Schools in Nyakach are the latest beneficiaries of a water project funded by the Sustainable Aid in Africa International (SANA) and the county government through development partners.
The program will see schools, Thurdibuoro, Mbugra and Abwao primary enjoy uninterrupted water supply in their respective areas.
Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr Mathew Owili lauded the developments as he vowed to engage partners in spearheading similar projects across the county. sentiments echoed earlier by Water County minister, Salmon Orimba.
He was speaking in Thurdibuoro secondary school where he was joined by the County minister and SANA team leader Alfred Odongo in commissioning the projects.
According to Dr. Owili plans are already under way to have all households get access to clean water.
“The county government through the environment ministry has already drilled a number of boreholes and more projects would soon be rolled in efforts to improve water access”, added the Deputy Governor.
By Collins Owuor
The county Government of Kisumu led by the health department spearheaded the sensitization forum on shisha following the 2018 ban on the drug.
Speaking during the event, the public Health Officer (PHO) and coordinator tobacco control, from the ministry of health, Mr. Gamaliel Omondi highlighted the components of the legal notice aimed at effective implementation of the ban in the county.
According to the PHO, everyone is entitled to attainable standards of health whose provisions are clear in the constitution. “Statutory instrument Act 5 and 11 gives ground to procedures on the regulations” he added.
Section 36 of the act stipulates that the ministry shall provide rules to control drug abuse. Following this provision, the health department is determined to ensure a total ban on Shisha abuse which has been a constant resistance to tuberculosis drugs thus a risk to its users.
According to the county public health officer Mr. Arthur Shikanda, Shisha addicts have lived in denial of its ban. He urged stakeholders to draw an action plan to ensure that the health department realises total ban of Shisha which includes creating awareness to the public and mapping out hotspots.
The stakeholders also called on the public to support the ban fully as this will lead to assurance of a healthy nation.
By Benter Anyango
Stakeholders during the Sisha sensitization
forum at the county headquarters in Kisumu
The department of Agriculture, Food Security, Livestock and Fisheries has pledged to work hand in hand with various research organizations to enhance technological advancement in agriculture to promote sufficient food production since agriculture still stands to be the back bone of the Kenyan economy.
Speaking during a field day organized by the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) at Kisumu’s Kibos ground, the County Minister for Agriculture, Food Security, Livestock and Fisheries Hon. Gilchrist Owuor Okuom, stated that the County Government of Kisumu is keen in investing more resources in Agriculture since it is the leading pillar for the Country’s big four agenda.
The field day which brought on board a number of stakeholders showcased various farming technologies available for use by the practising and potential farmers to enhance high productivity.
The director General for KALRO Dr. Elude Kirege, urged Kisumu residents to embrace modern farming technologies and also invest more on research findings to boost their agricultural produce. He added that KALRO has 16 research centres nationally dealing with animal services, value edition, and promotion of modern technologies in agriculture,
KALRO receives Ksh 4.8 Billion from the National Government yearly and an addition of Ksh 2 Billion from the Donors to enhance agricultural productivities and sufficient research studies.
By Erick Omollo
Counties and the National government have embarked on a joint initiative that seeks to address the rapid degradation of lake basins across the country.
The move will see the ministry of environment set up a national lake basin management secretariat with county governments mobilizing funds for their respective operations.
In a stakeholders meeting held at the Vic Hotel, Kisumu it was widely agreed that weak policies in environmental management had accelerated pollution levels in the country’s water bodies.
Uncontrolled pollution and effluent discharges from domestic households was highlighted as one of the major contributors to the degradation of water basins.
According to Prof. Daniel Olago, from the Institute for Climate Change and Adoption, the Department of Geology at Nairobi University, Lake Victoria has got enormous potential but weak policies on its management had turned it into a floating dump site.
The pronouncements comes in the wake a of county wide ban by the environment department on washing of all motorized vehicles and equipments on beaches and shores of lake Victoria among other water bodies in the county.
In a proposed draft by the participants, industry players had to think strategically and involve like minded players in organizing awareness campaigns that redressed the issues bedevilling the lake basins.
Kenya consists of five major basins: Lake Victoria, Rift Valley, Athi River, Tana River and Ewaso Nyiro. The renewed support from the national government could be a game changer in changing the basins fortunes.
By Collins Owuor
A score from Dennis Ochieng and other two goals from Shadrack Omondi and Austine Ochieng saw Kisumu All Stars display an impressive comeback against Kangemi All Stars at Moi Stadium, Kisumu.
The Kangemi lead was curtailed when Omondi levelled the scores in the 44th minute. Dennis Ochieng scored from the spot which resulted from a challenge against Muyela Amunga in the penalty area.
He scored another one in the 66th minute before Austine Ochieng wrapped it up in the 80th minute.
The Embu County Department of Tourism this week paid a visit to the County Minister, Achie Alai, in an effort to benchmark with Kisumu tourism sector.
