Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr.Mathew Owili this morning joined Barclays Business Banking Director Elizabeth Wassuna in flagging off the Tuwezeshe Biashara na Barclays SME road show, aimed at creating awareness among Small and Medium Enterprises(SME) in the region.
The county government is already creating economic linkages to promote the SME sector. The Business and Marketing Department has already embarked on the modernization of the Kisumu Innovation &Incubation Centre in it’s quest to boost the sector.
In his address Owili lauded the bank for targeting the SME’s, a sector he described major players in the County’s economy.
Also present were CEC Richard Ogendo,(Barclays) Head of SME Susan Situma, Head of Marketing Peter Waweru, Gunila Ouko, Regional Manager BBK among other officials from the bank and the County government.
By Collins Owuor
Kisumu County has partnered with health stakeholders to form a multiparty organization to upgrade equipment to conduct all types of cancer screening.
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Referral and Teaching Hospital (JOORTH), Kisumu Medical and Education Trust (KMET), Blue Cross Kenya, Mp Shah and Duke Hospital have come together to form Cancer Alliance to help fight the cancer menace.
2nd of October, JOOTRH cancer center hosted the launch of the alliance that was kicked off with a walk dubbed “Hope Beyond Cancer walk,” flagged off by Mama Kisumu County, Mrs. Dorothy Nyong’o from the County Headquarters through to JOOTRH.
Mama Kisumu who was the chief guest said that the stakeholders have decided to come together to slay ‘the giant’ by making cancer screening services available everywhere for free, adding that the decision to focus on prevention as the foundation block of cancer, will enable access to treatment and relatively easier and cheaper to contain.
“With the availability of cancer screening services, people from Kisumu County will not need to travel to Nairobi or abroad to get tested and treated, imagine how many lives we can save if we create awareness to everyone,” she said.
Kisumu being one of the piloted counties for Universal Health Coverage (UHC), is determined make health services available to everyone including free screening for all types of cancer and most importantly, sharing information about cancer to help in developing new diagnostic to better treatments that increase survival and improve quality of life for cancer patients.
Mama Kisumu also mentioned that Kisumu has partnered with Harvard University to set up a comprehensive Cancer Center which will bring the best treatment and services to people all over the region. She encouraged residents to embrace Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine which is set for mass vaccination, administered to girls aged 10 years old, stating that this will help eliminate cervical cancer.
Residents were also urged to avoid eating genetically modified food which is one of the primary causes of cancer and that exercise, organic food, a clean environment and enough sleep would help kick out cancer.
The objective of the cancer alliance is to accelerate cancer care locally by addressing the multi-level barriers to improving cancer care and to ease the disease burden in the region.
By Wendy Chloe
Find attached the Shortlisted candidates for the Various positions of Chief Officers and Directors in various directorates.
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Embracing mechanized and commercial farming were the Key words emphasized by speakers during the farmers field day marked yesterday at Kano West Irrigation scheme in Kabonyo Kanyagwal ward, Kisumu County.
It was noted with concern that Kisumu County has not commercialized rice farming since they only do it for subsistence and that they have only stuck with the IR variety which has no demand in the market. This has been a setback from the competition from Tanzania and Pakistan’s rice which are of preferred varieties and affordable.
Farmers were advised to take up mechanized farming and innovative technologies that will reduce the production and milling cost, to enable them compete in the market.
The County Director for crops Mr Sylvester Oketch called on the farmers to practice market oriented production by producing varieties that are in demand in the market using the consortium approach in working with the stakeholders in the value chain
On his part Dr Omanga put the farmers to task to see to it that rice from Kisumu is produced to the right quality and quantities and that it is packed branded and sold to the local and international markets.
The area MCA Hon. Oiko Pete called upon the youths to engage in commercialized farming to boost their economic empowerment and livelihoods.
The Chairman agricultural committee in the County Assembly, Hon Vitalis Otura on his part said Kisumu has been producing 24 metric tons of rice and they want to scale it up to 30 metric tons by providing necessary support such as water supply and farm inputs to rice farmers.
The Ag Chief Officer for agriculture Mr. Alfred Ajulu said the department will put more money in farming with a purpose to manage water supply, introduce new varieties to be planted, extension services management, mechanization and pursuit of rice value chain. He also promised they would deal with challenges such as birds menace as a means of addressing food security for nutrition and commercial farming to improve the livelihood and downscale poverty levels as outlined in the Governor’s Manifesto.
The CEC Member for Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries Hon. Gilchrist Okuom on his part echoed the sentiments of others speakers urging the farmers to plant rice for nutrition and commercial purposes. He affirmed that through bench marking, technology and best practices the farmers have made a great stride.
He further urged them to build strong cooperatives that will help them market their produce. However he condemned in the strongest term the burning of one of the tractors by the locals and also cautioned farmers who do not pay for mechanization services. “Guard religiously the little we have” he stated.
The stakeholders who were present included: Mr Paul Omondi the Ward Admin, Jica, NITA, magos farm, Seed co, ETG, Banking institutions, Agrichem Africa, Health chemicals, Cooperative Societies from Ahero, Kano and Bunyala among many others.
