Religious institutions play an important role in society and their contribution to fighting COVID-19 must be commended.
Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili this afternoon hosted Christ Is The Answer Ministries(CITAM ) Presiding Bishop Dr. David Oginde who doubles up, as a member of the Inter-Faith Council of Kenya.
They conversed greatly on the inter-dependency role played by the State, County Governments and Religious institutions in ensuring set COVID -19 protocols are met in places of worship.
“Places of worship are sacred and it remains our responsibility to safeguard them. To achieve this we must adopt stringent protocols and guidelines to protect the congregants” ,stressed the Bishop.
According to the Deputy Governor, the County Government has already up scaled it response services with members of the public urged to be collectively responsible.
“To beat COVID, we must treat it with the seriousness it deserves”, added Dr. Owili.
Bishop Oginde urged religious leaders to join the COVID fight by supporting the Ministry of Health guidelines on containing the virus.
By Collins Owuor
The CEC Member for agriculture, livestock, fisheries and irrigation, Mr. Gilchrist Okuom today signed a grant agreement with Research Triangle Institute (RTI) to provide in kind grand aid of up to a total of KES 886,000 for supporting the establishment of the farmers’ helpline call center.
The farmers help line is set to work as an alternative agricultural extension services that will be provided virtually in this COVID-19 pandemic period, to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic on farm households and agricultural productivity.
RTI will provide in kind support to Kisumu County, 100% of the costs related to the phone service FOR the call center for 12 months, 100% of the internet costs for the call center for a period of 12 months,100% of the office chairs and for the call center and 100% of the cost of four laptops and four mobile phones for the technical officers manning the help line while Kisumu county will contribute 100% of staff salaries and 100% of office space costs for the call center.
The help line will be operational from Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 5.00pm and wll serve farmers in Kiswahili and Luo. The calls will be free of charge for the callers
Prof. Boaz Otieno Nyunya the in coming CEC Member for health and sanitation taking oath of office
Kisumu finally has a substantive Cabinet Committee Member for Health and Sanitation following the swearing in of Prof. Boaz Otieno Nyunya earlier today.
Prof. Nyunya who previously served as the Associate Director of Programs, Western Kenya at the Center for Disease Control in Kisumu was sworn into office this morning by Kisumu Law Courts Principal Magistrate Joan Wambilianga at a ceremony held at City Hall.
As he welcomed the new CECM, Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o who witnessed the ceremony alongside his Deputy Dr. Mathew Owili congratulated Prof. Nyunya on his new assignment describing him as Kenya’s most leading medical practitioner.
The Governor was quick to mention that the appointment was coming in at the right time bearing in mind the new challenges presented by the COVID – 19 pandemic that the world is grappling with. He said the county will now bank on Prof. Nyunya’s vast experience on issues health and development to deliver the health agenda for Kisumu County.
The Governor took time to champion for teamwork among staff to help realize the much needed transformation within the health sector and the County at large. He pleaded with the health workers not to concentrate too much on issues of immediate personal attention but instead seek a deeper understanding on the broader issue of health management.
” serving the people as a whole is very important and all of us must make certain sacrifices to make the engine of the whole government work”. The Governor said as he routed for a culture of consultation and dialogue in addressing grievances.
With the health workers back on duty from the long strike, the Governor promised to ensure that their welfare is taken care of without any discrimination assuring them of engaging in much more bilateral and constructive discussions that will give rise to sound proposals that can not be challenged by those in authority.
In a bid to combat the spread of the dreaded corona virus, the Governor made an appeal to the residents of Kisumu to exercise responsible behavior by strictly following the laid down protocols to help contain the disease.
“The first line of defense against COVID – 19 pandemic is yourself”. He said.
In his maiden address and acceptance speech, Prof. Nyunya said he was up to the task and will use his wide knowledge and experience on health systems while discharging his duties.
He promised to focus more on teamwork to address challenges within the health docket including the COVID-19 crisis and the frequent unrest. He also plans to tap into technology and strong monitoring and evaluation systems to transform the health sector in Kisumu.
