Governor Nyongó leading a delegation to the 20th Session
of the Executive Committee of UCLGA.
Kisumu Governor, Prof. P. Anyang’ Nyong’o and Speaker of the County Assembly, Hon. Onyango Oloo attending the 20th Session of the Executive Committee of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) in Cairo, Egypt. The County delegation, together with the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, will make presentation to the UCLGA executive committee on Kenya’s preparedness to host Africities Summit 2021.
Kisumu County hosted a corporate engagement forum on domestic travel organized by the Kenya Tourism Board (magical Kenya) in conjunction with County government and the members of the Western Kenya circuit at the Jambo Impala Ecolodge.
The forum which was officially opened by the Kisumu County minister for tourism and the chair of the 47 County Ministers in charge of tourism, Achie Ojany – Alai, brought together stakeholders from the tourism industry as well as corporate officials from the non-tourism sector with the aim of sharing information and exploring tourism opportunities as a way of revitalizing domestic tourism in Kenya, under the theme Work, Travel, Save and Repeat.
In her remarks, the County Minister challenged the corporate fraternity to take time off work to engage in domestic tourism as a way to refresh revitalize and stimulate. Hon Achie urged the players to think of making a memorable experience to the tourists.
“My main plan is to market Kisumu and the Western Kenya Circuit to the tourism national grid,” said Hon. Achie.
The County minister also mentioned the upcoming Africities as an opportunity where Kisumu residents and its neighbours can explore by providing accommodation and entertainment in their homes.
Speaking on behalf of the board, the representatives emphasized on the vision and mission of the board adding that their mandate is to market Kenya’s diverse experiences.
The general concern was that there is need to connect Western Kenya to the national grid in matters tourism, a call that was echoed by every speaker at the forum.
The board also assured the forum of combing the Western Kenya circuit by exploring medical, sports as well as domestic tourism in the region.
The forum was attended by members of the Business Community, Doctors, civil servants, Tour Guide operators from the Western Kenya circuit, Kenya Wildlife Service and representatives of the Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers.
By Matilda Atieno
The journey towards hosting Kisumu Africities Summit 2021 is set to be marked today by the official signing of the hosting rights MOU with the National government, the County government and UCLGA at Ciala Resort in Kisumu.
The event will be attended by the members of the National Steering Committee comprising CSs for Transport Hon. James Macharia, Finance Hon. Henry Rotich, Tourism Hon. Najib Balala, Foreign Affairs Hon. Monica Juma, Devolution (The committee Chair) Hon. Eugine Wamalwa, Interior and Coordination Hon. Fred Matiangi as well as the COG Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya .among other dignitaries.
By Lorraine Anyango and Annette Abondo
The business fraternity in Kisumu County has been called upon to prepare early for the 9th edition of the African Cities Summit.
Certain business takes time to be ready hence it will be prudent for them to be ready two months before the commencement of the summit in November 2021.
The summit which is coming to Kenya after 15 years, is expected to attract about 10,000 delegates including head of states, governors from different countries in Africa, city mayors among others.
“There are countries where the summit has taken place, however the benefits were not maximized, we want to make sure that everyone has been brought on board” Mr. Joe Ager who is chairing the planning committee said.
The planning team will conduct out reaches within Kisumu so as to reach out to people including small scale traders, entrepreneurs, and inventors, businesses in the fishing industry and the entire business community in the villages.
“Africities will enable us to take devolution to the grass root level, we want to ensure that development reaches to the smallest household within our county.” Mr. Ager said
Planning is already ongoing on how to engage the business fraternity, “Our goal is to engage everybody.” Mr. Ager added.
In bid to make Africities a reality, the governor of Kisumu county Hon Pro.Peter Nyongo will on Thursday 30th May 2019 sign an MOU between the National Government and, United Cities and Local Governments in Africa (UCLG-Africa).
The signing of the MOU will be led Mr.Eugine Wamalwa who heads the ministry of devolution, it will be witnessed by seven other cabinet secretaries from the ministries concerned with national security, tourism, infrastructure , foreign affairs , IT and the treasury department.
