It was song and dance in Ahero yesterday after Kisumu Governor, Professor Nyong’o officially upgraded the urban centre into a Town.
Prof Nyong’o, escorted by hundreds of masked residents made a triumphant entry into the centre shortly before midday.
At exactly 12.30 he cut the ribbon to open the new Ahero town administration offices before officially unveiling the town one hour later at a public rally attended by more than 20 MCAs from across the County and several political leaders and representatives from the Council of Governors.
Also present were Chairman of the National Irrigation Authority, Joshua Toro, Deputy Governor Mathew Owili, Kisumu County Assembly Speaker, Elisha Oraro, senior National and County officials.
Ahero becomes the second urban centre to be upgraded to a Town.
The first to be unveiled was Maseno. Those in the queue are Muhoroni, Katito and Kombewa.
Speaking at the function, Prof Nyong’o said Ahero’s new status will help it realize sustainable urban infrastructure development and create economic opportunities to the people to reduce pressure in the city.
Today’s unveiling of Ahero came against the backdrop of the World Cities report released on October 31, 2020 which advocates for well planned, managed and financed cities and towns of great value that can be harnessed to be resilient and leverage on devastating impacts .
Governor reiterated that Ahero sits on a major highway that befits a town. Its a booming economy with rice fields and sugar belts.
He further stated that Ahero will now have its own budget to address its infrastructural issues among them roads, drainage systems, street lights and solid waste management.
The town will have a governance system made of management committee and a town administrator as per the provisions of the Urban Areas and Cities Act, that will bring services closer to the people and harness full potential of urbanization.
The Governor stated that in this financial year, Ahero has been earmarked to benefit from 400meters road network for upgrade to paving block standards along side drainage improvement works and a circular waste management system to compost organics to fertilizers and recycling of plastics into building blocks.
Concerning Covid 19 economic recovery strategy, the governor said his government was working on a post Covid 19 economic recovery program.
To achieve this , the county has collaborated with National Irrigation Authority (NIA) and national government to supply fruit seedlings, vegetable seeds, cereals and day old chicks worth 13million to 10,000 small holder farmers across the County to boost food security and nutrition.
Prior to unveiling Ahero town the Governor received the seedlings and toured the Ahero irrigation scheme pump station which serves up to 13,000 acres of rice fields.
The Chairman of NIA, Eng. Toro stated their plans to expand the acreage from the current 13,000 to 18,000 acres targeting Awasi, Chiga, Mboha, Kabonyo. He however outlined the challenges faced by farmers such as ready markets and inadequate milling plants which affects their optimum operations.
A decision was reached that the county will collaborate with NIA to put up another milling plant.
On marketing and cooperative formation, the line departments were asked to fast track the formation to enable farmers access 600million loan from national government.
Also in attendance were County Secretary County Secretary, Geoffrey Kegochi, Deputy County Commissioner, Julius Karitu, City Board Chairman Elijah Adul, his Public Service counterpart, Babu Karan,sub county Admins, ward Admins, Chief Officers, Directors,politicians, opinion leaders, residents of Ahero among others.
By Emily Mikwa
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.