Prof. Nyunya who is now the substantive CECM for health and Sanitation is an expert on matters health. He brings in a wealth of experience into the sector having served the country in various capacities including being a consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist, a researcher, leader in reproductive health, an educationist and programs specialist.
He takes over the health docket from Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o who was acting in the position after Prof. Judith Attyang was moved to head the Business docket.
The Governor was joined by the leadership of the County Assembly led by Speaker Elisha Oraro, Members of his Cabinet, Partners from the health sector among other County Officials.
City Hall, 16th July, 2020
The County department of health in collaboration with UNICEF and other implementing partners today launched a campaign initiative to step up the efforts to stop the spread of Coronavirus in Kisumu.
Led by the County director for health and sanitation, Mr. Fred Oluoch, the department released 900 hand-washing units of 20 litres capacity, supported by UNICEF to go towards the COVID-19 preparedness and response through risk communication and community engagement promotion, a move that is set to strengthen the fight against Corona Virus in Kisumu.
Speaking during the launch which was conducted at the Kisumu County Referral Hospital, Mr. Oluoch said the roll-out of the risk communication and community engagement promotion is in line with recently released guidelines by the Ministry of health to carry out health promotion in support of the other COVID -19 interventions.
Having been listed as one of the 14 high-risk counties for community transmission of COVID-19 attributed to Kisumu International airport, Lake Victoria seaport, various landing beaches, international high ways and being a business hub for East Africa, the County health department rolled out an awareness campaign to reinforce the existing COVID-19 preventive measures and demonstration of hand-washing techniques by the Community health workers ( CHWs) in targeted informal settlements, markets, bust stations and beaches.
The department of health supported by UNICEF through a direct cash transfer of Ksh. 1.2M, procured the 900 units to reinforce the fight against the spread of the pandemic in the targeted areas. The units will go a long way in demonstrating hand-washing techniques and will be evenly distributed in all the 7 sub-counties as follows, Kisumu East -100, Kisumu central -380, Kisumu West -80, Muhoroni -80, Nyakach -80, Nyando -100 and Seme to get 80.
The 30 days’ risk communication and county engagement campaign will be rolled out simultaneously to the sub-counties to step up awareness creation in public spaces and informal settlements on the use of face masks, hygiene promotion, and social distancing.
The CHWs have been tasked to ensure the continuous practice of the protocols in the public spaces.
By Matilda Atieno
You can now fly to and from Kisumu thanks to resumption of domestic flights after 99 days of closure of air passenger services due to COVID – 19 pandemic.
Kisumu Governor Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o this morning received the maiden flight to Kisumu from Nairobi as the country gathers momentum on partial reopening of the economy. Flight KQ602 touched down at the Kisumu International Airport at 11:20 am marking the beginning of the new normal.
Kenya resumes all domestic flights today amid measures put in place to curb the spread of Coronavirus disease. Restriction of movement has impacted negatively both on Kenya’s economy and globally as passengers were reluctant to travel amidst the rising cases of infections. Resumption of activities at the Kisumu International Airport therefore is a clear signal that Kisumu is now open for business.
Speaking at the launch, the Governor reiterated that airport services were and have remained major contributors to the exponential growth of Kisumu Tourism and Business Industries that saw the hotel sector record 85% bed occupancy over the last one and a half years. He highlighted that the hotel industry was the worst hit by the pandemic.
“The industry has lost Sh.1.5 billion in revenue over the past four months, not to mention Sh. 500 million in unpaid salaries and 900 million shillings lost transfers to industry’s service providers”. He said
The effects he says have had a great impact on the county’s own source revenue forcing the county to adapt to new ways of doing business.
Kisumu is at the forefront in the fight against the coronavirus disease and has so far heightened surveillance at all entry points and ensured that all the service providers and the clients in the tourism sector are safe.
Kenya Tourism Board CEO Betty Radier on her part said that aviation is one of the ways that will help unlock the travel and the opportunities around the economy to ensure tourism grows and Kisumu provides opportunity to attract guests. She added that Kenya is lucky to have been awarded through the World Tourism Council with the safe travel destination something important for both the Kenyan tourism consumers and the citizens at large.
