Lead photo, Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili flags of the relief items donated by UNICEF to be distributed to families affected by floods ( Picture by Collins Owuor)
By Collins Owuor
Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili has today flagged off water, sanitation and hygiene supplies worth Ksh4.6 million from UNICEF to assist communities affected by floods.
Speaking on behalf of Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, Dr. Owili lauded the developments as he thanked UNICEF for their great support.
The donations will supplement the county government’s efforts to address recurring floods by opening and desalting of drainage to prevent water back flow.
According to the Deputy Governor, the county government through the special programs department has already set up evacuation centers to house the displaced families.
The county government he said had extended operations to engage its partners in assisting vulnerable households.
UNICEF will partner with the county government to increase water accessibility in Kisumu through the restoration of 13water supplies affected by floods to minimize Covid-19 infections.
Present were CEC’s, Salmon Orimba, Prof. Judith Atyang, Prof. Boaz Nyunya, UNICEF WASH expert Abdi Maalim Hassan, Chief Officer for Water and Sewerage Services Eng. Zacheus Okoth among other officials from the county government and UNICEF.
Deputy Governor Dr Mathew Owili (left) receives a consignment of PPEs from UNFPA Country Representative Dr Ademola Olajide (2nd right) at the Kisumu County Hospital today. The consignment which consisted of Hand Sanitizers,Surgical gloves, gumboots, aprons, gowns, face masks and disposal bags will be used by the county’s healthcare staff in the fight against Covid-19. He was flanked by the County CEC Member for Health Prof. Boaz Otieno Nyunya (right), County Director for Public Health Frederick Oluoch (centre) and UNFPA Program Analyst Ms Lilian Langat (left) (Picture by Jacob Owiti)
By Jacklyn Apondi
The County department of health today received personal protective equipment’s donated by the UNFPA in partnership Kenya Red Cross and Ability Trust set to boost the fight against COVID-19 in Kisumu
The Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili received the donations on behalf of the county government issued by the UNFPA Country Representative Dr. Ademola Olajide in a ceremony held at the Kisumu County Referral Hospital (KCRH)
Dr. Owili was grateful for the donations and for the partnership that will guarantee support to the health workers in the fight against the pandemic. He called on residents not to down their tools on the fight against COVID- 19 pandemic adding that COVID- 19 cases are now rising at the county level with Kajiado Kitui county recording high numbers of COVID 19 patients.
The Deputy Governor noted that Kisumu County is not left behind as he made a special appeal to the residents to follow the Ministry of health guidelines to help curb the spread of the virus. He also assured quality care to the people of Kisumu County and especially people living with a disability.
The County UNFPA representative Dr. Ademola Olagide on his part applauded the efforts of the county government and the health department, pledging continuous support to the health workers in the fight against the pandemic.
The Kenya Red Cross regional representative Ms. Hellen Rotich also echoed the need to keep up with the Covid-19 protocols by the ministry of health to help curb the spread of the virus in the county.
In addition, the Kenya red cross is currently offering training of health care workers on issues of mental health as well as creating awareness on matters COVID at the community level, training people on home-based care program, proper use of masks, social distancing rules and screening in public facilities.
On his part, the CEC Member for health Dr. Boaz Otieno Nyunya acknowledged the challenges faced by the health team including low testing capacity, logistical constraints, contact tracing, and citizen’s negligence on the COVID- 19 rules, which could result in unprecedented effects.
The county department of health together with its partners has continued with awareness creation on recommended hygiene practices and measures aimed at minimizing the spread of COVID-19 in communities, including setting up hand washing facilities in various public spaces across the county.
Kisumu Governor, Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o addressing remembers of the press after the deliberations on NCIC initiatives ( Picture by Kevin Omollo)
The team led by Commissioner Eng. Philip Okundi also included delegations from Family Health International and Keeping Alive Societies Hope (KASH) who are implementing partners to NCIC activities across the region.
Engineer Okundi informed the Governor of their ongoing peace building initiatives along the Nandi/Kakamega border and indeed the other regional boundaries.
The Governor expressed his excitement and optimism that such efforts will lead to long lasting sustainable peaceful coexistence of the people living along the affected borders leading to spurred economic growth.
He urged that government considers building infrastructure such as roads, markets, schools and other social amenities along the common borders to increase positive interaction.
Engineer Okundi was accompanied by Thomas Abol of KASH and Neema Agwanda and Carolyne Wathaka of Family Health International while the Governor was flanked by his Deputy Dr. Mathew Owili.
