The county government led by the department of water has commissioned a 15 litre water bowser procured at a cost of Kshs 9.8 Million to be used in providing
water to hospitals schools and the community across the county in the event of water shortage.
The 20-ton truck flagged off by Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang Nyong’o will serve as an intermediate measure to provide water to learning institutions especially
ECD centers and other institutions which are not connected to piped water or those that maybe affected by Drought.
Speaking during the commissioning of the bowser, the Governor stated that the new bowser project is a move that is aimed at enhance water supply in the County,
adding that the County government is set to renovate the Maseno-Kombewa water project that was built in the 90’s in Seme.
The project plans to use Solar Energy to pump water through the Channel, a means that is more cost effective as compared to pumping water by Use of Hydro-Electric power.
Governor Nyong’o also said that his government was focused on achieving its mandate to the People of Kisumu County and was targeting efficient water supply
to rural areas under the County development which aims at delivering quality services to the People of Kisumu.
The County Minister for Water and Irrigation Mr. Salmon Orimba said that the bowser will serve areas worst hit by drought even as they grapple with climate
change and the devastating effects of weather patterns, adding that they are prepared to deal with water disruptions within institutions of learning.
The commissioning of the water bowser comes a week after the launch of a Kshs. 112 million Riat Water Tower that is set to serve over 2500 families.
The minister also stated plans to equip each of the seven sub-counties with a water bowser by end of the year 2021,adding that the current financial year has realized
additional of 12 bore holes bringing to a total of 21 bore holes in the county.
By David Collins Otina and Jack Rachuonyo
Edited By Matilda Atieno
Kisumu County hosted a corporate engagement forum on domestic travel organized by the Kenya Tourism Board (magical Kenya) in conjunction with County government and the members of the Western Kenya circuit at the Jambo Impala Ecolodge.
The forum which was officially opened by the Kisumu County minister for tourism and the chair of the 47 County Ministers in charge of tourism, Achie Ojany – Alai, brought together stakeholders from the tourism industry as well as corporate officials from the non-tourism sector with the aim of sharing information and exploring tourism opportunities as a way of revitalizing domestic tourism in Kenya, under the theme Work, Travel, Save and Repeat.
In her remarks, the County Minister challenged the corporate fraternity to take time off work to engage in domestic tourism as a way to refresh revitalize and stimulate. Hon Achie urged the players to think of making a memorable experience to the tourists.
“My main plan is to market Kisumu and the Western Kenya Circuit to the tourism national grid,” said Hon. Achie.
The County minister also mentioned the upcoming Africities as an opportunity where Kisumu residents and its neighbours can explore by providing accommodation and entertainment in their homes.
Speaking on behalf of the board, the representatives emphasized on the vision and mission of the board adding that their mandate is to market Kenya’s diverse experiences.
The general concern was that there is need to connect Western Kenya to the national grid in matters tourism, a call that was echoed by every speaker at the forum.
The board also assured the forum of combing the Western Kenya circuit by exploring medical, sports as well as domestic tourism in the region.
The forum was attended by members of the Business Community, Doctors, civil servants, Tour Guide operators from the Western Kenya circuit, Kenya Wildlife Service and representatives of the Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers.
By Matilda Atieno
It is now official that Kisumu City will go down in history as the first intermediary city in Africa and the World to host the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa Africities Summit come November 2021. The summit will run from 16th to 20th November, 2021.
This comes after the National Government, the County Government of Kisumu and the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding this morning giving Kisumu official hosting rights as well as allowing it to begin preparation towards the countdown.
Kisumu is set for many firsts as this will also mark the first time the summit will be held outside a capital city. This therefore presents a great milestone in the growth and maturity of Kisumu as a County and as a City.
Speaking at the official launch ceremony, the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and ASAL Eugene Wamalwa said that with the signing of the MOU a lot is expected from Kisumu for the summit to succeed. He assured the UCLGA Secretary General Jean Pierre Mbassi of the National Government’s total support saying that they will immediately convene the national steering committee to allow each related Ministries take different roles towards the preparation.
So far, the Ministry of Tourism has committed Kshs 300 million to put a Convention Centre at the Sunsent grounds. More facilities are expected to cater for the over 8000 delegates expected at the conference. Other infrastructural developments under different Ministries are also in the pipeline key among them being, the Lake Front development agenda by the Ministry of Transport, Tourism and Mining and Petroleum. These will include modernization of the Kisumu International Airport, the Kisumu Dry Port and the development of the Special Economic Zone that will play a big role in terms of industrial development.