Kenya Civil Aviation Director in charge of Safety Tom Ogenche reported that the authority has ensured that all the laid down procedures have been complied with and will ensure that the standards are maintained. He reassured guests that it it is safe to step aboard their aircraft. Some of the safety procedures to be followed include temperature checks, frequent hand washing and sanitizing of surfaces and touch points. He noted that during the preparations towards the resumption, Kisumu International Airport came out number one ahead of Nairobi and Mombasa.
This comes amidst the County’s heightened preparations towards hosting Afri – cities in November 2021.
Joining the Governor were County Ministers Achie Alai and Judith Attyang, officials from KCAA, Kenya Airways, Kenya Tourism Board among other County Officials.
Kisumu International Airport,
As part of the on-going pilot scheme for the County Roads Maintenance Teams Project, the department of Roads and Public Works led by CEC Member Dr. Joyce Osogo was this week in Nyakach Sub-County to carry out inspection of the proposed roads to be managed under the scheme as well as inspection of the ongoing roadworks contracted under County Revenue and Kenya Roads Board funds.
Nyakach being one of the most affected Sub Counties by the recent floods, saw the suspension of all the ongoing roadworks because the deluge. The Sub-county accounts for a third of the 99 county roads worth 400M destroyed by the heavy floods experienced in the past few months. The machine-based road maintenance program currently on going in Muhoroni and Nyando will commence in Nyakach in the coming week. The program will see a total of 15 roads – 3 per Ward, maintained in the 7-day pilot period.
As part of engagement with the affected residents the County minister held a meeting with Sub County political leadership and residents. During a special meeting with members of East and Central Nyakach, whose project, Kadinda – Soko road stalled due to heavy rains and left the region literally cut off, the CEC promised speedy resolution and completion of the road.
In her address, Dr. Osogo sent a strong warning to contractors who had been ordered back to site to do so, failure to which their contracts will be terminated. She assured the residents that the era of briefcase contractors had come to an end with the commencement of Governor Nyong’o’s revolutionary Roads Maintenance Teams agenda, following the passing and enactment of the Roads Maintenance Act by the County Assembly.
Some of the roads earmarked for the pilot phase include Kadinda- Kandaria Polytechnic to Kandaria Dispensary access road in North Nyakach, Kodum – Ligusa access road in central Nyakach and Kong’ou – Sango Rota to Nyadina Dispensary access road in west nyakach among others.
Dr. Osogo stressed that only contractors with capacity and who have demonstrated timely project delivery will be considered for future projects.
As part of the department’s reorganization strategy for improved service delivery, Dr. Osogo directed that from this financial year, all the sub county technical staff – Engineers, Roads Inspectors and supervisors; who will be working closely with roads maintenance teams, will henceforth be stationed at the various sub county public works offices. This will position the officers closer to the public they serve.
In her meeting with the county political leadership the County Minister assured the MCAs of a collaborative engagement in actualization of the planned development agenda.
Mama Ida Odinga Trust is seeking out partnerships with County Governments’ nationally to roll out a three-month campaign to address rising teenage pregnancies and child marriages.
Dubbed Linda Kesho, the program aims to halt new cases and stir up a national debate on the prevalence.
Kisumu is one of the four counties involved in the program, piloted by the NGO, others are Siaya, Kilifi and Narok.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the last four months have seen an upsurge in the percentage of teen pregnancies countrywide with Kisumu recording 3500 cases between January and June this year, according to reports from the Health Department.
In a meeting today with a delegation from the Trust, Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili expressed concerns over the rising number of teenage pregnancies in the county.
According to statistics from a recent survey by the National Council on Population and Development, one in five girls aged between 15 and 19 in Kenya is either pregnant or has given birth already. He called for a collective responsibility and active engagement at the grassroots to ensure all cases are recorded, following a national directive issued by the Head of State.
President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday ordered a probe on the rising cases of teenage pregnancies and gender-based violence across the country. This will ensure all pregnant school girls are registered to access free and post-natal care offered by the government.
To stem the wave, the County Government through the Department of Gender has brought onboard key stakeholders to actively engage and sensitize the youth on reproductive health. In addition, the county government has laid out an elaborate approach to expedite judicial processes in dispensing justice to affected victims.
