The Workshop on implementation of UNESCO conventions for safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) kicked off on the 22nd of January 2019 at Kisumu Hotel.
The five-day workshop aimed at leadership building capacity in relation to culture and heritage conservation was officially opened by the County Minister for Tourism Sports and Culture Achie Alai.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the Minister recognized the role played by culture in human identification, emphasizing that there is need to build capacities in leadership at all levels in order to preserve, conserve and disseminate the intangible cultural heritages of our people.
“Culture is the sense of being a Kenyan especially in relation to the brand “Maasai attire” the “ingoho by the luhya community as well as fish meal for the Luo community” gives that inner feeling of cultural identity, it makes you feel being a Kenyan is valuable” Said Hon. Achie
The Minister recognized the role of culture in the development of a society adding that culture forms an integral part of a feature that establishes unity thus the need to map out cultural spots for conservation and preservation.
In light of the foregoing, the county government of Kisumu under the able leadership of the County Minister Achie has organized fashion Fridays for a period of four weeks so as to embrace the African attire and the African cultural dressing mode.
Hon. Alai also pledged the county’s commitment towards preservation of cultural diversities that set Kisumu as a county that appreciates culture at all levels.
The workshop that is steered by Kenya National Commission for UNESCO brought together stakeholders in the field of culture across the Lake region and key players in heritage conservancy.
Also present was County Ministers for Tourism, Hon. Ng’ariba Samson of Migori County, Hon. Roseline Adhiambo of Homa-bay county, Dr. Elizabeth Achieng Odhiambo of Siaya County among other leaders.
By Felix Nyabalah
Edited by Matilda Atieno
Kisumu turns to WhatsApp for better services
By GEORGE OMONDI…BUSINESS DAILY AFRICA
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 19:07
- Kisumu is testing an interactive WhatsApp platform that allows residents to get information promptly.
How long does it take you to get information about your county? The Kisumu County Government thinks the business community, residents and visitors should have vital information almost instantly.
This week, the county has been testing an interactive WhatsApp platform that allows residents to get information promptly.
All that one needs to do is to send the word “hello” from a WhatsApp account to +254 756 742 421.
That message prompts the county digital assistant to release a drop-down menu that asks the user to select a code representing their area of interest.
There is a separate code for government ministries, healthcare services, tourists sites, hotels and radio stations.
“When you send the word “hello”, it gives you an automated “welcome” response and from there, you can get information on anything,” says Levit Nudi, one of the brains behind the platform.
“It is very similar to USSD codes like *100# with the only major difference being that it’s running on WhatsApp, which is not a common thing to find anywhere,” he said, adding that future plans include creating codes for information on county jobs, tenders, and other opportunities.
Maurice Owen, County’s Director of Information, said Kisumu has come up with a digital information assistant in order to improve information service delivery.
“Automatic response to inquiries is meant to satisfy information needs of residents up to the village level, which is in line with the governor’s 10 point agenda No 4 and 8 which talk about access to information and use of ICT,” he said
Why a WhatsApp platform? Mr Owen said the platform requires no training since most residents are already using WhatsApp.
“The system is not limited to residents only but will also help visitors or anyone outside the county to access accurate and relevant information efficiently,” he says.
Currently, smartphone penetration in Kenya is over 80 per cent with majority of users having subscribed to WhatsApp, a popular messaging and Voice over IP service owned by Facebook that allows users to send text messages, voice calls, recorded voice messages, video calls, images, documents and user location.
More than one billion people in over 180 countries use WhatsApp to stay in touch. “The county government of Kisumu seeks to tap into this opportunity to leverage on the platform as a service which will see many young people stay informed,” Mr Owen told the Business Daily.
The Kisumu’s directorate of information, he added, was developing a county database to provide more detailed information through a resource centre to be opened by Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o upon completion of the database compilation.
The newly acquired dredging ship that docked at the Kisumu port is expected to hit the ground running with plans already set to have it de silt clogged waterways around the lake
The commissioning of the 70-meter-long vessel was presided over by H.E the Right Hon. Raila Odinga in Kisumu today. He was accompanied by Deputy Governor, Dr. Mathew Owili, Uganda state minister for roads Aggrey Bagiire, and several regional leaders.
