Land demarcation, acquirement of Miwani Sugar plantations and the free taxation policy were some of the issues that arose during the sensitization of political leaders on the development of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) held on the 15th July, 2019 at Wigot Gardens in Kisumu.
Kisumu is one of the three Counties ear marked under the provision of the SEZs in the Vision 2030 along Mombasa and Lamu whose steps in the creation of SEZs in their regions is on course.
According to the county department of energy and industrialization, identification of land due to factors that declare a region qualified to be of use and rebellion from the community are some of the challenges. The County government has however taken the challenges as stepping stones to achieving greatness thus sensitizion of political leaders to help them reach the grassroots.
“Kisumu is 95% consumer and 5% producer, there is need to engage more in manufacturing and processing in the County by introducing the Special Economic Zones. The county will only grow if it seizes to be a consumer in the market of most services but also produces for its own economic gain. The produce will not only be for export purposes but also for local consumption,” said Alice Moraa, the County Executive Commissioner Energy and Industrialization.
The SEZ earmarked Muhoroni region for demarcation, with issues such as the acquirement of Miwani Sugar Plantations, free taxation policy and whether land would be leased at similar prices for foreign investors and local investors.
The County Representatives agreed to have a similar mission for the realization of the initiative in each of their regions and come up with a domesticated Act that would address better the issues that came up in the meeting.
The on the ongoing Special Economic Zones project which set to be launched by the right Hon. Raila Amollo Odinga on the 15th of august will see more than 1million employment opportunities and more than 3 million at the completion.
many investors both local but also international already interested in being part of the zone. The county representatives agreed that the initiative was good for the region.
“As leaders let us listen and internalize. Let us speak one language that is the way forward to achieve actuality of the SEZs and with uniformity let us engage our various communities. Between now and August there’s little time for sensitization of the community on the ground, the message we should put across should be similar because this is good for our people,” Joshua Auko, MCA Ombeyi.
BY ANNETTE ACHIENG’ AND JOAN AMIMO
A major County face-lift has been commissioned to revamp the Jomo Kenyatta highway and Ang’awa avenue under the ongoing non-motorized transport project in Kisumu city.
The project which is under Kenya Urban Support Program (KUSP) is among other two projects which include the construction of modern fire stations and reconstruction of rotary youth centers.
The department of Lands, Housing, Physical planning and Urban Development revealed that the project is aimed at redesigning roads within the city which would take in pedestrians, motorists and cyclists, expansion of drainage systems, putting up of street lights, planting of flowers and green vegetation in the city roundabouts and also the creation of service ducts beneath the roads.
Speaking during an interview with the County directorate of Communications, the chief officer Mr. Steve Gome stated that 240M has been allocated for the project out of the 770M given by the world bank for the financial year 2018/2019.
He also mentioned the relocation of street vendors along the major roads under reconstruction as one of the major challenges they are facing in this transition period.
By Wendy Noel
The directorate of sports issued sports gears towards the development of sporting activities in Kolwa East ward.
The Ag. Director for sports, Mr. Ken Otieno gave out Uniforms, footballs and shoes to the ward administrator, Ms. Dorothy Okumu. This has been made possible through the county ward development program and as a result of teamwork between the ward administrators and the members of County Assembly to boost sports activities.
The ward development program is in line with Governor Nyong’os manifesto and ten-point agenda which includes promotion of sports, skills development and innovation with the aim of nurturing and identifying talents among youths within the county.
Kolwa East ward is one of the beneficiaries of the ward development program in sports. Other wards including Nyalenda, Milimani market, Kaloleni Shaurimoyo, Kolwa Central, Kisumu West have so far benefited. Next in line are North Nyakach and Kajulu wards.
According to sports officer Mr. George Ouma, the directorate has also purchased sports gears towards the ‘Mpira Mashinani’ tournaments and are currently being issued to sports clubs within Kisumu such as Manyatta youth club, Ahero football club and Kajulu football club.
“This has been beneficial to the youths because they get exposure, job opportunities and it boosts young upcoming sports clubs within the wards,” said Mr. Ouma.
By Beatrice Akinyi
The county directorate of gender and youth affairs in collaboration with Nyanza Initiative for Girls’ Education and Empowerment (NIGEE) expressed commitment in empowering vulnerable girls and young mothers through donations of sanitary towels in Kisumu West Subcounty.
During the official opening of the event, the County Director of Gender and Youth Affairs Ms Adah Omedi led an open forum discussion with the girls and young women from the 5 wards including Southwest, Northwest, Kisumu North, Kisumu West and Central Kisumu wards to deliberate on the challenges faced by the female gender.
The discussions identified a number of challenges such as lack of economic empowerment, gender-based violence, lack of basic needs due to unemployment that leads to commercial sex and lack of parental skills. The young mothers also expressed fear of being discriminated, threats from the perpetrators and poverty as some of the reasons as to why rape cases were not being reported.
Speaking at the event, Ms Omedi encouraged the group to speak out against gender-based violence by reporting such cases to the paralegals within the community. The County director also urged young women to go for family planning to allow them to raise manageable families. Ms Omedi urged the girls to engage in economic activities by applying for loans to venture into small scale businesses.