The project will be spearheaded by County First Ladies through administrative structures with support from their county units.
By Collins Owuor
In the recent past, poultry keeping was done in small scale for subsistence and not for business. Most farmers then kept indigenous chicken which took six months to be ready for the market.
It is in the light of this that the County directorate of livestock production embarked on an intensive promotion of raring improved indigenous chicken, which has proved lucrative to the farmers within the County.
Alice Akinyi, a poultry farmer in Kajulu could not hide her joy when the chicken basket team; a poultry value chain actor visited her homestead on Monday last week to purchase her broilers at a cost of Ksh. 550 each.
She received 200-day old broilers from the County livestock directorate on 24th April this year and had attained table weight just in two months.
“I am happy, I love chicken raring since they mature very fast and you can still engage in other economic activities alongside it. The droppings from the poultry has also enriched my kitchen garden, I don’t buy vegetable from the market anymore” she said
Mr. Evans Gichuru, a resident of Kisian and a second-year student at Maseno University, taking Special Needs Education, deferred his studies due to lack of fees and found a solution when he attended an agricultural meeting held by the County and FAO on poultry keeping. He became a beneficiary of 103- day old chicks two months ago, and are almost ready for the market.
“I decided to keep poultry to raise my college fees. It is a profitable project that any youth can venture into and it is easy to manage” he said.
In a bid to encourage more youths to venture into the project, the directorate also supported PASU youth group in Kaloleni by constructing for them of a poultry cage to the tune of 1.2million, supplied 1,000 day -old broilers each purchased at Ksh. 150, feeds and a deep freezer to preserve the chickens during marketing.
Timon Ogunde the chairperson of PASU youth group in Kaloleni said they took up the project to engage in a profitable business and that in the future they plan that every member of the group will have his/her own poultry and that they will share the proceeds of the same after expanding the business.
Persons with disability are also not left out in this business, Mr. Peter Osano (hearing impaired) received 100-day old chicks two months ago and they are almost attaining the market weight.
“I love keeping poultry for income, I keep many in the village and I thank the county for their support in this project” he expressed in sign language.
The project targets to improve the livelihoods of the women, Youths and the vulnerable across all the sub counties. So far, Ksh 1, 195,350 has been spent to supply day old chicks, to the targeted group in Kisumu central, Kisumu East, Nyando, and Kisumu west sub counties.
The Livestock production directorate has also partnered with the Chicken basket, a poultry value chain actor based in Kisumu to supply feeds, extension services, vaccination and ready market when they attain table weight approximately 1.7- 2kgs within three months.
By: Emily Mikwa
In response to an increased emphasis on quality and effectiveness of healthcare,Kisumu governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’ today handed over 4 ambulances to boost prehospital care and ambulatory services in the county.
The move shows that health services in Kisumu can be accessed even outside the traditional hospital. The ambulances will be essential to health service delivery being that they assist in stabilizing patients until they are transported to a health facility.
The 4 ambulances are additional to the 17 other fleet that was previously distributed to the 7 sub counties and are set to be distributed to Nyang’ande, Muhoroni Maywanda in Seme and to Kisumu East.
The ambulances are fully equipped with ECG monitor that helps keep track of the vital signs of the patient transported, spinal board that assist in lifting patients during transportation, suction unit for relieving vital organs on an internally bleeding patient, oxygen supply units that helps patients with breathing difficulties, a sphygmo for measuring blood pressure and bandages.
While flagging off the ambulances, Governor Nyong’o said that the service is going to be very key in creating a seamless connection in the referral system.
“This is part of our journey to strengthen the ambulatory services as I had promised earlier” said the governor.
Kisumu County today boasts of having a total of 21 ambulances compared to the number of vehicles across the neighboring counties. The new ambulances are coming in the face of COVID-19 pandemic to boost referral preparedness in the county. This brings to 10 ICU Enabled ambulances that have so far been acquired by the county health sector towards the evolving role of hospital based emergency care.
The ambulance can be accessed through a toll free number 0800 720 575.
By Matilda Atieno