The duo expressed confidence that the current development would go a long way in restoring maritime transport within the Lake region.
In his address Odinga lauded the talks between him, President Uhuru Kenyatta, and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda responsible for kick-starting the hyacinth removal process.
The dredging will enable the constructions of a canal whose width and length are 80m and 63km respectively.
Plans are also under way to restore port activities within the lake front. This expected to open up Kisumu as an ideal investment destination.
According to LREB Chief Executive Officer Aballa Wanga restoring port activities will commence in four phases.
Hyacinth removal will be first followed by, the dredging of water pathways, rehabilitation of the Kisumu port and thereafter, the rehabilitation of the Nauru Kisumu railway line.
The dredging will also happen in Kendu Bay, Homabay, Sio Port and Karungu in Nyanza.
Residents of Kisumu County will now access information efficiently and effectively thanks to the opening up of the Information Resource center.
The state of the art Resource center has been set up by the Directorate of Information on fourth floor middle wing of the prosperity house which houses the county headquarters.
The mission of the information resource center is to provide county information to all resident of Kisumu especially investors and researchers. It’s a vital platform for all, since it offers not only research findings but also practical ideas and information that county leadership can use to inform their decision.
This is a great leap for Kisumu County, since in the past the Kisumu had no centralized records platform. The records office in second floor under the HR directorate is only for personnel. Each departments has been keeping its own records hence increasing the probability of perpetuating record loss with the passing of time.
The directorate of information, charged with the responsibility of archiving all county information will be using an online application hosted on intranet-as a centralized information platform for all county records.
This is in line with the commitment made by Governor Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o to see to it that the recommendations of the EACC are implemented following a systems audit done about five months ago.
It’s important to note that in the report, issues of improper storage of records could not be escaped and hence automation of records was recommended.
Lack of sufficient space to store files will lead to installation of an online system to archive information. Soon to be equipped with ICT equipment’s the center will increase access to digital information. Apart from hard copies, the center will have an application hosted on internet where information will be achieved.
The online application comes in handy to eradicate the challenge of inadequate space for the numerous document generated weekly from the departments.
The number one advantage of the online archiving solution is the quick and easy access to urgent or important information.
The department recognizes that data loss represents a corporate risk. Even if a monetary value is not assigned to the data, the negative effects on operations can be significant. In many cases, corporate operations can be so adversely affected that companies need to mention the risk in regulatory filings and shareholder reports.
The resource centre will contain Kisumu county’s latest database which will be used by staff, researchers, journalists and the residents of the county at large.
Information seekers can expect to find department annual budgets, and county integrated development plans (CIPD), cabinet papers, policies, departmental publications and reports among other relevant documents.
They will also be able to follow current unfolding from Kenya and around the globe via the internet enabled platforms.
Being in charge of all information pertaining to the entire county, the directorate of information is in relentless pursuit of emerging documents from the varied department.
The center seeks to offer assistance in providing relevant information for public consumption and correspondence with them on a regular basis.
Efforts are also being made to reach the sub counties at the residents there may not have the privilege to reach the main Resource center. There is a plan to roll out resource units at the sub- counties, the directorate wait for the approval of as 15 million shillings’ budget to realize this objective.
By Lorraine Anyango
The County government has received a dredging vessel that can dig up to 4000 tones in a span of 5 hours.
Leading a delegation of County headship in receiving the 70-meter-long dredger, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Mathew Owili said that the Vessel will help the region as well as the lake region economic block (LREB) in realizing its dream of reviving trade and maritime transport along Lake Victoria.
The vessel is expected to start dredging in three months’ time awaiting other two harvester ships to remove the water hyacinth that has since derailed transport in the Lake.
The dredging works will be done along the Winam Gulf to open up the silted harbour and docking ports along the lake. The Vessel is due for commissioning on the 18th of January 2019, in a ceremony that will be presided over by the former Prime Minister Hon. Raila Odinga among other leaders from the East African Community especially Uganda, being a partner in the same project.
The MV Mango Tree Group administrator Mr. Franck Nenard, noted that the ship has a capacity of about 4,000 tones every five hours a day when in good condition.
Also present at the reception of the vessel was County Ministers, Hon. Solomon Orimba, Hon. Gilchrist Okumu and the CEO LREB Mr. Abala Wanga.
