishments and production of an existing business which results in increased revenue forward development.
The minister was also accompanied by the County officials including County roads engineers, Seme sub-county and ward administration officials.
The social center manager Mr. Obat Masira giving his speech (Picture by Norbert Wekesa)
By Jacktone Omondi
County government held a consultative forum that brought together several youth artists at Mama Grace Onyango Social Center earlier this week.
The meeting chaired by the social center manager Mr. Obat Masira seeks to give space to young men, women and children to nature their talents, mostly in the field of performing arts, film making, poetry and grammar.
Mr. Obat in an exclusive interview with journalists in Kisumu thanked the Governor, Hon. (Prof) Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o for giving out the social center to the youths for free, and as a result, it will host all the artists in Kisumu county, from fine art, performing arts, drama, spoken words, choreography, musicians and film making.
In partnership with Maseno University, department of music, the social center seeks to establish a school of music that will be the overall hub of intellectual discourse. The manager stressed that the center plans to hold the performance of music as one way of exchanging ideas to bring up a civilized community through the art.
Speaking on behalf of the governor, Mr. Obat urged the youths across the county to utilize the social center as an opportunity table-tool laid for them to brand their future.
He further stated that it is through art that Governor Nyong’o tends to create a forum for various topical issues like gender, theater arts and others on social issues that affect people in the county.
The center Manager also appealed to well-wishers to give out extra hand to support the initiative of the young artists in Kisumu to help nature, create and expose their talents and reducing the idle minded times to productiveness.
Chief officer for Women, Youth and PWD’s, Mr. Haggai Kadiri addressing the media during the official launch of the annul 16 Days of Activism against GBV in Kisumu (Picture by Jacob Owiti)
By Matilda Atieno
Kisumu has marked the beginning of its 7th annual 16 days of activism against Gender-Based Violence ( GBV) to articulate GBV issues across the county in an event held at the Grace Onyango social center.
The 16 days is an annual international event running from 25th November through to 10th December with this year’s theme “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”
With the world’s new normal, the COVID-19 pandemic, reports have shown a spike in domestic violence in the already existing scourge of violence against women.
Speaking during the official launch of the 16 days activism, the chief guest Mr. Haggai Kadiri chief officer for Women, youth and people living with disabilities called on the participants to take action during this year’s 16 Days of Activism to end violence against the gender.
Mr. Kadiri highlighted the county’s achievement in the fight against gender-based violence including the move to ensure space for women, the formulation of the SGBV
Policy and the county government’s support to ensure a gender-responsive budget.
The chief officer on behalf of CEC member John Obiero acknowledged efforts by the development partners in the organization of today’s event.
A host of activities have been scheduled within the 16 days in all 7 sub-counties to advocate for the promotion and protection of women’s rights and an end to violence against women and girls.
The 16 days activism campaign against GBV was organized by the county government in partnership with development Partners,
Civil Society organizations including women, youth, and persons with disabilities.
The event was also graced by Kisumu women president Mrs. Caroline Ojenge Ogot, representatives of the county commissioner, the State office of gender, and county officials.
County Chief Officer for Health Dr. Gregory Ganda officially launching the “Fresh Life Toilet” to mark World Toilet Day 2020 celebrations at Nyalenda”A” Destiny Shapers CBO grounds. The event whose theme was “Sustainable Sanitation and Climate” featured exhibitions of various latrine Technologies and revolved around clean water and hand Washing to stop COVID-19 (Picture Jacob Owiti)
By Matilda Atieno
Kisumu county marked the world toilet day 2020 to create awareness of the people living without access to safely managed sanitation in a colorful event held at Nyalenda A in Kisumu Central sub-county.
The 2020 global celebration is about taking action to tackle the sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal six with this year’s theme dubbed sustainable sanitation and climate change.
Supported by partners including KIWASCO, CARE Kenya, KIWASH, WSUP, World Vision, living water practical Action, Fresh life among other Community-based organizations, Kisumu county is committed to championing improved sanitation and safely managed toilet.
Speaking during the event, the chief guest Dr. Gregory Ganda, Chief officer health, called on everyone to have sustainable sanitation, alongside clean water and handwashing facilities, to help protect and maintain health security and to stop the spread of deadly infectious diseases, emphasizing on the need to keep up with the laid down protocols on COVID-19.
Dr. Ganda reaffirmed the county government’s commitment to working with private partners to help close the sanitation gap and provide sustainable access to sanitation services across the county. He applauded the new technologies incorporated in improving sanitation in informal settlements and at the village level.
The chief officer also led the event in unveiling a new toilet put up by Sanergy manufactures called Fresh Life toilets. The initiative is set to accelerate safe sanitation for a healthy sustainable environment in informal settlements.
The event also celebrated best three providers in sanitation including Vuka sasa, Gasia poa and Blue stars, who received trophies and certificates of good performance.
Earlier on the M-Pesa Foundation and Practical Action conducted a groundbreaking for the construction of an ablution block in Nyalenda.
The event was graced by the county director for health and sanitation Mr. Fredrick Oluoch, County public health Officer Mr. Joel Abong’o County health promotion officer Mr. Jeremiah Ongwara, county officials and members of the community.