By Nancy Juma
CEC Memeber for Agriculture Mr. Gilchrist Ockuom Addressing extension officers of the during their training in Kakamega
Thirty extension officers (TOTs) from departments of Agriculture,Health, Environment,Trade & Cooperative are undergoing a five day training on Urban Agriculture Technologies, crops & Livestock, Aquaculture technologies,Food waste management,Food quality & safety, Entrepreneurship & Business Development at the Golf Hotel in Kakamega
The Trainer of Trainees (TOTs) will later be expected to train farmers and other value chain actors within Kisumu county: specifically in.KisumuWest,Kisumu East,Kisumu Central and Nyando sub counties.
The TOTs will also support grant beneficiaries through capacity building.
This comes at a time when Agriculture department is also putting up a call center to interact with farmers and fisher folk across the county. This is set to be officially launched this Wednesday.
While presiding over the official opening of the training workshop, the CEC Agriculture, irrigation, livestock and fisheries Mr. Gilchrist Okuom thanked FAO for the continued support and for coming in to fill in the gaps on production at a time when the county experienced twin disasters of floods. and Covid -19 that adversely affected production.
He reiterated that the county is doing well in production of traditional leafy vegetables. He however challenged the extension officers that the investment being put in them this day must have an impact in the lives of the people by tapping into the potentials of the adults and youths to bring back them to production.
“We must walk the talk” said Mr Okuom
On his part the FAO inclusive value chains sub program head, Mr Tito Arunga thanked the county for the cordial working relations. As partners, they are committed to improving the livelihoods of the people by impacting on them positively.
The trainings are supported by FAO Kenya under the urban food systems project in collaboration with Kisumu county government.
The session was also graced by the Chief Officer crops, Dr. Paul Omanga, Director Livestock Mr Kakuku, Director crops Mr. Okech,the facilitators Bereta Ngunjiri from Ministry of Agriculture, Rebbeca Wanjiru and Winnie Yegon from FAO, Rael Mwando from MOH, Erick Ogadho the project liaison officer, Rose Achieng the FLAG coordinator among other participants.
By Emily Mikwa
The county government of Kisumu in partnership with the Kenya Female Advisory Organization ( KEFEADO )and the National Taxpayers Association (NTA), held a community forum to engage residents of Manyatta B on Tax justice conversations. The forum was hosted by the area MCA, Ms Pamela Odhiambo.
The main objective of the forum was to equip the residents with information on how their taxes were being put to use by the governments.
The forum was attended by the governor’s advisor on People Living with Disability Affairs, Hon. Caroline Agwanda, who urged the participants comprising small scale business people, boda boda riders, to utilize the funds provided by the county government including, the trade fund and the women, youth and PWDs Fund by the county government to boost their livelihoods.
The meeting also educated residents on the need for paying taxes in addition to demanding for quality service delivery. National Taxpayers Association, Executive Director, Madam Irene Atieno emphasized on the need for the local community to be educated on the importance of paying tax and also ensuring equity for those who pay tax to the county government, adding that NTA seeks tax Justice by ensuring transparent, accountable revenue generation to restore the taxes to whom they are due.
While acknowledging the importance of the forum, executive director of KEFEADO, Madam Easter Okech, noted that strengthening essential public service delivery to ensure equal provision of the rights to health, access to water and sanitation, decent housing and sufficient mass transportation services, especially in the context of the unprecedented global crisis COVID-19 can solely be achieved through tax justice.
Ms Odhiambo, on her part said that the forum was meant to engage the voices of Manyatta B residents, in addressing challenges within the community, promising that the various projects by the county government will soon be completed, having been budgeted for.
The forum was an opportunity to underscore the need for a people-driven taxation system that promotes progressive taxation as well as the provision of quality and adequate resources, especially for the low-income residents.
The residents were also educated on the need for paying taxes in addition to demanding for quality service delivery.
By Jackline Omondi
Governor’s Advisor on PWD Affairs Hon.Caroline Agwanda (centre) joined by National Taxpayers Association- NTA Executive Director Ms Irene Otieno (left) and Kenya Female Advisory Organization -KEFEADO Executive Director Ms Easter Okech (3rd left) presenting Kangas to Manyatta “B” women who turned up for a Community Tax Justice engagement forum. The event was a organized in partnership with County Government of Kisumu, KEFEADO, NTA and County Assembly brought together Boda-boda operators and women traders from Manyatta B Waerd who also engaged in various sporting activities. (Picture By Jacob Owiti)
Officer in-charge of gender Mrs. Adah Omedi flanked by Director services, Madam Fiona Okwri during the sensitization against early pregnancy and distributing of sanitary towels to the young women in Seme
The County gender team paid a visit to the GENO Community Home based Care (CBO) on a Youth and adolescent sensitization forum in North Seme Ward, Seme Sub-County.
