Former ICT PS Jerome Ochieng Lands County Job

Kisumu County governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o has appointed former State Department for ICT and Innovation Principal Secretary (PS) Jerome Ochieng as County Executive Committee Member (CECM) in charge of Lands, Physical Planning and Urban Development.

Jerome’s nomination which takes effect immediately however awaits vetting by the County Assembly.

Once given the greenlight, Jerome who served as ICT and Innovation PS in the Uhuru Kenyatta administration will take over the lands docket in Kisumu replacing Kennedy Hongo who was fired.

Jerome has over 20 years work experience in public service having headed the ICT docket at the Public Procurement Oversight Authority and the National Treasury before rising to the level of PS.

He holds a masters’ degree in Information Engineering from the University of Ryukyus Okinawa Japan and is a registered fellow of the Computer Society of Kenya and a member of the Institute of Management Information Systems (IMS) UK.

Once approved by the County Assembly, Jerome is expecte
d to streamline operations at the docket at a time Kisumu is experiencing rapid growth.

Among the key priorities is the implementation of the Kisumu Local Physical and Land Use Development Plan and the Sustainable Mobility Plan which have been rolled out by the county government.

Other pending assignments include the implementation of the recommendations of the Lands task force formed by Governor Nyong’o to look into land issues in the area.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Nyeri Residents Rate County Government’s Performance At 57.5 Per Cent

Nyeri residents are 57.5 per cent content with the services being offered by the county government, preliminary findings of an assessment by NEPAD’s African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) has revealed.

The assessment dubbed County Peer Review Mechanism was evaluating the county’s operations, performance, and achievements against each of the 14 devolved functions.

According to APRM Kenya Secretariat Chief Executive Officer, Ambassador Dr. Samori Okwiya, the assessment was geared at helping counties to identify, address challenges and share best practices in their governance systems.

‘The County Peer Review Mechanism is a self-assessment mechanism that focuses on improving good governance in the country. The report we generate will be used by other governors around the country to learn the best practices and be encouraged about issues governance and provision of services to citizens,’ said Dr. Samori Okwiya when he paid a courtesy call on the Nyeri governor.

The evaluation was conducted in 11 other counties
of Mombasa, Siaya, Machakos, Kakamega, Elgeyo – Marakwet, Trans-Nzoia, Bungoma, Vihiga, Makueni, Nandi and Busia.

During the focus group discussions conducted by the secretariat, Nyeri residents highlighted the construction of the Naro Moru Level 4 hospital, the construction and rehabilitation of markets by the county government as one of notable achievements.

This was followed closely by the annual county paid internship programme which provides opportunities for 200 graduates to get work experience from the county departments.

On the education front, the residents commended the executive for committing more than 800 Early Childhood and Development Education teachers to permanent and pensionable terms, a move which has seen increased enrollment of ECDE learners from 18,000 to 22,000. Similarly, the residents said the introduction of the Elimu Bursary had immensely enhanced the retention of learners in learning institutions and reduced school drop-out rates.

Other notable achievements highlighted by the r
espondents include the improved provision of water services where the county increased accessibility to clean water by 21 per cent.

‘Around 271 kilometres of pipeline have been constructed benefitting around 35,000 households in terms of accessibility to clean water. 37 new boreholes were also constructed and 11 were rehabilitated during the period further increasing access to water. On the overall there was increased access to portable water from 57 per cent to 78 per cent,’ says the assessment in part.

On agriculture, the residents appreciated the farmer field extension approach by the county government where local farmers receive free training on improved agricultural practices.

On governance, the APRM Kenya Secretariat noted that the county had developed 17 Physical and Land Use plans which had been adopted by the County Assembly. The secretariat noted that; ‘The adoption of the land use plans by the County Assembly shows the synergy between the Executive and the Assembly.’

On the converse, the secret
ariat noted low levels of youth involvement by the County government in development issues. There was also minimal collaboration between law enforcement agencies and the public with secretariat’s eminent personality Amb Rukia Ahmed Subow calling for more programmes to foster collaboration and enhance information sharing.

‘We want to see the youth being involved in every sector because they are the people who can be easily manipulated. There is a need to engage them in sports and ICT so that they enjoy services just like any other citizen,’ said Amb Subow.

‘We also need to sit together and come up with a programme where the public can work together and share information with the police,’ she added.

Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga attributed the achievements to public engagements where the executive implements projects based on the needs of the residents.

Kahiga also noted that the assessment would create a matrix which would guide his administration and other counties in improving service delivery.

g the report is not a walk in the park because you anticipate anything to come out of the assessment. We are glad that we have received encouraging news and some reports on where we need to improve but generally it tells us that the citizens of Nyeri are 57 per cent happy about what we are doing. We are in the third cycle, more counties should be brought on board so that we get feedback from the citizens on how things are,’ said Kahiga.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Kirinyaga Multi-Agency Disaster Response Committee Operationalised

A joint disaster preparedness and response committee composed of national and county government officials has been formed to coordinate response interventions to deal with floods and other emergencies arising from heavy rains in Kirinyaga County.

The team headed by the Kirinyaga County Commissioner Hussein Allasow and Deputy Governor David Githanda will jointly work together to respond to any emergency issue arising from floods and mobilise resources from both levels of government.

Allasow said the flood situation in Kirinyaga is now under control, and both the County and National governments have supplied flood victims with food and other relief supplies to ensure no one suffers from hunger.

The County Commissioner advised motorists not to drive through flooded areas and those living near waterways to avoid crossing swollen rivers.

‘We have managed the situation and we are urging our people to be on high alert because we have been told by the weatherman that the rains might continue,’ he said.

He said
most schools are safe and ready for re-opening on Monday except for one whose condition is being monitored.

Residents of areas affected by the floods said interventions being undertaken by the county government have helped in redirecting flood water back into the rivers and other water catchment areas.

The County Government has deployed additional machinery and manpower to drain water from areas marooned by floods.

The areas prone to flooding, mudslides and landslides are: Tebere, Thiba, Wamumu, Gathigiriri, Mutithi, Kariti, Kangai and Nyangati wards.

The machinery which includes excavators, backhoes and trucks are being used to clear soils and debris that have blocked drainage trenches and culverts.

Deputy Governor Githanda said the committee had agreed on measures to be undertaken to safeguard lives of people and properties including evacuation of people from flood and landslide prone areas.

However, it was identified that the floods are being caused by people who have built on riparian land and other
s who are blocking drainage systems.

Jared Migwi, the County Executive Committee Member for Transport, Roads, Public Works and Housing, who visited some of the flooded areas said the flood situation is being addressed by creating alternative routes for water to flow from homes.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Bomet County Prepares For Potential Disasters During Heavy Rainfall

Bomet County Governor, Hillary Barchok, has underscored the proactive measures taken by the Department of Disaster Management to address potential risks during heavy rains in the region.

In a statement released from his office, Governor Barchok highlighted the mapping of areas susceptible to flooding, landslides, and lightning, emphasising the importance of community awareness and preparedness.

‘Our Department of Disaster Management has mapped out areas in Bomet County at risk of flooding, landslides, and lightning,’ Prof Barchok affirmed.

‘Residents of these areas are being sensitised on the precautionary measures to take. During this rainy season, I urge our people to exercise great caution and adhere to safety directives given by safety and security officials,’ the governor stated.

Governor Barchok reiterated the collaboration between the county government, national government officials in Bomet, and the Kenya Red Cross Bomet Branch to respond promptly to any emerging emergencies.

‘We are working clo
sely with the National Government officials in Bomet and the Kenya Red Cross Bomet Branch to respond to any emerging emergencies,’ he stated.

As the nation grapples with the ongoing challenges posed by floods, Governor Barchok urged vigilance and encouraged residents to utilise the county’s 24-hour hotline for emergency assistance. ‘Our 24-hour Hotline is 0746 036 036,’ he emphasised.

These initiatives come at a critical time as millions of people across the country continue to be displaced by flooding incidents in various parts.

These measures come against the backdrop of a nationwide crisis, with millions of people displaced and hundreds losing their lives and properties due to devastating floods across the Country.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Nandi Marks World Immunisation Week

Health officials in Nandi County have called upon parents and care givers to ensure their children are fully immunised

Speaking at Kabiyet sub county hospital during the celebration themed ‘Humanly Possible, Immunisation for All’, Jane Samoei, the County Health Promotion Coordinator stated that proper vaccination improves the health and wellbeing of children and protects them from deadly diseases.

‘We save children’s lives through vaccination. Our aim is to safeguard individuals of all ages through comprehensive immunisation efforts,’ she said

Mrs Samoei said Immunisation remains one of the most cost effective tools to preventing and controlling diseases, disabilities and deaths.