The Secretary General Jean Pierre was impressed by the enthusiasm displayed by Kisumu said, Kisumu should do its best to convince the team in selecting it as the host city.
“Kisumu should show we were not wrong to have chosen it. Do what it takes to become the role model”.
He further stressed that they want Kisumu branded far more than Kenya as it will bring the lessons to the world on how to elevate the intermediary cities adding that the Sub-nationals have been neglected by most national policies.
Mr. Mbassi also appealed to CS Wamalwa to ask President Kenyatta to convince his colleagues in the African Union to support the UCLGA agenda in their forums.
Kisumu Governor Prof. Nyong’o on his part said in addition to the National Steering Committee led by CS Wamalwa, the county has established the County Organizing Committee and its secretariat and a joint technical committee between the County, Ministry of Devolution and the Council of Governor’s. He called upon the private sector and the Lake Region Economic Bloc counties to get ready and respond to the needs of the delegates by offering world class services such as registration, accommodation, conference facilities and exhibition adding that there is a lot more to gain.
The County Government also presented the Secretary General of UCLGA with a cheque of Kshs. 50,000,000 as a show of commitment in hosting the event. The National Government will also be putting in a huge financial commitment towards the summit.
By: Nancy Juma
The journey towards hosting Kisumu Africities Summit 2021 is set to be marked today by the official signing of the hosting rights MOU with the National government, the County government and UCLGA at Ciala Resort in Kisumu.
The event will be attended by the members of the National Steering Committee comprising CSs for Transport Hon. James Macharia, Finance Hon. Henry Rotich, Tourism Hon. Najib Balala, Foreign Affairs Hon. Monica Juma, Devolution (The committee Chair) Hon. Eugine Wamalwa, Interior and Coordination Hon. Fred Matiangi as well as the COG Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya .among other dignitaries.
Kisumu Deputy Governor, Dr. Mathew Owili joined the Catholic Archbishop, His Grace Philip Anyolo in flagging off the 6th edition of the Mater Heart Run held at the Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground.
The charity event held annually in the Month of May, attracted hundreds of participants as revelers flocked Kisumu Sports ground to support the drive organised by Mater Hospital.
The exercise that kicked off at 7 am took place simultaneously in cities including Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Machakos with an aim to continually raise money for purpose of funding financially disadvantaged children in desperate need of cardiac surgeries.
In his address, the Deputy Governor assured the Mater hospital of the County government’s support in advocating for healthy, lifestyles, sentiments echoed earlier by their Governing Council, Dr . Peter Igogo.
Dennis Oluoch from Kisumu took the honors after winning the 10 km Heart race.
County Directors Kenneth Otieno & Aloice Ager were among the participants present alongside other officials from the Mater Hospital.
A similar race took place in Nairobi being presided over by legendary Marathoner Kipchoge Keino.
By: Collins Owuor and Mikwa Emily
The World Bank Development Mission in Kisumu County
The World Bank is set to carry out a comprehensive study in Kisumu to
understand the impact of devolution on service delivery.
Earlier this week, County officials led by the Deputy Governor Dr Mathew
Owili and the County Secretary Dr. Olang’o Onudi hosted a delegation from
the Bank to discuss how best the study can be conducted.
Dr. Owili assured the team of good coordination and cooperation from the
County government to ensure a good report is documented.
The World Bank team noted that the study will focus on five thematic areas
namely; health, agriculture, water environment &urban planning.
“We intend to listen to the people of Kisumu so that we are able to
understand how devolution works, it’s challenges. The door is wide open
for suggestions on how we can impact service delivery through
devolution” Said Murathia Kinuthia from the World Bank team.
The delegation was on a two-day mission to engage county stakeholders in
activities central to service delivery. The team scheduled to meet technical
officers from the county government, the city board not excluding the
County Assembly leadership.
The mission will also visit service delivery outlets such as healthfacilities,
ECD Centres and water provision outlets.
Other Counties involved in the study are Nairobi, Making, Nyandarua and
The County Ministers present during the visit included Dixon Obungu,
(Lands) Dr. John Ogone (Education), development partners among other county officials.