The Stakeholders from Counties within the greater Nyanza met to review and consolidate the existing veterinary laws at the Tom Mboya labour college on Tuesday this week.
The three day workshop was supported by the national government, Kenya Market Trusts (KMT), USAID and International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
It brought on board local famers, private practitioners, traders, County officials and the state department from the Livestock section with a focus on reviewing the laws in accordance to the Constitution 2010, OIE guidelines on veterinary legislation and the current best practices in Kenya and Internationally.
Reviewing of the laws is expected to address: effective and efficient management of Veterinary services, Human resource for the services, ensuring high quality services, funding for the services, and increasing accessibility to the services.
Giving his introductory remarks during the workshop, the CEC Member for Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries, Hon Gilchrist Okuom invited all participants to a fruitful deliberation that would revolutionize how we offer services legally within the sector.
On his part, Dr. Romano Kiome from ILRI who also represented the USAID, reiterated that the two organizations were proud to be part of the noble exercise, a right direction towards international service provision.” Think globally but act local” he said.
He further stated that government law is regulatory hence it improves service provision at both county and national level, therefore the participants were to ensure that the laws being reviewed facilitates business and emulate international best practices. However, he appealed to Counties to have qualified and competent human resource to do the work.
The Nyamira County CEC Member of agriculture Madam Peris Nyaboke Oroko who officially declared the workshop opened, said “we cannot meet objectives without a policy, with policy we have the right direction, guidelines and rules”. She also mentioned that public participation, transparency and accountability are key to policy issues and that its implementation require technocrats.
As the world marked World contraception day, Kisumu county took the celebrations to Katito Sub County hospital in Nyakach to recognize the annual event celebrated on the 26th of September.
The 2019 celebrations themed “It’s your Life, it’s your responsibility, know your options” begun with a procession that was flagged off by The County Sexual Reproductive health (SRP) coordinator Jane Owuor as residents joined the procession from Rang’ul dispensary to the Sub County hospital in Katito.
The world contraception day was marked by pomp and color as residents committed to the idea that family planning is possible and that all young people can have access to the contraceptive care they need, regardless of who they are or where they live.
The choice to host the event at Katito was informed by the fact that Nyakach has the highest number of teenage pregnancies rated at 31% followed by Muhuroni at 30%, Nyando at 26.5%, Seme at 23.5% as the rest of the three sub-counties, Kisumu west, east and central are below 20% (DHIS2 2018-2019).
In her speech, Jane Owuor who represented the County director health as the chief guest stated that teenage pregnancy, abuse of the emergency contraceptives, unplanned pregnancies deaths and access to contraception remains a key concern to residents.
Ms. Owuor was optimistic that the county health department has strived to promote sexual reproductive health in collaboration with development partners in the reproductive health, adding that last year more youth-friendly centers were launched across the county and that the department is looking forward to additional centers this financial year.
The deputy SRP health, Mr. Jackton Okeyo emphasized the need to use family planning methods and that contraceptives are incredibly safe.
World Contraception Day is a day where people and organizations from around the world come together to advocate for affordable and accessible contraception.
By Matilda Atieno
Kisumu County is set to introduce the world’s first HPV vaccine to girls of age 10-13 years in October 2019.
The HPV mass vaccination of girls in primary schools is set for the official launch on 2nd October and thereafter the kick-off of to provide girls in schools with free shots of the vaccine against cervical cancer following the disease burden experienced in the county.
Currently, the health department is conducting sensitization and mapping exercise of primary schools who are the targeted group in all the seven Sub Counties.
During the county stakeholder’s engagement forum for malaria vaccine (MVIP) and HPV Vaccine implementation program, it was announced that the mass vaccination will be carried out across the county to target girls in public facilities including hospitals and primary schools.
According to County nursing officer, Jane Raburu confirmed availability of the vaccine and that the side effects are not unique to other vaccines. She also emphasized that health is a right and that the county intends s to carry out HPV vaccination as an intervention to cervical cancer.
Cancer of the cervix is the fourth most common cancer affecting women worldwide and the second most common in lower-income regions. According to WHO HPV is the only cancer that is almost entirely preventable through a safe, effective vaccine and screenings.
The World Health Organization- WHO recommends HPV vaccination for girls. The vaccine is most effective when given early in adolescence between the age of 9 and 14 years – before girls are exposed to the virus.
The standard age target according to WHO is 10-14. However, Kenya has preferred to carry out immunization of girls aged between 10-13 who will be issued with an immunization card to show evidence of vaccination.
“When children aren’t vaccinated at the recommended time, they’re left vulnerable to getting cancer that could be prevented,” says Dr. Florence Akech
Vaccination against cervical cancer is given on time to protect preteens long before exposure to the virus hence the need to offer HPV vaccine by giving two injections at an interval of six to twelve months.
Living Water International has reiterated their commitment to boost water provision in the county.
The developments comes barely months after the NGO partnered the county government in launching a multi-million water project in Nyakach.