During the week, the Department of Health and Sanitation held a two-day immunisation training for immunisation staff, public health officers and community health promoters from across the entire county.

According to the Nandi County Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) Coordinator Susan Biwott, training healthcare staff is
crucial in improving the performance of immunisation programmes.

‘Training and capacity building for immunisation staff is one of the most important factors in enhancing immunisation performance and effectively introducing new vaccines, technologies, practices and policies,’ she said

On his part, the County Reproductive Health Coordinator Laban Talam told locals that the vaccines especially HPV vaccine for girls between ages 10-14 are safe and effective, demystifying the myths around it

‘Immunisation will protect your future generation by saving lives. Every child deserves access to life saving vaccines that can protect them against illness, disability and death. Vaccines make it humanly possible to eradicate disease,’ he said.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Departments To Plant Trees In The Long Rains Tree Planting Drive

West Pokot County government departments are being encouraged to increase tree cover to mitigate the impact of floods and other environmental hazards.

Governor Simon Kachapin who launched 122,000 tree seedlings for the long rains tree planting at the Ministry of Water, Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change tree nursery said trees are very essential in reducing the effects of climate change.

Kachapin directed all the departments to plant trees on their compounds for environmental conservation and aesthetic value.

During the launch, the ministry aforementioned distributed 5000 tree seedlings to every department to be planted in order to create green spaces within county departments and public land available.

The Governor also urged residents to continue planting indigenous trees saying they help in conserving water catchment areas. ‘When we are planting trees we should ensure that we plant indigenous trees on water catchment areas because they help in water conservation,’ said Kachapin.

He exp
lained that climate change being experienced is as a result of indiscriminate cutting down of trees for charcoal burning and construction purposes and appealed to residents living in water catchment areas to move from such places since they cannot fight against nature.

‘I want to ask everybody who is living in water catchment areas and other public land to move away from those places. My office will collaborate with the national government and other stakeholders to make sure those adamant move away,’ maintained the governor.

He also urged residents to embrace planting bamboo trees which he noted help in absorbing high carbon monoxide and greenhouse gases to mitigate climate change. He said the current floods can be linked to the destruction of the ozone layer.

‘The disaster of floods that we are experiencing is because the ozone layer has been destroyed by the greenhouse gases and atmospheric pressure that is high,’ he claimed.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Kenya’s Marathon Team To The 2024 Paris Olympics Named

Athletics Kenya (AK) has named the final formidable eight-member marathon team that will represent the country in the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Two-time Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge will lead the men’s team, while 2020 Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir will anchor the women’s team.

AK President Jackson Tuwei hopes that Kipchoge who will be defending his title will be able to be the first athlete to win the Olympic marathon title for the third time in a row.

Tokyo Marathon champion Benson Kipruto alongside the London Marathon champion Alexander Munyao completes the three-man team selected by AK and announced in Eldoret on Wednesday morning. Timothy Kiplagat, Tokyo Marathon Silver medalist was named as a reserve in the men’s team.

Eliud Kipchoge won the 2016 Rio Olympics at a time of 2:08:44 and successfully defended the title by winning the 2020 Tokyo Olympics clocking 2:08:38.

His compatriot Benson Kipruto set a personal best clocking 2:02:16 to win the Tokyo marathon on March 3, 2024. While Alexander Mu
nyao last week secured the champion title for the London marathon after clocking 2:04:01.

The Tokyo Silver medalist, Timothy Kiplagat who clocked 2:02:55 to clinch the second position was named as a reserve in the men’s team.

Two-time Boston Marathon winner Hellen Obiri will join Jepchirchir in the women’s team alongside Brigid Kosgei, the London and Chicago marathon champion.

2022 New York Marathon winner Sharon Lokedi was named as a reserve in the women’s team, with the AK President stating that the reserves ‘will go all the way’ while at the same time hoping nothing would happen to the core team.

Jepchirchir, the London Marathon champion, will be hoping to defend her 2020 Tokyo Olympics title that she won at a time of 2:27:20. Kosgei was able to clinch the second position by clocking 2:27:36.

During the London Marathon, she clocked 2:16:16 to break the women-only World Marathon record and was victorious in the 2021 New York City Marathon and 2022 Boston Marathon.