By Lorraine Anyango and Lavender Akinyi
Kit Mikayi’s topography is fascinating, it’s one of its kind, its un-resist ably attractive to any one visiting the area or travelers playing the Kisumu- Bondo road for the first time.
Kit Mikayi is a large rock with three rocks on top. Kit Mikayi means ‘first wife’s rocks’ in Dholuo local language. This large Rock formation, lies in Kisumu’s Seme sub-county and its historic site in its own making .It relates to the greater luo traditions dating many years back.
Kit Mikayi is both a community and a cultural site, a sanctuary yet a tourist attraction site, its uniqueness enhances co-existence among the diverse users and addresses potential factors that influence community participation in cultural tourism for poverty reduction hence sustainable community development.
One of the ancient members of the Kit Mikayi Community, Mama Grace Akoth Waga, married in 1968 to a descendant of Ngeso ,the legend behind the rock, who was bestowed by the clan part of the luo immigrants from River Nile continuously shared old narratives on the rock formation and the traditional beliefs’ around it.
The belief’s and traditions associated with this large Rock are varied .Some believe that Mikayi (the first wife) went up the rocky hill weeping when her husband took a second wife.
Other narratives states that, an elderly man named Ngeso had a great love for the natural stone monument, Ngeso would go sit on the cave under the rock all day .He was so fascinated and consumed by this stone and his wife had no option but to bring his breakfast, lunch and dinner as he lay around the stone, or onto the stone itself .He ate most of his meals there.
There is also another narrative that states the rock formation reflects the Luo culture of polygamy. The rock formation consist of three stones lying on top of each other, Traditions have developed around this stones, Referred to the stones by the names of the huts of the first three wives.
Both in the olden times and presently, this rock structure held great significance for local people. People from different arrears have visited the rock hopping to receive blessings including wealth, rain and spiritual cleansing while others visit to meditate or do some soul searching. Hence different people perceive Kit Mikayi in different ways.
During dry spell elders could converge along the entrance of the rock for meditation and soul searching, where a wondrous snake called ‘Nyangundi’ was believed to decide if they could gain passage into the rock depending on the level of meditation and soul searching. The same evening the snake would move into the lake through some underground tunnel down the rock base and create huge clouds full of mist into the skies called Nyakoi which later transformed to rain.
The rock was also presumed to send visions to people as far as Alego, usonga in Siaya on the need to conduct sacrifices and avert calamities, this people would meet at Kit Mikayi on their night dreams.
People’s perception of Kit Mikayi is influenced by their gendered labor and roles, level of education, education, occupation and age groups. Various songs and dances are performed its content being beliefs emerging from Kit Mikayi’s existence .The most common songs hails praises to the leader from the community .The dances and songs performed here represent the wider cultural, spiritual, natural and economic significance of the site.
Women perceive Kit Mikayi in terms of its connection to nature more so than men , men on the other connect it to traditional beliefs ,The major cultural reason for people visiting the site is mainly for meditation purposes ,other reasons include nature visits and research and education ,People do not generally go their simply for relaxation.
Many recognize Kit Mikayi as a place used to perform animal sacrificial rituals, mainly during morning hours. The rituals were performed because of calamity such as drought or divorce or separation cases amongst the community, the sight has therefore been used to appease the higher power to help the community survive and prosper.
Religious people crowd the rock where it releases water, it is traditionally believed that monument possess therapeutic powers and this water can heal them. It has become a popular local pilgrimage site for the Legio Maria sect who visit the rock to pray and fast sometimes for several weeks. The sacredness of Kit Mikayi site has produced some unforeseen benefits to the community .Which have further led to strengthening of group its cohesion and its connection to nature, such benefits include ecotheirism.
Tourist visit the site to view and climb the rocks, listen to traditional Luo songs, and other dancers visit the homesteads as they support tourism.
Kit Mikayi sacredness keeps the people uplifted and driven to continually preserve the site .The luo people thus properly care for it and devote their time to share the story and significance of the site to others being it’s a natural site that reflect a vibrant heritage.
the stone also reflects a nuclear family which is evident in the in the luo community, where by the father, who is Ngeso, the second at the middle being the wife and the other stones lying beside the middle stone, symbolizes the children .Importance of conserving and preserving the site is not only for its cultural, Herbal, natural and spiritual reasons, but also for economic reasons as well. Kit mikayi has given life a religious or spiritual meaning to innumerable groups of people, Mikayi sacredness keeps the people uplifted and driven to continually preserve the site.
