By Lorraine Anyango
Pomp and flamboyance marked Kisumu’s 2nd car-free day, with the theme Clean Air Promotes Good Health.
Children and adult cyclists including women cyclists thronged the KCB round About ready to color the streets with their bicycle, a way of keeping healthy. The streets were free of vehicles and occupied with people walking.
Organizations working around health and climate change-related issues as well as residents of Kisumu made their way into the Central Business District (CBD) to take part in the ceremony as well as witness the same.
The attendees did not shy away from dancing to high-beat music as they jointly enjoyed aerobics in the middle of the streets, while the excitement of having the BIA machine for body analysis saw many residents queue for the rare service.
For the first time residents of Kisumu got access to the BIA machine for free the rest of the days they will be required to pay up to Ksh 3,000 for the service at the Kisumu County Referral Hospital (KCRH)
All the health services, including breast and cervical cancer as well as blood sugar and pressure checkups offered free and supported by AAR.
The County Executive Committee Member for Trade Farida Salim flagged off the cyclist at the onset of the event. Three major streets had been closed keeping away vehicles and motorcycles to promote walking to cut emissions and reduce congestion by promoting bicycling, walking, and skating.
This Car free day was a collaboration between the management of Kisumu City and the Department of Medica Services, Public Health, and Sanitation and their partners.
During the event, the City Manager Mr Abala Wanga announced deliberate plans to increase the tree cover within Kisumu City.
“By the tenth of every month, we shall be led by our Governor Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o to plant trees, we shall ensure that we avail seedlings as every household is expected to plant five trees every month.” Mr. Abala emphasized.
The tree planting campaign will include, schools, institutions, churches, chiefs, door-to-door approach, and all communities within Kisumu city. “By the end of October we shall have greened the airport corridor to Nyamasaria this will make reality a welcoming green city.” He added.
Kisumu County will set up a tree seedlings nursery at Mamboleo with a capacity of 5000 seedlings per time, so to ensure a continuous supply of seedlings to realize the dream of having all the 400,000 city dwellers plant trees monthly.
“We call out to tree seedlings vendors in Kisumu, we would like to partner with them to make green our reality.” He said.
The Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) coordinator Mr. Paul Masanga took time to sensitize those in attendance on the dangers of NCD and ways to live healthily so that they do not have NCDs.
“Today the Department of Medical Services, Public Health and Sanitation has brought to you services where you are so that you understand how to manage NCDs,” Mr Masanga said.
Those attending the event got an opportunity to set eyes on electric bicycles, the eBee model, learn how they work, and where to find the bicycles as they are currently stocked in Kisumu.
Lovers of vehicles took a keen eye to understand the mechanization of electric vehicles and how and where to charge them.
The residents were encouraged to invest in electric bicycles and vehicles as they do not emit gasses that lead to global warming.
The end ended with the participants jogging to Jomo Kenyatta Grounds where they planted fruit trees.Partners for the event included Ebee Africa, Naivas,EV chaja, Un Habitat, and Red Cross. Aghakan Hospital Kisumu, USAID boresha Jamii, Kmet, Africa Cancer Foundation, African Inuka Hospital, CHEB, Cure Cervical Cancer and ,DIASPRO NETWORK,AAR, Healthy Enterprenures, SAID FITNESS GYM and ‘Wow Mom’ .
Kisumu County will be holding Car-free days on a Quartey basis.