The MOU will also be witnessed by a delegate of 250 invited guest including senators from the LREB block, Members of parliament from Kisumu, all MCA’s from Kisumu county and heads of diplomatic calls, as well as heads of the UN urgency concerned with urban and community development, development partners and representatives of the different business sectors in Kisumu.
A joint team was formed between the National government and the county government of Kisumu on the road map mainly to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place.
Work has already started in Kisumu, the dredging machine bought to work in Lake Victoria, will go a long way to improve transport and trade on the lake as well as contribute to enable the delegates to see the beauty of the lake.
Expression of interest was done and applications of specialist in geophysical and special planning submitted applications to work ahead of the Africities summit.
Kenya will host Africities for the second time, the last time it was hosted in Nairobi in 2006, other cities that have hosted the Summit are Dakar, Johannesburg, Abidjan, Windhoek, Younde, Nairobi, and Marrakech.
The Africities Summit is a flagship event of the Pan African Organization United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa). It is held every three years in one of the five regions on the continent.
The 8th edition of the Africities took place in November 20-24 in Marrakesh, Morocco, under the theme: “The transition towards sustainable cities and territories: The role of Local and Sub- national governments of Africa.”
The local hotel industry will need to expand its facilities to successfully host a continental conference set for November 2021, Kisumu does not have enough facilities to host the conference and may need to work with neighbouring counties on accommodating delegates.
Local hotels currently have a bed capacity of 4,000 against 10,000 delegates expected to attend the meeting.
To maximize on the opportunity, Kisumu county government is already identifying idle homes and asking residents to offer extra rooms in their homes to bridge the gap.
In the month of April UCLG-Africa secretary general Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi made a visit to asses facilities ahead of the meeting.
Mr. Mbassi noted that Kisumu had a long way to go to fulfill requirements to host the conference, however the there was still has time to adequately prepare.
The meeting, by the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-Africa), also known as Africities Conference, brings together various stakeholders in development.
Africities mobilizes communities and local authorities, as well as financial institutions, civil society groups and development partners at continental and international level, to foster development.
The framework of all Africities summits seeks to matters captured in the 2063 Vision for Africa. Africa’s vision pursues two major objectives. The first objective is establishing collective schemes that aim to better the living conditions of the citizens at the grassroots level. The second objective is to enhance the unification, integration and peace of Africa from the local level.
The most recent Africities Summit was held in Marrakesh, Morroco from 20th to 24th November 2018. The event commemorated 20 years of the Africities Summit. The theme for that summit was ‘the transition to sustainable cities and territories, the role of local and sub-national governments of Africa’. The goal of the theme was to focus on the need for Local Africa to learn, promote and present a new approach to sustainable development.
The parties involved in the preparation and implementation of the summit are the Political Commission, the Executive Commission, and the Operational Commission. The political commission is composed of the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLGA) members and headed by the UCLGA’s current president.
The political commission is mandated the summit’s venue, date and theme. In consultation with host’s authorities, they also approve the summit’s budget and validate the closing report of the summit’s closing accounts presented by external auditors. After the conclusion of the summit, the political commission monitors and evaluates the implementation of the recommendations in collaboration with designated institutions.
The executive commission comprises of the Chairman of the National Association of Local Governments, who chairs the commission; the representative of the Minister in charge of Local Governments; the Mayor of the City that hosted the preceding edition of the Summit; and the UCLGA Secretary General who fulfills the function of the Commission Secretariat.
The commission is in charge of preparations of the summit’s meetings and supervision of the exhibition’s activities, design and implementation of the summit’s communication strategy, logistics and protocol questions and preparation of the summit’s draft budget. They are basically in charge of the preparation and implementation of the Political Commission decisions.
The operational commission comprises of the Mayor of the City of the Africities, who is also the chairperson of the Commission; a representative of the Central Government (Ministry in charge of Local Governments); a representative of the National Association of Local Governments; and a representative of the UCLGA General Secretariat, who fulfills the functions of Secretariat of the Commission. The commission is tasked with the management of the summit’s resources, implementation of relating expenses in compliance with the summit’s financial regulations, monitoring the execution of the communication plan, supervision of the summit’s and exhibition’s operations and supervision of the publication of the summit’s proceedings.
