Migori County Government is seeking strategic partners in the tourism sector to create jobs and shore up the local economy. Governor Okoth Obado said his government has rolled out a masterplan to step up the region’s unexploited tourism potential.
He said part of the county’s broader strategy is to diversify its income sources, away from the traditional sugar cane and tobacco farming. He said plans to upgrade Migori Airstrip are at an advanced stage and a survey for its expansion has been completed. This, he said, will increase the number of visitors to the county and make Migori a top tourism destination in the next two years.
“We have excellent sandy beaches yet to be fully exploited. We have natural heritages like the Mugabo caves and pre-historic sites like Thim Lich Ohinga,” he said, adding that many tourists to the Masai Mara also land in Migori. The governor, in an interview with Weekend Business said Migori’s location at the border with Tanzania was strategic and that deliberate attempt is being made to attract tourists from across the borders.
Migori is also home to the Legio Maria sect based at Got Kweru where the legendary sect leader Messiah Ondeto was buried. There have been plans to list Got Kweru among possible tourist destinations. There is also Macalder where gold mining takes place.
Mr Obado also said they are revamping sugar cane production and livestock farming. “We have given out over 300 dairy cows to farmers. We want to set up a milk processing plant. We are converting local breeds into superior ones through mass artificial insemination. We are also giving subsidized inputs besides constructing fishponds,” he told Weekend Business in Nairobi.
The governor, at the same time, said he was relying on his development record to win a second term in office. He said his administration had grown the county’s economy two-fold in the last four years. Elected on a PDP ticket, he recently defected to ODM, and said he deserves a second term to complete his development projects. “We have done remarkably well on roads, bridges and wananchi are proud. We have installed street lights in markets hence longer business hours. We have also formed a cooperative society almost in every ward to empower our people,” Obado said.