By Nancy Juma
Kisumu Governor Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o has this afternoon addressed the Third Kisumu County Assembly for the first time since his re-election for second term.
This being his first official address to the people’s respresentatives as required by law, the Governor took time to highlight key achievements under his first term as well as tabling before the August House, his plan for the next five years.
Top on his development agenda in his Manifesto dubbed, “Wasetimo, Wadok Timo” is the Agricultural and Health dockets with robust projects and activities lined up for implementation. The Governor during his campaigns promised to revitalise Agriculture for food security and agribusiness, a promise he has committed to deliver to the letter.
According to the Governor, Agricultural transformation is critical to growing Kisumu’s economy, especially in the reduction of the cost of food, alleviating poverty and delivering 100 per cent nutrition and food security.
To drive this transformative agenda, the Governor said his government focused on interventions in agriculture, livestock and fisheries sub sectors by increasing output and value-addition through agro-processing and boosting household food resilience. Focus was directed at irrigation in Nyando and Nyakach to help improve food production. Efforts were also directed at addressing some of the challenges facing the rice sub sector.
These include the installation of Kshs. 30m rice mill in Nyando, supply of 47 irrigation water pumps to farmer groups in Kisumu West, Muhoroni, Kisumu East and Nyakach to enhance small scale vegetable irrigation, and capacity building for farmers among others.
Other key initiatives under the agricultural sector included, rice value addition, the dairy sub sector including the operationalization of Kisumu Dairy Enterprise Development Centre (KDDC) at Nyangore in Chemelil, promotion of fodder and pasture conservation.
Very soon, the County Government will also implement the use of drones to help in the distribution of semen under the Artificial Insemination program, as well as blood and other health commodities in the health sector.
According to the Governor, the Fisheries department is also set to work with the national government to roll out the Kabonyo fisheries and aquaculture service and training center of excellence estimated at Kshs.1 billion.
In addition, the County Government is also going to purchase fingerlings and fish feeds to the tune of Kshs 3 million to support Fisher folks affected by the ongoing mass fish death in Lake Victoria occasioned by the current ecological changes.
Health and Sanitation docket came second with the Governor full of praise for the implementation team led by the County Health Management Team. He cited the digitization of the health management systems and facility improvements at Kisumu’s main Referral Hospital and other infrastructural developments at sub county hospitals as key achievements. Others include the implementation of the Marwa Health Insurance Cover which he termed as a trailblazer in Kenya, a case in point for other counties to bench mark on.
On what next for the health sector in Kisumu, the Governor said they are set to finalize plans to start using drones to deliver drugs, blood and other medical services to all parts of Kisumu County. Kisumu will be the first County to use this technology that is operational in Rwanda.
Other areas for consideration will include infrastructure and water sectors where roads will be the major beneficiary with the use of latest technologies. The County plans to to improve access to water services from 58% to 68% by the year 2022, increase water production from 40,000 cubic meters per day to 100, 000 cubic meters per day as well as reduce Non-Revenue water from 45% to 30 % and increase storage per capita per day.
Nyong’o says his administration will also put much more focus to improve on the county’s forest cover, beautification of both rural and urban spaces, an innovative spearheaded by like-minded entities. To strengthen solid waste management, the County plans to one new waste management facility by 2022 .
Climate Change being a major global concern, Kisumu has joined the world in mitigating this devastating phenomenon and is committed to the Climate Change Agenda and is working towards increasing communities’ resilience to climate change impacts by 95%. The county also hopes to strengthen regulatory and policy frameworks on climate change. Several bills on the same have also been passed by the County Assembly.
To put Kisumu on the global map and focusing on the just concluded Africities Summit held in Kisumu in May this year, Kisumu was the first intermediary city to host the global event, an achievement that cannot be underrated. According to the Governor and records, it was the most successful with the highest attendance in terms of delegates standing at 11,000 drawn from 100 countries. The event came with major infrastructural developments around the lakeside city including expansion of Kisumu Airport to increase passenger capacity to 1 million from 500,000 a year, a 1.6 billion convention centre and good road network as well as positioning Kisumu as the next frontier for investment and trade in the region. The success of the Summit has landed the governor a lot of international accolade leading to his election to a number of international bodies continentally and internationally such as Vice Presidency of UCLGA East Africa region, Executive Member at the UCLGA Continental office as well as Executive Member of the UCLG World. The governor is also chairing a committee working on creating a continental special purpose vehicle for mobilizing development resources for African Local governments.
With all these developments and plans for the future, Kisumu is indeed on the right trajectory and will shine upon successful implementation and completion of the Governor’s second term in office.
Accompanying the Governor to this maiden address was his Deputy Dr. Ochieng Owili, County First Lady Mama Kisumu Dorothy Nyong’o, County Secretary John Auma and a host of County Cabinet Executive Members among other top County Government officials.
Kisumu County Assembly