By Felix Nyabalah
Edited By Matilda Atieno
Governors on the sugar task force committee want farmers paid the Ksh2.6 billion owed to them before any public participation can be initiated.
In a meeting held at the Grand Royal Swiss Hotel in Kisumu, the leaders faulted the Agriculture Ministry over their slow pace of processing farmers’ payment despite a presidential directive that farmers be paid before end of last year.
Led by Kakamega Governor and co-chair of the committee Wycliffe Oparanya, the leaders suspended any planned public participation with farmers until their demands were met.
Agriculture Chief Administrative Secretary Andrew Tuimur was confident of treasury releasing the funds on time despite delays experienced.
The government he said had already audited submitted farmers’ lists and it was only a matter of time before their dues were paid.
Oparanya however moved in to stress the government stance on the matter after a phone conversation with Treasury CS Henry Rotich.
The Governor confirmed that Rotich had assured him that payments would be made to farmers by end of next week.
Senators Fred Outa (Kisumu), Cleophas Malala (Kakamega) and their Homabay counterpart Moses Kajwang voiced their displeasure over the slow pace despite farmers delivering their end.
They accused the government of hoodwinking farmers with fake promises as they demanded solutions not stories on the payment stalemate.
The sugar task force constituted by President Uhuru Kenyatta is co chaired by COG chair Wycliffe Oparanya and Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri.They were tasked with finding the solutions on problems bedevilling the sugar sector.
By Collins Owuor
The department of education this weak received donations from the South Korea, Asan office of Education which is in partnership with the County government of Kisumu to improve Early Childhood Education in the County.
While addressing the delegation, the County Minister for Education, Dr. John Obiero Ogone recognized South Korea for their continued support in education, adding that the growing partnership has enabled sharing of learning and recreational experiences from South Korea through the donations of learning materials to several schools in the County.
He urged the delegation to consider widening the scope to diversify education so as to include other levels of education such as the vocational training. This he said, would enable students to be well equipped with skills in different capacities.
The minister reiterated that during the past visits the gifts have benefited a number of selected schools in the County.
The learning materials will be disbursed to various selected schools including Bar Union Primary School in Kisumu West sub county and Migosi Primary School in Kisumu Central Sub County to mention but a few.
By Ken Odhiambo
Edited By Matilda Atieno
Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili yesterday joined the International Livestock Research Institute Chief of Party Dr Romano Kiome in an official inspection tour of a milk cooling plant in Muhoroni
The 10,000 litre milk plant has opened up the county’s agriculture potential with the agricultural department already stepping up efforts to enhance food security.
According to Owili the county government is equipped with much emphasis put on crop, livestock and dairy production, remarks echoed earlier by the Agriculture CEC Gilchrist Okuom.
The department of agriculture has already issued more than 180 dairy cattle to farmers in the region. The developments have led to increased yields in dairy production as the county government banks on an agriculture driven economy to enhance food security.
In his part Dr. Kiome lauded the county government for their willingness to involve local farmers on agriculture. He promised to actively engage the county government as he urged the area farmers to maximize their output in agriculture production.
According to Kiome, agriculture alone contributed to 36% of the country’s GDP thus bolder steps had to be made to enhance its sustainability.
Kisii County played host to a two – day regional bloc summit to deliberate on the resolutions of both the Council Members and the Summit
H. E Governor, James Ongwara who presided over the official opening of the event, urged members of the bloc to focus on issues that will grow the region. He further called on members to consolidate various trends in order to achieve the dreams of the people of the bloc. He also lauded the four Counties that ratified their bills out of the six required for the bill to be fully operational
H.E Governor Wycliffe Wangamati stated that Bungoma County will be the 5th County to ratify the bill. He emphasized on the need for the bloc to focus on formulating a bank that will find the flagship projects in the region.
On his part, Nyamira Governor. H. E Nyangarama called on the people to team up resources for better services.
The summit that comprised of the Governors from the bloc highlighted on the status of the LREB bill 2018 and the region’s flagship projects which included: Sugar sector revival, expansion of the maritime transport
Other dignitaries present comprised of Deputy Governor’s, Speakers, CECS, County secretaries, Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) and Chief Officers from the 14
By Emily Mikwa