Orengo: Here is my scorecard, future plans for Siaya residents

Siaya Governor James Orengo. [Courtesy, Standard]

Opening up over 71 kilometres of roads and completion of new markets are some of Siaya Governor James Orengo's achievements a year since he was elected.

In his State of the County address on Friday, he said opening up the 71.2 kilometres of roads, maintenance of another 447.3 kilometres and completion of three modern markets have eased trade in the region.

The opened roads existed but were impassable. However, residents can now use them after the county administration put marram on them.

The modern markets the county has constructed are Wang’arot in West Asembo, Boro in Central Alego and Nyadorera Market in Usonga. They are in addition to 11 new market shades the county has constructed.

Service delivery

"The roads have eased the movement for people, goods and services. They have also facilitated service delivery and prompt response to emergencies," said Orengo.

Under Orengo's leadership, the county has installed 99 high-mast floodlights in various markets, including the Obama market in Bondo municipality, which have enhanced security while boosting trade.

The governor noted his administration has also strengthened households’ food security and economic resilience through the distribution of 10,434 month-old chicks to farmers. Some 10 hatching incubators have also been given to farmers in Yala Township ward.

"This has improved production and enhanced people's income from the sale of poultry products," said Orengo, adding; "My administration further rehabilitated five water pans, with the support of Kenya Climate and Smart Agriculture, to boost livestock and horticulture farming."

Under irrigation

To increase the farming acreage under irrigation, the governor stated that the department of agriculture supported 20 horticulture farmers' groups in South Uyoma by providing them with 20 portable irrigation water pans and 800 water pumps.

Orengo said his target is to produce adequate food for domestic consumption and surplus for sale. He is also looking to support farmers to produce raw materials for industrial take off while also harnessing the large potential of the Blue Economy.

"When I took over office, Siaya faced a serious food shortage due to erratic weather patterns, droughts, and declining farm yields due to overuse of land, poor quality seeds and lack of extension support to farmers. To turn things around, we procured seven tractors and repaired 15 others, and deployed them at subsidized costs. The target was to increase the acreage for food production," he said.

He said that they have also supported farmers with 159 metric tonnes of certified seeds and 228 metric tonnes of fertilizer at subsidized prices.

The county boss said he is also committed to providing quality healthcare to the residents and noted that safe deliveries have gone up to 95 per cent.

"Similarly, our immunization coverage has risen from about 80 per cent in 2021 to 93 per cent currently. These outcome indicators are significantly above the national averages which stand at 89 per cent and 80 per cent respectively," he said.

Health facilities

To enhance access to quality healthcare services, his administration has equipped and operationalized 19 rural health facilities, including Lur, Nyamsenda, Nyalweny, and Mudondo dispensaries.

Orengo added: "This has helped us attain the World Health Organization acceptable standard of 3km radius of access to a health facility in all the sub-counties, except in Ugenya where some work remains undone before realize this target."

He said that his administration has digitized the operations of Community Health Promoters (CHPs) through the provision of smartphones and tablets. 

"Our investment in building functional and responsive community health services as part of the broader agenda of enhanced primary healthcare services has been anchored on capacitating our indefatigable 2,128 CHPs," he said.

He added: "Over the last one year, we have improved their monthly stipend from Sh2,500 to Sh3,000, with the national government committing to top it up with Sh2,000. We are among the few counties that have enrolled CHPs on NHIF so that, they too, can access the very essential services they are helping us to provide."

"Our strategic investments in health have focused more on equipping and enhancing the functionality of existing health facilities as opposed to building new ones." 

On tourism and sports, the governor said the construction of Siaya County stadium is on course and it wont be long before it is launched. 

"The roofing structure is now in place while other works, such as the ticketing booths are ongoing. In the current financial year, we have provided funds for the installation of floodlights and laying of tartan track," said Orengo.

Own Source Revenue (ORS) collection also improved to Sh466.6 million. This year's overall target is Sh700.9 million.

"Despite the target shortfall so far, this collection was an improvement from the Sh446.4 million that was collected the previous financial year," said the governor.

 Meet target

"This improvement in OSR is as a result of our efforts to enhance efficiency in the collection and reporting of revenue. We have a plan to meet the target."

Orengo, who was accompanied by area senator Oburu Oginga, MPs Samuel Atandi (Alego-Usonga) and Otiende Amollo (Rarieda), urged residents to support his flagship projects, which include the transformation of Siaya County Referral Hospital to an ultra-modern Level Six medical facility, and the upgrade of sub-county hospitals to level five.

"We also plan to establish a cotton ginnery in Madiany and an industry in each sub-county," he said.