Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili represented the county in the ongoing Intergovernmental forum on Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and irrigation held at Sarova Whites Sand Hotel Mombasa.
The Forum which was jointly opened by Agriculture CS Hon. Mwangi Kiunjuri and CoG Vice Chair H.E Mwangi Wa Iria, brought together stakeholders from agricultural sector, national government, Public and Private Sector Organizations and the county governments to deliberate on the food security situation in the country.
Food security is one of the core pillars in Governor Anyang’ Nyongo’s manifesto and his administration has made gains in supporting Agricultural functions in the county.
Agriculture is one of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big four Agenda and the forum is a clear indication of the county governments commitment to sustain and enhance local agricultural production.
The forum culminated by launching the Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS) with the resolve to invest in youths to incorporate technology in agricultural production.
The ASTGS is a 10-year strategy (2019 -2029) which seeks to increase small scale farmers income, increase agricultural output and promote knowledge and skills through innovation and research.
The director veterinary services Dr. Evans Odhiambo has announced plans to hold a 2-day bating exercise in Seme Sub county on the 8th to 10th of July 2019 which will be followed by a mass vaccination drive.
Recently, the County government has been on high alert following rabies outbreak that caused the death of two children reported in Seme Sub County. The County directorate of health and its sister directorate of Veterinary services held a meeting to review a rabies investigative report done by the Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP) anchored within the Ministry of Health and supported by Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Following rabies epidemic in most parts of the County, the department reached out to FELTP to help understand the rabies prevalence in Seme sub county. According to Dr. Daniel Ong’are of FELTP Kenya, there is increased awareness of rabies prevention and control measures through education and information on responsible pet ownership, how to prevent dog bites and immediate care measures after a bite.
The report presented by Dr. Ong’are indicated one of the challenges experienced by the community as inaccessibility of anti-rabies due to the distance to the health facilities thus hindering access to full dosage of the vaccine.
Human rabies is virtually always fatal despite numerous attempts at aggressive therapy by the health facilities. Most survivors receive one or more doses of rabies vaccine prior to the onset of the dog bite, however many more survivors fail to get to the health facilities for a follow up vaccines.
The report recommended capacity building of health care workers on RIG and PEP administration, proper record keeping and tracking of patients to ensure adherence to immunization protocol, continuous sensitization of the community on availability of public goods and services at public health facilities, reduction of dog population coupled with sensitization on responsible dog ownership and sustainable regular vaccination of dogs to achieve herd immunity.
The County Pharmacist Dr. Lawrence Otieno confirmed the availability of anti-rabies stating that the County has maintained buffer stock for the vaccine. Dr. Odhiambo of County Vet services also pledged to donate 100 more of Antiviral for rabies to go to the health centres.
Kisumu is one of the selected counties for rabies pilot study in Kenya having been pronounced as an endemic area with Seme Sub County as the most affected endemic areas in the County, followed by Kisumu East, Kisumu West, Muhoroni and Nyakach Sub counties respectively.
By Matilda Atieno
The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) formerly known as the ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission) held a stake holder’s workshop at the Acacia Premier Hotel, Kisumu.
The workshop brought together stakeholders from the western region sugar industries with the aim of deliberating on electricity co-generation of sugar industries in the country.
Speaking during the event, the Director General of EPRA, Mr. Pavel Omieke stated that Kenya has been ranked 7th globally in geothermal consumption, adding that Kenya approximately has 13 sugar manufacturing companies and that there is need embrace embracing innovative ideas in the sector.
The workshop gave some of the challenges faced in sugar industry and co-generation which include; reduction in sugar cane growing due to delays in farmer payment, shut down of some sugar industries and their co-generation and mismanagement.”One major challenge is the issue of raw material supply.” Said Mr. Solomon Odera, the Sugar Directorate of Agriculture and Food Authority.
An overview of the big four agenda was emphasized citing manufacturing as one of the four key pillars of the development agenda. The EPRA deputy director of energy research and policy analysis Dr. John Mutua pointed out the 2019/2020 budget which allocates 700 million shillings allocated for farmers adding that sugar industry holds the key to transforming manufacturing industry.
According to Dr. John Mutua, the co-generation potential in Kenya was estimated to be about 300MW most of which will be generated in the sugar belt areas in Western Kenya. This was aimed to increase the diversification of investment plus in job creation and economic growth.
The workshop also challenged county government’s role in supporting sugar cane farmers by linking them to the milling industries.
Expectations from the workshop was that there would be linkages between EPRA and the sugar industries in the region and a new website, erc.go.ke formed to link everyone including the millers.
By Beatrice Akinyi, Wendy Noel and Lurie Zweri