The National Museum of Kenya has worked to physically preserve Kit Mikayi and any other information relating to it inform of documents ,oral traditions and more as National monuments of Kenya.
Cultural tourism along Kit Mikayi has helped improve lives of many luos and has enabled them to overcome some of the challenges they have been facing creating self-employment along with incoming generating activities and improvement of programs has enhanced local participation. This has also led to the need for training and education of people within local communities so as to produce group of trained people to steer tourism. It has also promoted community pride by allowing people to work together to enhance economic and cultural developments.
Cultural tourism has also tried to maximize the potential of tourism for eradicating poverty by developing appropriate strategies in co-operation with all major stake holders, and the local communities to access a fair distribution of benefits of Kit Mikayi.
Kisumu County has potential growth as a cultural tourism destination from which local people local people can start enterprise .Since it is endowed with vast lake resources such as beach tourism, bird watching, rich cultural heritage, performing arts, unique formation of Kit mikayi rock.
County has enhanced community development through cultural tourism by involvement of community to ensure that their potential role is tapped and maintained through active participation in tourism industry.
There are several analysis that have been conducted on community around Kit mikayi ,The extent to which socio economic characteristics of the local people influence their participation in the cultural tourism, analysis on education level ,as well as tourism policy frame work.
Kisumu County has also ensured that research is done, Focused group discussion was also employed to establish the cultural significance of Kit Mikayi tourist site. The researchers collaborated with the village elders to identify and select residents participants were drawn from Kit Mikayi site.
The county is also planning to construct a bore hole to boost domestic work and farming activities and farming for residents living near Kit Mikayi. It has also opened more business opportunities where by women from different ethnic groups gather and sell their products like jewelries, African attires, beads, African cooking pots etc.
Conversational and others have started using the economic benefits of the sites to encourage people to remember their traditional beliefs and Oral history of kit mikayi and traditional beliefs and oral history of Kit Mikayi and promote conservation efforts around the site. This long lasting traditions are helping to conserve and preserve the site for the betterment of members of the community.
There are several factors that have affected growth of Kit Mikayi as a natural site: ethnic mistrust, inadequacy in competence among the internal sector management
Inadequacy in competence among the internal sector management, the community neighbouring Kit Mikayi lack seriousness in regard to the stones, outsiders like tourist who normally frequent the site tend to benefit much example the research they conduct and write articles of the site.
Kisumu County Governor Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o today led the county leadership and stakeholders to a meeting with the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) to deliberate and elaborate meaning and implication of hosting the 2021 Africities summit at the Grand Royal Swiss Hotel.
Speaking during the meeting, the Secretary General of the UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi outlined the importance of the summit, what to expect and the preparation to put in place to enable success of the event.
According to Mr Mbassi, the Africities summit takes a period of five days which normally begin on Tuesday and ends on Saturdays adding that effective transport system, availability of good hospitality Services, TV streams/network, press room, exhibition space, good registration system, proper security system and good content of the meeting were some of the preparatory guidelines to be put in place
The Secretary General urged Kisumu County Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o to consult Moroccans about the experience to enhance better planning.
Governor Nyong’o on his part welcomed the move saying that the meeting will brace Kisumu county and Kenya as a whole for better opportunities by building partnership with other states.
The UCLGA Secretary General is in the county for a two days’ visit, to engage the leadership and stakeholders on the modalities of the upcoming summit that involves mobilization of communities, local authorities and the national government as well as financial institutions, civil society groups and development partners.
Africities summit is a Pan-African event that is held every three years in one of the five regions of Africa with the view of mobilizing communities and local authorities in African countries, as well as financial institutions, civil society groups and development partners at continental and international level.
The Summit is aimed at addressing major questions based on the construction of the 2063 Vision of Africa with debate proposed by the African Union Commission.
The 9th edition of the Africities Summit will be convened by United Cities and Local Governments of Africa and hosted by the City of Kisumu, the government of Kenya and the ministry of Devolution and ASAL.
Officials from Council of governors, Kisumu County Deputy Governor, County Executive officials, Speaker of the County assembly, County commissioner and representatives from the
Ministry of Devolution were among the stakeholders who were present during the meeting.
By Benter Anyango
Edited By Matilda Atieno