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.
Community members of Nyakach planting kales on the micro garden
The training session for the extension officers entered day two with a focus on the importance of urban agriculture.
While there is steady rise in human population, more people continue to starve globally hence prompting the adoption of urban farming technologies as a measure to sustain lives and to demystify the notion that farming is mainly for the rural folk.
Urban agriculture also known as urban farming, refers to growing plants and rearing animals that produce food within a city or town.
It also comprises processing and then distributing that produce throughout the city.
The green home technologies such as moist gardens, shade net, micro gardens, key hole garden, hanging gardens, multi storey garden and green houses are progressively emerging as sources of nutrition and food security in the urban and peri urban settlements.
Besides offering food security, urban farming also comes with an array of benefits including job opportunities in line with agri business, community building due to shared responsibilities, it is educative as it involves both adults, youths and children, an ambience of green spaces with aesthetic appeal, reduction of surface run offs and fixing of carbon through photosynthesis.
The emerging farming technologies do not require large parcels of land and the input is affordable hence can be done by anyone. They are also considered a form of exercise to town dwellers who are perceived to only engage in lighter activities.
The major challenge experienced with this kind of farming are the old legislative restrictions on urban farming that should be reviewed to conform to the changing times.
By: Emily Mikwa
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)
Promoting Sustainable Nutrition and Healthy Food Systems in the Urban and Peri Urban during Covid – 19 Pandemic
Members of the FLAG pose for a group photo after the meeting session at the Grand Royal Swiss Hotel, Kisumu
Poultry, Livestock and Kitchen garden farmers within Kisumu are set to benefit from 11million grant from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) through the County Government of Kisumu.
5.1million of the stated amount will go toward cushioning food producing and processing enterprises affected by the Covid -19 pandemic as a recovery strategy. The remaining 5.9 million grant will go into farm inputs and value addition equipment.
The Project dubbed integrated actions for innovative food systems across rural urban communities, targets 100 farmers receiving 100 birds each in Kisumu East, Kisumu central, Nyando and Kisumu west.
A total of 10,000 birds will be distributed to the said sub counties, 400 bags of feeds, vaccination of the birds and de-worming of dairy goats will also be done.
Speaking during the event, the CECM for Agriculture, irrigation, livestock and fisheries Mr. Gilchrist Okuom noted the adverse effects the pandemic has had on the food systems hence causing migration of people from urban to rural due to food insecurity.
This has come at a time when the Food Liaison Advisory Group ( FLAG) committee is looking at the urban food systems. He advised that this will change the mode of operation of the FLAG committee from as it were at the beginning.
He called for a concerted innovativeness and that the committee to move with speed in pushing the agenda forward in order to impact on the livelihood of those affected by the pandemic.
The FAO inclusive value chains sub program head Mr. Tito Arunga on his part acknowledged the impact of Covid – 19 on food production. He added that it has opened an opportunity for agriculture globally.
He reiterated that the role of FLAG is to work as a joint stakeholder to unlock the agricultural potentials.
He called on members to work with urgency to identify the gaps and constraints the farmers have for solutions to be reached.
” FAO intends to have a more established presence in the county to improve livelihoods of the people in the region ” said Mr. Arunga
The department of Business, Cooperatives and Marketing through their Chief Officer, Mr. Joseph Oganga pledged support in terms of modelling the program as a business for sustainability of capital, and value addition.
The forum also saw a new co- chairperson Mr. Samba Nixon Otieno Omumbo appointed taking over from Dr Abel Otieno the immediate former chairperson.
The meeting was also graced by Chief Officer Crops Dr. Paul Omanga, Chief Officer Livestock Madam Rosemary Raluoch, Facilitators : Rebecca Wanjiru Project manager FAO, Winnie Yegon FAO, Mr Erick Ogadho project liaison Officer, Madam Rose Achieng Owenga the county FLAG coordinator and members of the FLAG. By: Emily Mikwa & Lorraine Anyango
CECM Agriculture, irrigation, livestock and Fisheries, Mr. Gilchrist Okuom addressing FLAG members during a meeting at the Royal Swiss Hotel in Kisumu yesterday ( photo: David Wadulo)
The FAO inclusive value chains sub program head Mr. Tito Arunga giving his remarks during the FLAG meeting at the Royal Swiss Hotel in Kisumu
The FAO project manager, Rebecca Wanjiru making a presentation during the FLAG meeting at the Royal Swiss Hotel.
Winnie Yegon from FAO making a presentation during a flag meeting.
Mr Erick Ogadho project liaison Officer, making a presentation during the FLAG meeting at the Royal Swiss Hotel.
Mr. Samba Nixon Otieno Omumbo the newly appointed co – Chairperson of the FLAG giving his acceptance speech yesterday at the Royal Swiss Hotel.
Mr.George Wasonga CEO of CSUDP- UNHABITAT handing a 20 litter Jerrican of hand sanitizer to the chairperson Manyatta market (Photo: David Wadulo)
The Kisumu Covid 19 Multi Agency Technical Group on Informal Settlements (KCMTGIS) today visited the hand wash stations in Kondele, Obunga and Manyatta to inspect their functionality and to sensitize the users on the importance of observing the MOH protocols on Covid 19.
It is during the visit that the team gave groups of bodaboda riders, lorry drivers, market chairpersons1,000 re – usable masks, 300 surgical Masks to the CHWs, and 10 jerricans of hand sanitizers, each containing 20 litters
The team was led by County Director Culture and Arts Mr. Gabriel Osendo, Mr George Wasonga CEO of CSUDP- UNHABITAT, Director TVET Pascalia Ouma, Director Sports Madam Valarie Onyango, Director Trade Eng. Bovince Ochieng and the Coordinator Mr. Thomas Ouko among others.