The summit is divided into six segments: the political session, sessions on the transition, local strategies and policies sessions, stakeholder’s sessions, open sessions and exceptional events.
It entails meetings of mayors, local authorities and ministers followed by a political dialogue between mayors and local authorities, African institutions and development partners.
The transition session discusses changes in Africa’s demography, ecology, politics and democracy, economy and culture. The local strategies and policies session looks into the planning and programming strategies for transition at the local level.
The stakeholder session identifies the role of financial institutions, trade unions, civil societies and other stakeholders in the transition. Open sessions allow those wishing to support the local authorities to submit their proposals and contribute to the reflections.
The exceptional events include the exhibition exchange, a gala dinner, host country’s cultural event performance, issuing of awards and any other essential meeting regarding the summit’s theme.
By Lorraine Anyango and Lavender Akinyi.
Drunk fish float on water surfaces and makes it easy for one to pick and have a meal.
As absurd as it sounds, this was one of the ancient fishing methods practiced by the luo community residing along Dunga beach on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kisumu.
The local’s sprinkled malt, traditionally known as ‘thowe’ used to brew traditional beer onto the water surface.
The sprinkled malt is digested by fish effectively making them drunk, causing them to pass out on the surface of the water.
Papyrus woven traps of all shapes and sizes were also used for trapping and catching fish,the most common trap was (ounga) which was an elongated papyrus basket in the shape of of fisherman’s hat,the trap would be partially immersed in shallow water to allow fish to swim in the trunk.
A method known as ‘Keke’ was also used. This involved placing huge tree logs across water points that showed signs of water movement, while providing spaces like modern fishing nets.
The traps would be placed after opening the space .The logs distributed water flow and fish were caught from gushing water through the spaces. The fishermen would just pick the trapped fish from the spaces.
There was also the ‘soyo’ method of harvesting fish , a spear- like stick is pushed into the fish holding it till its removed out of water .Soyo was often practiced whenever fish got stuck in water pools formed after flood levels from rainfall reduced or after high tides and lake water current that carried fish.
Use of strong smelling bathing soap while going for fishing was considered a taboo because it was believed that fish could detect scent and escape being caught by otete or any type of fishing net.
In the recent past Fish trade at Dunga has been a reliable food source that is economically sustainable due to organized fishing on Lake Victoria.
However fishing largely depends on the invention of efficient methods of fishing and development of the outrigger canoe for travel and fishing.
Given the close proximity to the lake shore and scarcity of rainfall in the region around L .Victoria, communities around depended on fishing.
The Luo elders developed and enforced special precautions to compensate for any dependence on fishing that could lead to over fishing. Only a certain group of people could do fishing, the activity was not open to all.
In effort to preserve fish population on Lake Victoria and rivers in luo land, the luo elders enforced what was known as closed season, the season was described as a period where resolved that there will be no fishing on L .Victoria.
The precautions revolved around seasons for fishing and the methods employed, this two regulated and control the population of fish.
The customary requirement also played a role in fishing regulations as only men were allowed to sail long distances into the lake to fish. Men did the fishing while women did the selling and preparing dried fish for shipment to other communities
The community elders knew that fish preservation was important for the overall survival of people hence they ensured a concept of fish preservation was carried out.
Despite of developing some of the best fishing equipment methods and technique. The fishing community still has challenges.
They have to cope with accidents involving snake bites which were common, sometimes other reptiles would be caught inside the otete.
There are other challenges affecting fishing at L .Victoria like the stinking stenches chasing away customers from the lakeside fish selling hotels.
The rotting hyacinth is adversely affecting the raw water entry point at dunga beach, communities neighboring dunga have lived with the bad smell and brownish commodity caused by the rot of the hyacinth which can cause water borne diseases.
Despite the challenges and problems the dunga people are resilient they are productive and enterprising.