Hellen Obiri secured the Boston marat
hon in 2023 after clocking 2:21:38 and defended it successfully on April 15 winning at a time of 2:22:27.

Speaking during the unveiling of the team Tuwei said they are confident that they have done their best in selecting the best team for the country and they wish the team well and hope they will bring good results.

Tuwei who was flanked by National Olympic Committee Kenya (NOCK) President Paul Tergat, and other officials said a group of experts helped in the selection of the final team to Paris.

He encouraged those athletes who did not make the final cut not to lose hope as there is always another time.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Siaya Signs Partnership Deal To Reduce Maternal Mortality Cases

The maternal mortality rate in Siaya County stands at 491 per 100,000, way above the globally recommended figures, County Executive Committee Member for Health, Dr. Martin K’onyango, has said.

According to Dr. K’onyango, the county’s neonatal mortality rate is also high, standing at 25 per 1,000 live births, against the sustainable development goal targets of 12 per 1,000 live births.

Dr. K’onyango, however, said that efforts were being made to reduce the figures to the required level, adding that the county government was committed to improving emergency medical services for expectant mothers and newborns.

He was speaking in his office when he signed a public-private partnership with aimed at enhancing maternal and neonatal medical services in Siaya County.

The CECM said that timely intervention and care can prevent up to 75% of maternal deaths and half of new-born deaths, hence the need for improved emergency medical services.

‘Through this ground-breaking public-private partnership with res, we are dedicated to enhancing maternal and neonatal emergency services in our county, ultimately ensuring better health outcomes for mothers and new-borns,’ said Dr. K’onyango. official Vicky Kaigai said 72% of the emergencies in most counties are maternal and neonatal.

Kaigai said that proper emergency response can help bring down mortality rates, adding that her organisation will use modern technology to coordinate emergency response.

‘We will be using our technology to help coordinate responses and will work with the county through its referral system and also with public and private ambulances,’ she said.

Source: Kenya News Agency

National Treasury To Establish A Credit Guarantee Company To Enhance Access To Loans For MSMEs

The government is seeking to establish a Kenya Credit Guarantee Company (KCGC) to enhance credit access for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.

Antony Njeru, a Principal Economist at the National Treasury said majority of MSMEs in the country have limited access to credit facilities due to lack of collateral and the KCGC intends to reduce the risks for lenders and encourage them to grant credit to MSMEs.

A credit guarantee company is a mechanism where a third party, who is the guarantor pledges to pay part or the entire loan to the lender in case the borrower defaults.

‘Majority of Kenyans that run MSMEs are young people who lack collateral like log books and titles deeds. The KCGC will provide an alternative form of collateral by sharing the risks with the banks in case of defaults,’ said Njeru.

He spoke during a public participation forum for the Credit Guarantee Policy and amendments to the Central Bank of Kenya Act held at the Machakos University.

The principal economist said
the policy if adopted will help address some of the problems affecting MSMEs in the country especially on issues related to financing.

‘Some of the reasons that prevent MSMEs from accessing credit is due to skill gaps, this policy also intends to cure such problems associated with MSMEs,’ he said.

Geoffrey Momanyi, a Senior State Counsel at the National Treasury speaking at the same forum noted that majority of the MSMEs were operating informally making it difficult for them to access credit hence the need to have them registered.

‘The policy also seeks to address informality in the sector by ensuring that all MSMEs are registered to access loans,’ said Momanyi.

He reiterated that KCGC will ensure sufficient collateral to MSMEs to enable them operate optimally through access to loans.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Safety Of Journalists Is Crucial While On Duty -KUJ

The Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ), Secretary General Eric Oduor has urged journalists to ensure their safety while on duty.

Speaking to journalists at a Machakos hotel during a capacity building workshop on safety of journalists facilitated by the United Nations Education and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Oduor said journalists should not endanger their lives in pursuit of stories.

He warned about rising online attacks, physical assaults, harassment, and intimidation of journalists, urging them to manage their lifestyles for their safety.

He emphasized the importance of managing their digital footprints and understanding the environment they work in to avoid attacks. ‘No story is worth your life, it is important to take care of your own personal security,’ said Oduor.

Victor Bwire Program Manager and Trainer at the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) implored Media Owners to offer better remuneration to journalists to empower them financially.

Bwire noted that a majority of journalists are socially isolat
ed and stressed because of their financial challenges yet they are required to perform their work well.

Source: Kenya News Agency