By: Emily Mikwa
County Public Health Director, Mr. Fred Oluoch in the company of MCA Hon Steve Awiti during a media brief on Mental health gaps meeting at the Grand Royal Swiss Hotel in Kisumu ( photo: Emily Mikwa)
The county has glaring mental health limitations as revealed by the findings of a study on the status of mental health policy, rights, financing and service delivery in Kisumu 2019.
Some of the gaps highlighted included: lack of mental health policy framework, under staffing of mental health practitioners, inadequate financing of mental health services and infrastructure such as beds, a case in example where KCRH only has 30 beds, among others.
This was brought to the attention of the participants during a stakeholders mental health meeting convened by TINADA youth organisation at the Grand Royal Swiss Hotel.
The aim of the meeting was to disseminate the research findings and to introduce Imarisha Mental Integrated Initiative project to the stakeholders in Kisumu.
Being cognizant to the facts of the study, the chairperson of budget committee at the County Assembly Hon. Steve Awiti stated that as members of the assembly, they are committed to enact the mental policy framework once the proposal is presented to the Assembly and that in the current financial year they appropriated 1.5million for the same and would not hesitate revising it upward come FY 2021/22 budget. Sentiments echoed by his counter part Hon. Seth Owuor chairing the health committee.
While addressing the media, Public Health Director Mr Fred Oluoch, noted the existence of such gaps and stated that currently the county has brought in additional two psychiatrists from Maseno university to improve the services.
He reiterated that the health public unit is focused on reviewing the policy to capture mental health services and to ensure the formation and operationalize the secretariat and the technical working group.
on infrastructure he promised to have improvements for better service delivery. He however requested for another research on the same post Covid 19 that will give an informed data before implementation of the current findings
In an effort to improve the mental health services, it was resolved that all the partners to pull together in implementing the recommendations in the study.
Since health is a devolved function, it was discussed that the CHWs be roped in to handle the cases at the grass roots not forgetting the non conventional healers such as the herbalists and faith based healers.
The facilitators brought on board included: Beryl Arogo from TINADA, Mr Dancan Omondi TINADA, Mr. Sospeter Mumbo TINADA, and Mr. Jeremiah Okuto County mental health coordinator .
The meeting was graced by participants drawn from different organizations, CBOs, CSOs, and Institutions.
By: Emily Mikwa
County Executive for Roads, Transport and Public Works Dr. Joyce Osogo during the launch of machine based road maintenance at Ong’ayo in Kisumu West sub county(Photo: David Wadulo)
Residents of Kisumu West sub county can now breath a sigh of relief after yesterday’s launch of the machine based roads maintenance pilot program in the area by the County Executive for Roads, Transport and Public Works Dr. Joyce Osogo.
The program dubbed “accessibility our priority” will ensure that at least 5km access roads in each ward within the county are excavated, reshaped, side drained, gravelled and compacted.
Kisumu west is the third sub county where the program is set to be implemented after Muhoroni and Nyakach as the rest to follow suit.
The action plan comes at a time when the access roads have been rendered impassable due to heavy downpour experienced in the recent past.
Roads maintenance is an intergral component of Governor Prof Anyang Nyongos development Manifesto.
Residents of Ong’ayo ward who will benefit from the road projects, doing business, taking patients to hospital and even transporting corpses home for burial has been a daunting task due to the poor conditions of the road.
Speaking during the launch, CECM for Roads and Public Works, Dr. Joyce Osogo, outlined the access roads to be maintained to include:Ong’ayo Otonglo-Pombo, Obambo -Kabibi, Obambo -Ogal, Wadhguen- Kawiti Otete, Rabuor -Nametsa, Kadidi Wanguola Maringo, Nyahera-Geta, Awach bridge – Ndemra and Sianda – Gee.
She cautioned the community members not mix development with politics but always consult her office on matters that may require her attention for amicable solutions to be reached.
She further called on the residents to support the project by ensuring the security of the machines.
The County Executive for roads was flanked by her counterparts from Marketing and cooperatives Professor Judith Attyang who promised to build a modern market in the area to boost trade. The county Executive for Education Mr. John Awiti on his part pledged to put up an equipped Vocational Training Center in the area to sharpen the artisan skills of the youths.
The County Assembly Speaker Hon. Elisha Oraro who is also the immediate former MCA of the area called on the people of Ong’ayo ward to know the roles of both the MCAs and the Executive so that they are not confused over roles of the two.
He reiterated that the role of the MCA is representation, legislate, and oversight while the Executive is implementation.
He urged the people to attend public participation meetings where they can prioritize their needs for purposes of budgeting.
He added that the pilot program on road maintenance is a trial to see the much that can be done with the limited budget given compared to the works done by contractors that is quite expensive and covers only a few kilometers.
After completion of the access roads, youths and women in the locality will be engaged to maintain the roads as a source of livelihood.
The function was also attended by a host of MCAs, representatives of the area Member of Parliament Hon Olago Aluoch, Hon Rosa Buyu, the sub county administrator, the five ward administrators in the sub county, Assistant Chief of the area Mr John Ndege , Chief Officer Roads Eng. Moses Ogeda with a team of county Officials
from the department among other invited dignitaries.
By: Emily Mikwa