Dunga’s environment attracts nature creation in a unique and peaceful way, for sports lovers there is introduction of ‘Kaya king’ an activity adding a catchy ingredient to the entertainment sector.
Some of the fish species one will get at Dunga includes Tilapia known to the local as Ngege, Nile perch (Mbuta), cat fish, kembong (Kamongo) dagaa (Omena) among others.
During colonial period the colonialist poked fun at how a large lake such as Victoria harbored nothing but small fish such as tilapia that is why they introduced Nile perch in the lake
Another attraction that comes along enjoying fresh fish at Dunga is watching the sunset .One catches a unique glimpse watching the sun at the interior far end of the lake casting its soft golden rays over the lake waters.
Dunga beach also serves as a perfect destination to watch the birds life and marine life around the the beaches of Lake Victoria it covers a vast acreage.
Kisumu’s government is focused on the conservation of this ecosystem such that one can view birds such as Sitatungas birds, pythons and in the evening hippos while enjoying the great sun downer in the evening at Dunga.
The boardwalk stands on top of the wetlands swamps that is made up of largely papyrus reeds built by team volunteers .There is also a small a museum at dunga that displays the waves and crafts made by different women groups around dunga village, many of the traditional luo artefacts including musical instruments, ornaments, costumes and many more you can also find eco magazines and old newspapers which gives a good view in traditional artifacts.
The venue can also be hired out for events and conferences. One of the latest visitor was Lupita Nyongo and the acclaimed British architect David Adjaye who designed the African American history Museum and plans to design a new art Centre in Kisumu.
Dunga beach reflects something ancient. The historic importance of Lake Victoria as a central feature in the lives of luo people living around L. Victoria it has three elements fishing, Agriculture and livestock
Dunga economy has continued to grow immensely with sunset hotel opened and joints such as hippo point and Impala sanctuary have drawn tourist eager to visit the sites.
There have been efforts by government of Kisumu to ensure Dunga is a tourist destination as well as reclaim the former Dunga wetlands and initiate some cool eco-tourism that gives value for their money
There are lots of new hotels and resort coming up in Dunga and the area is priving quite popular with Kisumu hip Urban youth and even foreign tourist , the missing link is good roads the County of Kisumu has put effort to combat the population in the area.
Cultural tuorism has played different roles in our country which are poverty alleviation, creating jobs for unskilled or semi skill workers in hotels.
There is still an urgent need to upgrade cultural tourism in Kenya and harness the huge potential this area holds to grow the economy build roads, railway networks and airport.
Cultural tourism practiced alongside dunga beach has helped change the lives of many communities around it and enabled them to overcome some of the challenges they have been facing .Creating self- employment with incoming developing activities has also been enhanced.
Adoption of bio gas at Dunga beach is expected to open up more opportunities for income generation large, biogas plant will create several activities ranging from technical management of biodigester to collecting organic wastes, fertilizers sale, cooking and electric charging services
Cooking on wood burning stove at dunga has led to daytime smoke reduction, under the project of dunga with AstaZeanea large community digesters. This will power kitchens and fish driers electric light for local fish processors, fishermen and market stalls avoiding collection of firewood will see a reduction in the cuts and bruses, accidents and assault which women experience on long treks away from the village and limit respiratory diseases
Kisumu County has potential of growth as a cultural destination from which the local people can start enterprises since it’s surrounded by vast lake resources such as beach tourism examples being Dunga and Lwangni beach.
Nothing is as sweet as the taste of fresh fish, right from the lake to the frying pan.
This unique experience is what welcomes you to Dunga beach, a long time fishing village on the eastern shore of Winam on Lake Victoria just south of Kisumu city.
“I can’t believe I have already consumed 15 pieces of ‘Fulu’ (tilapia fish that is yet to mature) ….. I just can’t get enough of this…mm it’s yummy.” Mary Wairimu says as she visited Dunga beach for the first time.
She is just one among the many local and international tourist that confirm that though dunga beach may not be a popular site yet, however those vast with it know it as one of those place where one can choose freshly caught fish and in few minutes time enjoy fish meal by the water.