The County Government in partnership with Pharmaccess and Maseno University have launched a digital platform to trace and manage COVID-19 infections.
Kisumu become the first county in Kenya to roll out the application that is currently being used to manage COVID-19 related cases in multiple countries in Europe and Africa.
Dubbed COVIDConnect, the mobile application will enable Kisumu residents carry out self checks for corona related symptoms from the comfort of their homes and work places. The app is branded Luscii and is readily available for free on Google and Apple Play Store.
The developments are among the new protocols initiated by the county government to contain the virus spread; others include mandatory testing of staff working within prosperity house. The same will be applied to the county assembly including the rotational fumigation of county offices.
Speaking during the app launch at Maseno City Campus, Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o lauded the developments a game changer in revolutionizing COVID management in the health sector.
The containment measures have demanded a great deal of innovation that has seen the county government launch a toll-free call center at the varsity.
According to the Governor the innovations will boost capacity for early detection of suspected cases, testing and containment saving space for high risk patients in hospitals.
In his address Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili stressed the county government’s commitment to robustly enforce mechanisms to ensure all set guidelines on Covid management are adhered to.
Users are expected to sign up for the service on a daily basis and record their symptoms including; sore throat, fever, breathing and coughs. The data is then analyzed by standby doctors who in turn provide the user with required medical support.
So far, the county has recorded 24 COVID-19 positive cases with 21 of those being imported and three from community transmissions, eleven patients have since recovered and discharged.
The county government has already up scaled its preparedness to handle the virus by procuring 300 new beds to boost the isolation capacity which stands at 87.The beds will be distributed for use by the weeks end.
Maseno Vice Chancellor Prof. Julius Nyabundi called for more collaborations in areas of research between the Varsity and the county government to effectively win the war on COVID.
Present were Pharmaccess Country Director Isaiah Okoth, County CEC’s among other varsity and county officials.
In a joint address they urged members of the public to keep adhering to set government measures to keep the virus at bay.
By Collins Owuor
The County department of Agriculture and livestock today issued 24 dairy cows at a cost of 3.1 million to be distributed across the 7 sub-counties.
Speaking during the flagging off of the distribution exercise, the County Minister for Agriculture and livestock Mr. Gilchrist Okuom stated that the county government has invested in Agriculture and livestock production as a way of improving livelihoods.
The County Minister also acknowledged that the department has concentrated on the high potential areas such as South East Nyakach Ward in Nyakach Sub County which he said has presented a positive performance in dairy farming. Mr. Okuom congratulated the Member of County Assembly for southeast Nyakach, Hon. Johnson Guya for the continuous investment in dairy farming through development funds to the benefit of the ward, adding that the Southeast Nyakach is the model ward in the county in dairy farming and promising that the department will work together to support dairy farming in the area.
Mr. Okuom confirmed that the previous herd of livestock issued to farmers are healthy and he advised farmers to change from traditional cattle to grade cows as a means to improving livelihoods. “In the face of livestock theft, dairy cattle are the best alternative to the people of Nyakach and also a means to maximizing profits due to its value addition.”
Hon. Guya was confident that the cows were of the best quality, adding that the dairy cattle’s profitability outweighs traditional cattle farming in the area. He urged the department to strengthen Artificial Insemination (AI) to support dairy farming in Nyakach.
The event was attended by the County chief officer for Livestock, Madam Rosemary Raluoch, County director for livestock Mr. Charles Kakuku among other county officers.
The chief officer stated that the County government is committed to supporting farmers’ to improve the quality of dairy production, adding that the department has put in place a follow-up mechanism to support the farmers through extension services, monitoring and evaluation.
Mr. Akuku also affirmed that the cows are healthy and will be due for calving in the next 4 to 5 months
The team encouraged farmers to focus on the value addition of dairy products through the formation of cooperatives.