The event was graced by the project manager NIGEE, Mr. Alex Ouma with the aim of empowering vulnerable girls and young mothers in the community. NIGEE is a non-governmental organization whose mission is to empower young mothers to be self-reliant through vocational training.
On behalf of the young mothers, Mrs. Millicent Awino Ochieng’ and Mrs. Mollesha Awour Owinga expressed gratitude for the guiding and counselling offered by the county government to empower young girls on their rights.
By Beatrice Akinyi
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.
Health workers union has suspended the planned strike following negotiations between the union and the County Department of Health and Sanitation.
In an agreement signed by the County government led by the County Secretary, Dr. Olang’o Onudi, the Chief Officer of Health and Sanitation, Mr. Stephen Sewe and health workers’ unions representatives, the union called off a looming strike that has since caused anxiety among Kisumu residents.
The health workers’ unions had issued a 14-day joint strike notice on the 1st of July 2019 if the County fails to address their grievances. The bone of contention being late submission of statutory deductions, late payment of salaries and promotion of health workers.
Speaking after the signing of the agreement, Chief Officer Mr. Sewe expressed optimism for future constructive engagements with the unions.
“We are forming the Health Workers Council to create a conducive engagement with health workers unions so that we don’t have misunderstandings that can lead to strikes.” Said Mr. Sewe.
To demonstrate the departments seriousness, the chief officer announced that the first meeting is set for next week.
The last-minute negotiation comes in the wake of the rabies outbreak, malaria upsurge and reports on anthrax which have placed the County in a state of apprehension.
The General Secretary for the Kenya National Union of Nurses, (KNUN) Mr. Maurice Opetu urged the County Government to open proper channels of Communication in order to find ways of resolving disputes.
By Noel Summers
The County Malaria Coordinator Lilyana Dayo has called on Kisumu residents to take precaution in preventing malaria prevalence following an upsurge due to the rainy season experienced in the months of April, May June and July.
The malaria coordinator encourages residents to visit health facilities for treatment adding that adequate antimalarial drugs are available in all the county health facilities.
Dayo also urged residents to take personal protection measures such as use of treated mosquito bed nets and mosquito control measures including clearing of the surrounding bushes, closing windows as early as 6.00 pm, disposal of the empty containers and other necessary primary health care measures.
Kisumu being a malaria endemic area, most residents are exposed and the County health department is taking all intervention measures.
The directorate of Arts and Culture together with the Great Potential African Youth (GPAY) and the Associazione Culturale Cinemadamare held a meeting to discuss the upcoming 2019 Cinemadamare Africa Chapter that is to be held on the 9th of November through to the 15th December, in Kenya.
GPAY and its partners are looking forward to host the 17th Edition Cinemadamare Africa Chapter in Kenya, an event that will target young film makers. In partnership with the Cinemadamare-Africa, the biggest gathering of young filmmakers is aimed at promoting talent projects that tackles socio-economic, cultural and environmental issues through film making entrepreneurship and talent value.
The Participants are drawn from different countries across the world who make short films each week in every city that they visit. The Kenyan event is set to target 5 counties including Nairobi, Kisumu, Nakuru, Makueni and Kilifi organized in collaboration with various stakeholders from corporate, governments and NGOs.
The Cinemadamare Africa Chapter launch in Kenya focuses on benefiting the county government of Kisumu through opening up Kenyan tourism cultural sites to the local and international participants, promoting long term revenue collection to all sectors of the Kenyan economy, opening up Kenyan filming attractions in our counties.
In his remarks, the Ag Director Arts and culture Mr. Kenneth Otieno pointed out the need to convene a county committee to spearhead the 17th Edition in Kisumu.
By Beatrice Akinyi,
Edited Matilda Atieno
County government of Kisumu has expressed its commitment in promoting education through a book donation exercise to ECD schools in Kisumu East and Central Sub – Counties.
The purchase of 25,000 exercise books and 7000 text books was influenced by the newly formulated education system of Competency Based Curriculum education (CBC) and aimed at promoting the system, increasing student enrolment and reducing the burden for parents in purchasing the new books, as the donation opt to support 8000 pupils across all ECDE centres.
In his remarks, the Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili who was the chief guest highlighted the importance of the event as he encouraged the teachers to make more effort in pre primary learning education in order to build good educational foundation for the children in preparation for academic’s competition nationwide.
Dr. Owili applauded Governor Nyong’os efforts in promoting education and promised to offer material support to enhance the teachers’ successful delivery.
Speaking during the event, Dr. Ogone advised the teachers to renew their contracts upon expiry as he also promised to discuss their needs such as gratuity with the Public Service Board towards making learning in ECDE centres efficient.
The books will go along way to help teachers in ensuring success in CBC implementation, increase in enrolment and improved child performance. Parents will also be relieved off the burden of buying exercise and text books as a total of 70 public preschools benefited.
The event was attended by stakeholders in the County education sector including the Ag. Director for ECDE, Mrs. Margaret Apondi, ECDE sub county managers, the chair County Education Committee Hon. David Arao, together with the Kisumu Central sub county administrator Mr. Samson Jagero.
By Vello Wendo
Edited By Matilda
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