Speaking in Houston after meeting the organisations’ Senior Vice President on Programs, Jonathan Wiles, Kisumu Deputy Dr. Mathew Owili lauded the project a game changer as he led discussions to extend their programs for five years in the county.
The expected program extension period will see support in WASH sector to include borehole drilling, equipping, pipeline extension, capacity building of established community water service providers and sanitation component both in schools and churches.
This will allow expansion in the scope and will improve water coverage from the current 22% to over 80%.
Joining the discussions were Water CEC, Salmon Orimba, Living Water Legal affairs Director Natalie Mantel and Bishop Paul Ligono a Board member of Living Water in Kenya.
County department of Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries in collaboration with Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations (FAO) held a stakeholder forum, in a bid to integrate actions for innovative food systems actions across rural urban community projects.
The workshop held at Acacia Hotel on Tuesday this week, brought on board different stakeholders from the line of agriculture, KCB, individual farmers and farming groups such as Seke, Osiepe Practical group, Mazingira institute, Bondo University among others.
The objectives of the forum was to bring together the stakeholders and create synergy, know the activities they are engaged in, stakeholders commitment, establishing a policy orientation for Kisumu County on food systems, the potential of establishing multi- stakeholder platform and the challenges faced by the stakeholders.
Speaking during the official opening of the forum CEC Member for Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr. Gilchrist Okuom reiterated that the deliberations of the forum were key in changing the County’s Narrative from being net importers to producers.
“A net importer may not determine the quality and safety of the food produced”. Borrowing from the South African word Ubuntu translated as I am because you are, “such dependability will help us put food on our tables and manage the wastes that come from it,” said the Minister.
He further outlined some of the available opportunities that producers can exploit such as good infrastructure like roads, the International airport, Kisumu being the LREB Secretariat, and the revival of the port that connects Kisumu to both local and international markets.
The County Minister however, pointed out the plight of the unemployed youths as one of the challenges that going forward through such programs, the County will be able to tap into their potentials. He also affirmed his unwavering support by drafting a strategy paper that will guide resource allocation for agricultural projects.
On his part, Dr. Barack Okoba from FAO emphasized that resilience in community food production is key, that is knowing the food produced , its quality and safety standards is paramount. He further stated that early warning systems, access to certified seeds, capacity building farmers from production to post production and support for regulations on food safety standards are vital in building resilience.
There were presenters from line ministries on integrated urban food systems who included: Ag. Chief Officer for agriculture, Mr. Alfred Ajulu, Monica Oyanga, Rebecca Wanjiru and the moderator Mr. Erick Ogadho.
AgriFoSe2030, University of Nairobi and Mazingira Institute in collaboration with County department of Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries organized a two day workshop at Ikonia Hotel, Kisumu to deliberate on the development and implementation of urban agriculture (UA) policies in Nairobi, Kisumu, Thika and Nakuru.
The workshop focused on creating a framework for dialogue and discussions on the development of urban agriculture policies in the said towns and cities using the food systems approach.
The initiative is targeted to bring together stakeholders who include urban farmers, County agricultural and livestock officers, city planners, public health officers, trade organizations, traders, producers, researchers, NGO’s and service providers. This will create a forum to discuss issues on urban agriculture that will give insights to policy formulation.
According to scientific research findings, UA is a component of the urban food systems and that 20% of the urban population in Kisumu are engaged in urban agriculture. Generally, households engaged in urban agriculture have higher income which contributes about 36% to household income and the link between UA especially urban livestock production and food and nutrition security.
However urban farmers experience challenges emanating from lack of support from County Governments, substandard agricultural inputs such as seeds , livestock feed, health risks from both biological and chemical toxic sources
The CEC Member for Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr. Gilchrist Okuom in his address applauded the academicians and the stakeholders for taking up the initiative and that he was optimistic that the collaboration will help solve the challenges bedeviling the people of Kisumu.
He reiterated that due to fast rate of expansion in the City, rural practices are finding way into the urban centers, therefore there is need for a link transition of urban and rural dwellers and that the deliberations of the workshop will fill such gaps.
The Minister affirmed County’s commitment and political goodwill to the deliberations, thanking the partners for selecting Kisumu City for the programme since it will enable the people do things differently for better practices.
The Ag Chief Officer for agriculture Mr. Alfred Ajulu on his part was elated that Kisumu joined the selected towns and cities in creating a framework for dialogue that will inform the creation of a policy on urban agriculture and food systems set to address the challenges in agriculture like the issue of chemicals used.
He added that the expertise of a physical planner is key in addressing the issue of spatial planning in urban agriculture and that such regulations should be shared with the stakeholders. He also stated that the department is working on an urban food strategy.
The workshop being an agenda setting forum, there were presenters with rich academic insights on inputs on policy and research. They included: Dr. Diana Lee Smith of Mazingira Institute, Professor Willis Oluoch Kosura of Nairobi University, Davinda Lamba of Mazingira Institute, Professor Samuel Owuor of Nairobi University, Dr. Cecilia Onyango of Nairobi University, Dr. Samuel Onyango Omondi of Nairobi University and Mr. Isaac Dawo from County department of agriculture