Kisumu County medical camp at Rabuor sub county hospital (Picture by David Wadulo)
By Jacklyne Apondi
Residents of Nyando Sub- County converged at Rabuor Sub- county hospital for a free medical camp organized by Kisumu county government in partnership with Kenya Regulatory Authority (IRA) and Kenya Society for the Blind.
The two-day free medical camp scheduled for 19th and 20th November 2020 respectively, was aimed at offering free eye screening and free medication for Nyando sub -county residents as well as residents from neighboring sub- counties.
Other services offered included antenatal care, dental care, cervical cancer screening, general OPD (outpatient department), laboratory services, HTS (counseling services), nutrition and general illnesses.
Kisumu County Director for public health, Mr. Fredrick Oluoch who paid a visit to the camp on behalf of Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o, noted that over 500 patients have received free medical services and medication on day one of outreach and that the number is expected to rise to not less than 2000 patients by the close of the day 2.
Mr. Oluoch encouraged residents to come in large numbers, citing that there is enough medicine for everyone. He also thanked the IRA (Kenya Regulatory Authority) and KSB (Kenya Society for the Blind) for their collaboration with the county government in ensuring that Kisumu residents get quality medical services as he pledged to consider such partnerships in future.
As he thanked the residents for their efforts in observing the Covid-19 rules, he also encouraged the residents to continue observing the Ministry of health Covid-19 rules to help curb the spread of the virus in the county, same sentiments echoed by Kisumu county health promotion officer Mr. Jerry Ongwara.
KSB head of eye program, Mr.Daniel Masese, on his part assured Nyando Sub- County residents quality health care services as he promised to ensure that everyone gets treated and obtains proper medication according to the type of their ailment.
Mr. Masese also pledged to consider any future partnership with the county government and IRA as he encouraged residents to continue observing the Covid -19 rules especially wearing of face masks and social distancing.
Madam Rosemary Kavili of KSB Corporate Communication, on her part congratulated the residents for attending in large numbers as she also stressed on the need for UHC which she said will be of much help to the residents. She also thanked the county government and KSB for their support in ensuring that the medical camp is a success.
Also, in attendance was Kisumu, County health promotion officer Mr. Jeremiah Ongwara, Sub -county medical laboratory coordinator Mr. George Magige, Sub- county medical officer, Mr. Paul Masanga, officers from IRA and KSB.
Governor Nyong’o presiding over the official groundbreaking of the of Kibuye market
By Nancy Juma
Today marks an important milestone in the history of Kibuye market – one of the largest and most vibrant open-air markets in Africa.
The market is set to undergo a major infrastructural transformation following a ground breaking ceremony by Kisumu Governor Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o that will see it be upgraded into a modern business complex.
Coming just a few months after traders were relocated to other sites to pave way for its construction, the commencement of this modernization can only be good news to thousands of traders who have for a long time earned their living from the vibrant commercial centre that attracts traders from across East Africa.
While addressing traders and members of the public at Kibuye market, Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o appreciated support extended to Kisumu by partners including the National Government, the World Bank Group and the French Government through the Kenya Urban Support Programme and Kisumu Urban Project, projects he says have made Kisumu an investment city of choice in the East African region.
The Governor confirmed that once completed in a few months, the market will be one of the most beautiful markets in East and Central Africa providing traders with dignified business spaces. Phase one of the project will see the construction of four new ablution blocks, a boundary wall, roads, walkways and foul water drainage, offloading and customer parks, shades and warehouse for the wholesale market and storm water drainage.
Other features will include flood lights and street lighting, water storage tanks and reticulation as well as electrical connection and landscaping that will provide the traders with clean, safe and healthy environment to conduct their business.
The construction of Kibuye makert is happening at a time the County Government is working on other infrastructural developments to help change the face of Kisumu. These include rehabilitation of its green spaces including Jamhuri Gardens and construction of modern satellite bus parks such as the Nyamasaria bus park which were also commissioned by the Governor earlier today.
The beautification process at Jamhuri gardens will be developed alongside others such as Oile park and Botanical garden complete with modern recreational facilities and will ensure that the citizenry have a place to relax and enjoy their leisure time. The bus parks to be constructed at the three strategic locations of Otonglo, Nyamasaria and Mamboleo will help in decongesting the city that now has to bear with all traffic coming into town from all regions.
The Governor says the projects have only been made possible because of the good rapport between the two levels of government and the Donor community adding that the county has a robust development plan for other sub counties across sectors.
“We must make Kisumu conducive for investors because a county with a dull, and poorly developed capital will never attract investors who are expected to provide jobs”. Nyong’o said, allaying fears that other parts of the county are being neglected on matters development.
Just recently, the Governor unveiled Maseno and Ahero towns that now qualify for donor funding from various partners. With the town status, the two will now have their own budgetary allocation for development which is good news to the ears of many residents who are eager to enjoy the fruits of devolution.
The Governor was accompanied by his deputy Dr. Mathew Owili, County Executive Members Prof. Judith Attyang – Trade, Prof. Boaz Nyunya – Health, Members of the City Board, Ag. City Manager Abala Wanga, Members of the County Assembly led by the Speaker Jack Oraro among other County Officials.