The team, under the directorate of Women, Youth and PWDs Affairs and which was led by the Officer in charge of Gender Mrs. Adah Omedi, flanked by director Social Services, Madam Fiona Okwiri, conducted a sensitization forum on early pregnancy and early marriages and also issued free sanitary towels to the young women in the area.
Speaking at the forum, Mrs. Omedi called on parents and the community to collectively stop early marriages adding that a wraparound social support can be a safe space for children, especially girls, who will be supported to navigate issues they face at school and home and to help them realize their full potential to boost their own well-being and that of the communities and County as whole.
“With greater opportunities, focused group discussions (FGD) and support from parents and communities, girls won’t be driven by circumstances into early marriage.” said Mrs. Omedi.
The early pregnancy rate and Early marriages in Kisumu county is troubling even with a strong healthcare system that guarantees confidentiality, a non-judgmental approach, and support of the adolescents.
Since COVID-19 containment measures were put in place in Kenya, Media reports have confirmed that several adolescent girls may have visited health facilities for antenatal services, including closing schools and restricting movements, access to sexual and reproductive health information and services.
Amid the pandemic, girls and women have continued to suffer SGBV cases and early marriages causing devastating consequences. The pandemic made it difficult for women and girls to access sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services, including contraceptives.
According to the WHO, complications relating to pregnancy and childbirth are already the leading cause of death for girls aged 15-19 globally. Adolescent girls face heighten risks such as early marriage in the world of COVID-19 that may cause them to become mothers earlier than is desired or recommended.
The team also called attention to the importance of continuity of sexual and reproductive health services during COVID-19, particularly for the adolescent girls.
By Matilda Atieno
CoG Chair Wycliffe Oparanya with Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o during the weekly update on Preparedness of County Governments on Covid – 19, Prosperity House, Kisumu ( Picture by Lennox Omondi)
Council of Governors Chairman H.E Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has called for a concerted effort from all stakeholders in dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic.
Addressing the nation and members of the Press from Kisumu County Headquarters at Prosperity House, Governor Oparanya reported that all the 47 county governments have now been affected by the novel COVID-19 pandemic. With the soaring numbers of positive cases across the nation, Oparanya said the County Governments have continued to enhance their response measures towards the disease. He appreciated the support extended to the devolved units by the Ministry of Health especially in assessing the Counties’ level of preparedness and overall status of healthcare which highlighted some of the challenges counties are grappling with, one of which is stigmatization.
He noted that the Council has tried to create awareness on the disease but a lot still needs to be done to defeat the enemy.
” As Council of Governors, we have striven to create awareness on Coronavirus through radio and TV programs conducted on a weekly basis. However, we note that this is not enough hence there is need for complementary effort from stakeholders”. Governor Oparanya said while appealing to the media fraternity and civil society organizations to partner with the devolved units and conduct civic education on COVID-19 through their different platforms, a step he says will help in providing the public with the needed information.
In line with the Council’s mandate on sharing of information on performance of counties, the Chair outlined that they have continued to provide a platform for sharing of best practices through Community of Practice Forums in different sectors. Some of the key areas handled over the last one week include; active quarantine facilities where 40 counties reported on the status of the active facilities. Currently, there are 818 in the facilities having released 1,044 who were previously confined. According to Oparanya, a total of 10,498 tests have been carried out in 40 counties whereby 1,106 tested positive. Out of this positive cases, 177 are healthcare workers.
The counties have also trained and sensitized an additional 1,272 workers and 1,505 community health workers. Other interventions include: implementation of home based care under which 37 counties have recorded 630 patients; gender interventions whereby the Council launched the Women’s Empowerment Index, County Poverty Profiles and County Budget briefs that detailed the needs of women and children in all the 47 counties in addition to the distribution of sanitary towels to the isolation and quarantine facilities.
Governor Oparanya also called on the public and stakeholders to register to take part on the upcoming multi-agency County Governments Virtual Conference that shall take place on the last week of August to take and share notes on how they have managed the pandemic and continue to provide government services. On the same note, he confirmed that the Lake Region Economic Block shall on 19th August, 2020 unveil the COVID-19 Advisory and Strategy Committee at the LREB Head Office, a ceremony that will be graced by the Cabinet Secretary for Interior Fred Matiang’i.
On the same breath, Governor Nyong’o updated the press on the status of Corona virus disease in Kisumu County confirming that the county has so far recorded 123 positive cases. Out of these, he reported the county had discharged 58, 10 of which were under home based care program.
He noted with concern the number of cases arising from community transmission which stands at 70% of the total infections with about 10 health workers having been infected.
The two leaders emphasized on the need for personal responsibility and concerted efforts in dealing with the disease. They called on all citizens to behave in an extraordinary manner as they continue adhering to existing protocols to stay safe.
BY Nancy Juma