By Matilda Atieno
The Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium as Sports Ground Gets a New Name
Yesterday County residents witnessed a historic moment when the Cabinet Secretary for Sports and Culture Amb. Amina Mohammed in the company of Kisumu Governor, Professor Nyong’o presided over the ground breaking event of a 20,000-seater international Stadium and the renaming of the Jomo Kenyatta sports ground to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Recreational Sports Center.
This is to pay tribute to the two most important figures in the history of this nation – the Nations first President and vice president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.
The renaming besides being the President’s and Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s wish to honour the duo, is also a long time dream of the people of the region to see an iconic commemorative monument in honour of the doyen of the region’s politics in the City in recognition of the significant contributions he made towards the region’s political development as well as the development of Kisumu City.
The International Sports Complex at the iconic Agricultural Society of Kenya show ground at Mamboleo is to be established at a cost of three hundred and fifty million.
During the ceremony, CS Amb. Amina Mohammed said she was back in the County to fulfill the promise of H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta to build an international stadium that will serve the Lake Region Economic Bloc.
The Cabinet Secretary acknowledged the County’s investment and potentiality in sporting activities despite the lack of sporting facilities.
She further commended the efforts of clubs such as Kisumu all Stars who made it to the premier league within six months, Kisumu Lakers, Rugby Union and Tykwondo under 16 who have shown a tremendous performance nationally and Internationally.
The project will not only scale up sporting activities in the region but also open up economic potential of the area. The CS thanked the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga for his support and called for full support from the county as the project takes off.
On the other hand, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga recreational Sports Center is also set for upgrade to a tune of 100million shillings funded by the Kenya Urban Support Program (KUSP) from World Bank.
The component of the upgrade will include an ultramodern football pitch, refurbishment of od Mikayi, Canopy shades, open event garden, monument of heroes, children’s park, tennis court,
Hockey pitch, fountain and restaurants among others
The County commissioner, Madam Susan Waweru asked the CS Amb. Amina to also visit the sub counties such as Muhoroni whose facilities are currently dilapidated and requires her support. She also called on the CS to think of the potential sporting activities within the lake
The Governor thanked the national government for their support and called on the residents to provide a conducive environment for development by focusing on the long-term vision.
Also present were: Deputy governor Dr Mathew Owili, County Assembly Speaker Elisha Oraro, A host of CECs, MCAs among other top county Officials
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.
In compliance with the Presidential directive for 300 bed capacity isolation center, the county government of Kisumu has identified three facilities including Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH), Kisumu County referral hospital and Lumumba hospital to meet the required capacity for isolation measures.
In all, the County health department has set aside 279 more beds in the 3 facilities to be used for isolation wards and treatment of the coronavirus. With a current bed capacity as at 21, the health department has offered to set up quarantine facilities in the hospitals with additional 60 beds at JOOTRH, 119 at Kisumu County referral hospital and 100 beds at Lumumba hospital. The 3 facilities are being readied for keeping the patients in isolation.
Disclosing this earlier on, the County director health and sanitation Mr. Fredrick Oluoch said the County is set to provide the additional beds in the 3 facilities as a precautionary effort, with 30 beds currently ready for dispatch into the facilities.
A series of measures have previously been put in place to help mitigate the pandemic as the country faces alarming projections of the number of COVID-19 cases, the pressure to meet spiraling health system needs is strong especially for hospital based care.
Apart from creating isolation centers, the health department has also to trained health workers on handling the coronavirus cases, if reported, special focus on screening of travelers along the County borders, screening in public spaces, establishment and operationalization of the COVID response management committee, setting up of holding rooms at the Sub County hospitals, operationalization of the call center (Toll free number 0800720575) and contact tracing progress.
By Matilda Atieno
The government has announced measures to cushion the industrial sector by resuscitating local manufacturing as the country gears to reopen the economy.
According to Labour CS Simon Chelugui his ministry has set up a response team to secure and consolidate proposals to mitigate the effects of Covid -19.
He made the remarks in Kisumu where he was joined by Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili in touring the regions National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) branch.