The team led by Embu County Minister for Tourism, Trade and Industrialization Mr. David Kariuki was in the county to benchmark on matters tourism management at the county level and leveraging on resources in a bid to position Embu county in the Kenya’s tourism Circle.
Waziri Achie Alai together with Ag. Chief Officer Thomas Ouko shared with the team on steps taken by Kisumu in marketing the region as the entry point to the Lake Region Economic Bloc in addition to being a major tourism destination.
Health services in Kisumu County got a major boost after medical equipment worth Ksh 35 million shillings was donated to the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) following a joint initiative between the Governor and the World Medical Relief organization based in the U.S.
The equipments are to be used at the facility and other medical centers in the region as the county government embarks on a robust approach to upgrade its health facilities.
Speaking during the commissioning, County Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o lauded the developments as he promised to engage stakeholders in streamlining health services in the county.
Following the successful Universal Health Coverage launch in Kisumu, JOOTRH is on track to receive major upgrades. The modernization process will see the facility offer new services that include advanced neurological services, key hole surgery, endoscopy and improved health information systems.
Infrastructural improvements will see the facility have emergency and trauma centres with a corresponding surgical complex and the installation of ultra modern imaging machines to be completed by end of February this year.
By Collins Owuor
THE UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE PROGRAM LAUNCHED
The Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Pilot Program was officially launched this week at the Mamboleo Showground in Kisumu.
The event which was presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta saw all the Governors from the four pilot Counties of Kisumu, Nyeri, Isiolo and Machakos sign a commitment agreement for the implementation of the UHC program.
This comes as a great relief to the residents of the four selected Counties who will now access free medical services in public health facilities once they register. This is in line with the President’s big four agenda which highlights the need to, among others, provide free healthcare services to the citizens. He therefore urged all the stakeholders to rise to the occasion by supporting this noble initiative.
Also in attendance was Governor Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o who reiterated that his administration was committed to providing free healthcare services to the Kisumu residents as well as empowering the Health workers to facilitate effective service delivery.
The President had earlier presided over the ground breaking ceremony of the construction of .Ahero Junction interchange that will go a long way in enhancing transport in the region. He later proceeded to Victory SDA Church where he issued cheques to youth, men and women entrepreneurs in Kisumu. He wound up his one day tour of the region by commissioning the recently completed Kakamega- Kisumu highway.
His Excellency President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta.
Her Excellency the First Lady, Mama Margaret Kenyatta,
His Excellency the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr. David Mabuza,
The Right Honourable Dr. Hon Raila Amolo Odinga,
Mama Ida Odinga,
The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom
The Cabinet Secretary State Department of Health and your colleagues,
Chairman, Council of Governors, Josephat Nanok,
Excellency Ambassadors and Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Development Partners present,
Members of Parliament and the County Assemblies,
All Protocols observed.
Mr. President this is your day. Let me therefore begin by welcoming you and your guests to
this great county of Kisumu, particularly to the City of Kisumu as you launch the Universal
Health Coverage (UHC), a key pillar in the BIG FOUR AGENDA. Your Excellency, on behalf of the people of Kisumu, and on my own behalf, we deeply appreciate the fact that Kisumu County is one of the four counties where this initiative is being piloted.
We cannot take it for granted that the launch today allows us to be part of an unfolding history in which we are present at the dawn as hosts. Thank you Mr. President for this singular honour.
Mr. President, Universal Health Coverage aims to attain equitable, affordable, accessible and quality healthcare for all. I do believe that access to accessible, affordable and quality healthcare can only be fully realized through the full implementation of UHC. This journey has been long and tortuous Mr. President, quite often making two steps forward and reversing with one step backwards. But now I can see the resolve, I can feel the energy and I can smell the victory that we are bound to achieve because we are working together on this enterprise.
In Kisumu County, we are still disturbed by the high prevalence rates of both Malaria and HIV, high maternal mortality rates and increasing cases of cancer. However, we are making good progress in addressing these and other challenges through deliberate policies at the County level to enhance health financing, legislative and policy frameworks as well as partnerships. We have dedicated 30% of our total budget to health and recruited 2,280 Community Health Workers in 193 active community units whom we pay stipend. We will highly appreciate the assistance of the national government to establish the Cancer Centre at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH).
Going forward Mr. President, Kisumu County is hopeful that we will maintain constructive dialogue with the national government on implementation of UHC, finalizing implementation guidelines and linking those guidelines to our County strategies for the health sector, complete with a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system. This environment of dialogue will also make it possible for counties to deliberate with national government on some of the sticking issues in healthcare delivery such as training of health personnel and resource allocation criteria.
