President to tour Raila's backyard for four days in new charm offensive

On Saturday, the president's allies in the region as well as senior government officials were racing against time to put final touches to preparations for the visit.

The Sunday Standard has established among the projects the president will launch include the rehabilitation of Homa Bay Pier, Kendu Bay pier and Asembo Bay pier.

He will also launch other projects touching on infrastructure, blue economy and trade. In Kisumu, the president will launch the planned construction of a Sh1 billion Fisheries Aquaculture Service and Training Centre of Excellence in Kabonyo-Kanyagwal.

On Saturday, ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo and Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo confirmed the visit and urged the region to welcome the president and support his development plans.

They described the visit as a major breakthrough for the region and said the government is committed to transforming the lives of residents as well as revamping Nyanza economy.

Speaking when they inspected the state of piers in Homa Bay County, the two said the President's visit is anchored on the implementation of development projects.

According to Owalo, the president is keen to unlock the region's economy and is pursuing several projects that are vital to the growth of the economy.

"I am urging everyone to welcome the president," said Owalo.

Owalo told residents of Nyanza region to create an enabling environment for development. He argued that development does not thrive in a chaotic environment.

"The government is ready to serve the people of Nyanza without any prejudice. Let us also create an enabling environment for it to serve us," Owalo said.

He said his ministry will establish Wifi at the piers to enhance the digital economy.

Owalo said the piers will enhance bilateral trade between Kenya and her neighbours.

"These piers will help us trade with our neighbouring countries well," Owalo said.

Blue economy

According to Dr Omollo, the Government had set aside about Sh2 billion that will be used for boosting blue economy through Lake Victoria.

These include the construction of Homa Bay, Kendu Bay, Mbita and Asembo Bay piers and the purchase of a ship worth Sh600 million to connect the region's small ports.

"The government will spend Sh2 billion for improving blue economy activities in Lake Victoria and that is a sign that it is ready to transform the lives of Nyanza people," Dr Omollo said.

Ruto is expected to tour Homa Bay County for the launch of the construction of Homa Bay Pier on Friday.

This is going to be President Ruto's fourth visit to Homa Bay County since he was elected on August 9 last year.

Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga who accompanied the duo said they were ready to welcome the president. She said her administration is optimistic that a partnership with the national goverment will enhance development.

"I am an ODM governor but development unites us. When it comes to development, I work with the government but when it comes to politics, I will work with my party leader Raila Odinga," Wanga said.