The government, he said has actively engaged local manufacturers to mass produce face masks, PPE’s and essential items to reduce Covid infections.
To effect this, he assured NITA of his ministry’s support going forward to scale up innovations and technical skills in their facilities countrywide.
In addition, the labour and health ministries will partner to ensure local businesses comply with set government guidelines on covid-19 preparedness before reopening.
In his address Dr. Owili lauded the government’s role in enhancing quality industrial skills in TVET and VTC institutions in the county.
The developments he said are crucial in strengthening the county’s manufacturing sector.
Kisumu he said has experienced exponential growth in light of recent mega projects rolled by the national government and development partners, this he added has uniquely placed Kisumu as the economic capital in western region.
Joining the tour were; PS State Department of labour Eng. Peter Tum,(NITA);Board Chairman Dr. Kamau Gachigi,Ag Director General Stephen Ogenga,County Commissioner Madam Susan Waweru among other officials from the national &county government.
In a joint address the leaders urged workers to observe outlined government guidelines as they work to flatten the curve.
By Collins Owuor
Abridged Resolutions: The Third Extraordinary Session of the National and County Governments Coordinating Summit on the Corona virus Pandemic
Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili this morning received a delegation from the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority on behalf of the Governor who were in the county to brief the County Leadership on the progress and the roadmap of the implementation of the much-awaited Koru – Soin Multipurpose Dam.
Led by the Authority Chairman Mr. Erick Okeyo, the team comprising of Board Members, the CEO and other high-ranking officials discussed an array of issues related to the project including challenges experienced so far.
The Koru Soin Dam is a Vision 2030 flagship project expected to serve Kisumu and Kericho counties running from the slopes of Got Alila hill in Muhoroni and slopes of Koitatui hill in Soin, Kericho county.
The dam which is estimated at Kshs. 25 billion has components such as gradient irrigation, supply of portable water and generation of hydo power.
Already, the national treasury has allocated Kshs. 5 billion to commence the construction with another 15 billion awaiting National Treasury’s approval in the Supplementary Budget come October, 2020. At least 2 billion shillings will go towards compensation of affected persons with the remaining 18 billion going towards dam and water supply components.
The realization of this Dam expected to be completed in 5 years will ease the people of Kisumu and Kericho greatly especially those along the Nyando Basin who have continuously suffered from the perennial floods. In addition, it is expected to provide additional portable water supply of 71,279m3/day serving more than 1.7 million residents.
The economic impacts of this project will be enormous as the people will also have enough water for irrigation and institutional use that will ensure improved food security and other infrastructural developments such as power.
As he delivered the Governor’s message to the press, the Deputy Governor highlighted that the dam which was conceived even before Kenya’s independence will provide a lasting solution to the perennial flooding that has continued to cause unending suffering to the people of Kisumu. He noted that the effects have been so devastating resulting into massive destruction of crops and livestock amounting to 3 billion shillings in this year alone.
Dr. Owili assured the NWHSA team of the County’s commitment to partner with the Authority to ensure that the project is delivered on time. He also mentioned that the County, through the Department of Water, Irrigation and Environment under the leadership of the Minister Salmon Orimba has actively and continuously engaged the project affected persons within the proposed site in a number of forums regarding the dam construction especially on issues related to the actual area the dam will occupy, the affected population and more importantly compensation of affected persons.
The dam will be constructed on approximately 2,500 acres of land affecting a total of 316 parcels; 110 parcels in Kericho County and 206 parcels in Kisumu County.
The Chairman assured the people of Kisumu that the project will kick off as anticipated once the procurement process is completed by end of July, 2020 with the site handing over to the contractor expected at the beginning August this year.
He pleaded with the political class to avoid politicizing the project but instead support it to enable residents reap from it. He expressed concerns that due to the persistent flooding, Kisumu has been reduced to a “food relief” reliant county, a situation that must be addressed with finality.
The Speaker on his part assured the team that the Assembly will provide them with all the necessary support even as they implement the project.