Our potential for success is further energised by the relaxed political atmosphere that you and your brother Raila Amolo Odinga have breathed into this nation through the Building Bridges Initiative. Let not the two of you relent in chasing the corrupt elements in this nation wherever
they may be found. Leave no stone unturned as the Assets Recovery Agency seeks to return ill-gotten wealth back to the public treasury.
Mr President we need these recovered funds and assets to finance our health care system, build our Vocational Training Centres and take care of our public servants in retirement.
In this region, Mr President, we have had gallant men and women, brave Kenyans, who have always stood for what is right and just for all Kenyans. Their aspirations may not have been realised in their life time. But I stand here with pride and confidence that I am serving Kisumu as a Governor at a time when your Presidency is more than ready to give the common Kenyan an opportunity to live in a prosperous and democratic Kenya; a Kenya where periodic circles of elections will no longer herald predictable conflicts and misery for the common man.
Mr. President the secret of development lies in good and democratic governance, institutionalized rule of law, unassailable respect for human rights and the Universal acceptance of the equality of human kind. You and the Prime Minister have recently led by example in supporting the two thirds Gender Bill. This Bill is not just important in eliminating gender based discrimination in political representation; it is vital in establishing a culture and a national ethos of universal equality among men and women.
I have no doubt in my mind that our women play an exceptional role in bringing us up as children and in providing livelihoods in most peasant families. If we are to fully liberate our women, we must invest in modernizing our Agriculture through improved mechanization, irrigation, improved seeds, and good farm gate prices for our farmers, while supporting value addition and innovation in the sector
Mr. President, I therefore hope that it will no longer be treated as a rumour that your government has finally decided to implement the KORU-SOIN multipurpose dam. This project will be a game changer in the political economy of this region. Agricultural productivity will go up ten-fold in the Nyando Basin through improved, expanded and reliable irrigation. Flooding in this river basin will finally be tamed, stabilizing family settlements and eliminating water borne diseases, among other things.
As far as the sugar industry is concerned let me assure you that those of us in the committee you appointed chaired by Governor Oparanya, working together with CS Mwangi Kiunjuri, will do our best to deliver to you a report that will help solve all outstanding problems once your government acts on the recommendations.
Finally, Mr President, Kisumu and the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) looks forward to the SGR reaching here by January 2021. We are working hard to revitalize Maritime transport on the Lake and we are well aware that we will achieve even more in this area in partnership with the national government and the private sector. The SGR, Maritime transport and the road network you have launched today will link the region fully with the rest of Kenya and East Africa.
Why, Mr President, am I making this plea on the SGR?
We make this plea because, Mr. President and Rt. Hon Raila Amolo Odinga, Kisumu has a date with Destiny in November 2021 when about 10,000 people from Africa and the rest of the world will assemble here for the 9th Africities Summit. This is the premier event of Cities and Local Governments in Africa organized every three years by the United Cities and Local Governments in Africa (UCLGA) and the 8th edition of the Summit was held only last month in Marrakech, Morocco. I would like to thank you and your government for having made this possible by leading the bid by Kenya and Kisumu as host country and host city respectively. Governor Josephat Nanok and the Council of Governors, C.S. Eugene Wamalwa and the State Department of Devolution together with the Principal Secretary Charles Hinga in the State Department of Housing and Urban Affairs all went the extra mile to hold our hands on this adventurous journey. To them I extend my gratitude.
I would be completely out of order were I to end my welcome remarks without paying special tribute to three people: The Cabinet Secretary in charge of Health, Ms Cecily Kariuki, the Administrative Secretary in the same department my brother Dr. Rashid Amana and my Chairman Dr. Kuti, the Governor of Isiolo who I deputize in the Health Committee in the Council of Governors. On behalf of all other members of that Committee we would all like to appreciate the productive working relations we have had, culminating to this day – a day like no other!
Mr. President, please continue the valiant struggle to rid Kenya of the enemies of good governance and development. By their very nature, human beings don’t easily obey laws and rules. In fact God has always had problems with us since the day of Adam and Eve. Even Moses had a very hard time negotiating with God how many laws the Israelites would accept from God.
Every time Moses climbed the mountain to go and receive the laws he would come back with 72 which the people rejected as too many. He then went back and negotiated with God coming back with 50. The Israelites pleaded with him to reduce them and let God make them a little bit simpler to obey. Finally he went up and came back with the good news.
The good news was that he had managed to convince God to.make them only 10: one line each, simple, easy to understand and not reducible any more. The people applauded.
The bad news, however, Moses sadly announced with his head bowed down, was that ADULTERY WAS STILL PART OF THE LAW, the breakage of which would invite utter damnation.
Like I said at the beginning, this is your day Mr. President and talking beyond this point would be committing a cardinal crime even under the reduced laws numbering only ten.
May I wish you all a happy stay in Kisumu City and the County as we reflect together on the future of healthcare delivery system in our country.
As for me and the people of Kisumu County, we have seen the future and it works!
Thank you and may God bless Kenya.