The delegation also made a donation of water tanks, sanitizers, face masks, soap and umbrellas to support the Covid -19 situation.
Joining the DG for the briefing were County Assembly Speaker Hon. Elisha Oraro, County Ministers of Water, Irrigation and Environment Salmon Orimba, Tourism, Culture and Sports Madam Archie Alai, and County Secretary Godfrey Kigochi among other County Officials.
Mr. Okeyo was accompanied by Board Members Walibengo Waningilo Jane Mwikali and CEO Sharon Obonyo among other officials.
By Collins Owuor
Governor Nyong’o has today officially established the Covid -19 response fund committee to effectively raise, and manage the funds in an impactful and accountable interventions that will mitigate the adverse effects of the Coronavirus and floods, in a bid restore Socio- economic status of county residents.
This is the second committee formed after the Kisumu Economic and Social Council (KECOSOC) established last year. Its formation is as per the guidelines of the public finance management Act 2012, vetted by the County Assembly procedures.
While charging the committee with the responsibility of managing the funds accountably in the interest of the people of Kisumu, the Governor called on them to work with partners to mobilize more funds in addition to the seed Ksh. 200M raised from the County budget that has so far been approved by the County Assembly, as well as contributions from Senior Government Officials who have contributed Kshs. 3.7 million through pay cuts.
The Committee comprises of the Chairperson Mr. Bhire Chatter, CEC Finance and Planning Mr. George Omondi Okong’o, Chief Officer health in charge of Administration and Partnerships Mr. Alphonse Ouya, Chief Officer Agriculture and Livestock Dr. Paul Omanga, Deputy Governor emeritus Ruth Odinga, Civil Society Organization Representative Madam Winnie Ogot, Madam Jessica Ogombe, Mr. Fund Secretary Mr. Caleb Opon, Mr. Walter Odede, a member of Kecosoc and also representing the youth and Fund Administrator Mr. Akaka Ramoyo
Monday morning saw the official introduction of two newest County Executive Council Members (CEC M) being sworn in to office. The two new executive members include Dr. Joyce Atieno Osogo as CEC member for roads and public works and Mr. John Obiero Awiti CEC member for Education, ICT and Human Capacity Development.
The ceremony was presided over by Principle Magistrate Hon. Peter Gesare and was witnessed by the Governor of Kisumu County Prof. Anyang’ Anyang’o, Speaker of the county assembly Hon Elisha Oraro, members of the county assembly, members of the executive, County Officials and the members of the public.
The duo thanked the governor for the opportunity given to work in his government, pledging to work together with the stakeholders to fulfill the governor’s manifesto.
The deputy governor emeritus Madam Ruth Odinga congratulated the two officers adding that their responsibilities are varied and will require support from various stakeholders. She also thanked the Governor for bringing on board a female member and for recognizing the women’s efforts in leadership of the county.
The County assembly leader of majority Hon. Kenneth Onyango stressed the need to have the new officers join the county government as their work is clearly cut out. He urged them to focus on delivering services to the residents of Kisumu.
The speaker of the County assembly, Hon. Elisha Oraro noted that the Departments, Roads and public works and the Education ICT and Human capacity development are enabling department that requires direct supervision. The speaker also pledged the assembly’s support to ensure service delivery.
While addressing the event, Kisumu Governor pledged to support the new CEC members in working to fulfill their mandate. The governor urged Dr. Osogo to take advantage of the good working relationship between the county government of Kisumu and KERRA, KURRA and KENHA towards improving road networks that have been destroyed due to floods.
The Governor acknowledged that 90% of the county road networks are in bad shape and it will require efforts to improve the roads adding that the department is not all about bursaries urging the new CEC member to be fair and just in issuing bursaries.
In the face of COVID -19 Prof. Nyong’o appreciated efforts by county health workers stating that efforts have been made to address health workers grievances. The governor appealed to health workers to join hands in this time of the pandemic.