The Mouth-watering Azimio Agenda for Western Kenya

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Western Kenya comprises of Busia, Kakamega, Bungoma, Vihiga and Trans Nzoia Counties. The region has a combined population of slightly above 6 million people. The counties have similar ecological zones, natural resources, historical and cultural relationships.

CHALLENGES FACING WESTERN KENYA

The region is characterized by the following challenges:

  1. Depressed economic productivity.
  2. Poor agricultural production.
  3. Poor access to energy including low electricity connectivity and inadequate access to solar power (it is the region with the highest black outs).
  4. Poor roads infrastructure.
  5. High rate of youth unemployment.
  6. Lack of industrial development.
  7. Lack of adequate supply of clean and safe water for domestic use.
  8. Poor access to quality healthcare services.
  9. Under resourcing of education facilities (there is understaffing of about 50% across the counties).
  10. Low ICT adoption and connectivity.
  11. Neglect of the creative sector.

THE AZIMIO AGENDA FOR WESTERN KENYA

The Azimio Government shall work cooperatively with the region’s five (5) County Governments (Bungoma, Busia, Kakamega, Trans Nzoia, and Vihiga) to lift it from the yoke and misery of poverty, youth unemployment, and low productivity by promoting investment in the following areas:

  1. THE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION AGENDA

The Azimio Government shall, under strengthened inter-governmental consultation and cooperation, work with the County Governments in the region to promote the production of improved varieties of indigenous food crops and vegetables, eliminate post-harvest food losses and improve the value chain with a focus towards ensuring food security. The Government will invest in weather forecasting and early warning systems in each county to help and plan for food production. In addition, the Government will conduct soil analysis to inform the selection of appropriate crops for the benefit of the region.

Specifically, the Azimio Government will support and collaborate with County Governments in the region to:

  1. Promote intensive investment in the adoption of modern agricultural production techniques and technologies.
  2. Boost investment in the revival and revitalization of modern agricultural extension services for crop, livestock, and dairy production.
  3. Intensify investment in irrigated and climate smart agriculture along the major river basins of River Yala, River Nzoia and the shores of Lake Victoria.
  4. Ensure ready access to quality and affordable agricultural inputs through subsidies.
  5. Invest in the production of high yield oil foods and horticultural crops.
  6. Promote the production of cereals including sorghum, millet, simsim, among others.
  7. Revive and equip agricultural mechanization centres in each constituency.
  8. Establish competency-based farmers skills development centres, that are linked to research and new innovations in agricultural production.
  9. Promote the development of essential agricultural infrastructure, efficient value chains and ready access to markets.
  10. Revive sugar companies and repurpose the Pan Paper industry to serve the local populations better.
  11. Invest in fish farming, as part of the blue economy, along the Lake Victoria.

BUSIA COUNTY

  1. Include Busia in the efforts to grow the blue economy in the Lake Region.
  2. Set up cold rooms and fish processing plants to ensure that the benefits are accrued for the county.
  3. Enhance irrigated food crop and horticulture (fruit crops) production along River Sio and the Lake Victoria shores.
  4. Invest in high yield horticulture production in Busia North, Teso, Marachi, Butula.
  5. Intensify cotton production in Funyula and Budalangi.
  6. Intensify the production of traditional grains including sorghum, millet, and cassava in Butula, Teso, Marachi, Funyula and Budalangi to enhance food security.
  7. Invest in livestock farming across the county.
  8. Increase honey production through modern bee keeping technologies.
  9. Establish livestock breeding and crop multiplication centres in each constituency.
  10. Establish dairy processing plants in each constituency.
  11. Develop and sustain agricultural value chains and market infrastructure

BUNGOMA

  1. Revive and revitalize the sugar industry.
  2. Recover and repurpose the Pan Paper industry.
  3. Intensify irrigated agriculture for high value food and cash crop production.
  4. Promote coffee production and processing.
  5. Increase dairy production through modern livestock extension services, cattle grants and farmer skills development.
  6. Establish livestock breeding and crop multiplication centres in each constituency.
  7. Intensify poultry production through farmer training, provision of inputs and market access.
  8. Intensified honey production through modern bee keeping technologies.
  9. Develop agricultural value chains and market infrastructure.
  10. Strengthen farmers cooperatives

KAKAMEGA

  1. Revive and revitalize the sugar industry.
  2. Double the land under irrigated agriculture from 385ha to 700ha for high value horticultural crops.
  3. Revitalize the operations of agricultural cooperatives.
  4. Invest in the production and processing of indigenous grains and vegetables.
  5. Intensify honey production through modern bee keeping technologies.
  6. Intensify livestock and dairy production by the adoption of modern technologies.
  7. Establish livestock breeding and crop multiplication centres in each constituency.

TRANS NZOIA

  1. Establish an Agricultural Farmers Training Centre on high yield crop production technologies in the county.
  2. Increase the acreage under irrigated agriculture to 3000ha.
  3. Promote coffee production and processing.
  4. Intensify the production of food and horticultural crops through the application of modern technology.
  5. Strengthen agricultural cooperatives.
  6. Establish livestock breeding and crop multiplication centres in each constituency.
  7. Strengthen agricultural cooperatives.
  8. Establish modern agricultural machinery stations in each constituency.
  9. Invest in grain storage and milling facilities.

 

VIHIGA

  1. Intensify production of high value crops and livestock.
  2. Strengthen agricultural cooperatives.
  3. Establish livestock breeding and crop multiplication centers in each constituency.
  4. Expand and modernize agricultural extension system.
  5. Invest in modern agricultural machinery services.
  6. Promote tea and coffee production and processing.

  1. THE INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENDA

The Azimio Government shall, under strengthened inter-governmental consultation and cooperation work with and support County Governments to establish one major value adding industry in each county. For instance, the following are potential investments could be implemented in each county under the One County, One Product promise.

The third option for investment could be value addition to an agricultural product as respective

Kakamega (i) Establish a gold processing plant
(ii) Revive and revitalize Mumias Sugar Company
Busia (i) Invest in blue economy along Lake Victoria
(ii) Revive the cotton industry
Bungoma (i) Recover and repurpose Pan-paper industry
(ii) Revive and revitalize the sugar industry
Trans Nzoia (i) Build facilities for grain storage and milling
(ii) Invest in a fertilizer plant
Vihiga (i) Invest in value addition to traditional grains and vegetables
(ii) Enhance tea processing

 

county may determine. Other possible products that could be considered by counties include:

  1. Promotion of value addition including grain, fruit, and vegetable processing cottage industries in each constituency.
  2. Establish economic and export processing zones along the Uganda border with Busia and Bungoma.
  3. Restructure the sugar industry to promote the production of high value by-products such as, ethanol, soft boards, paper, and charcoal briquettes from the bagasse.
  4. Establish fish processing and packaging industry in Busia South.
  5. Establish and equip JuaKali, cottage industries and entrepreneur production centres in each constituency.
  6. Jointly with the local investors and the private sector, promote the establishment of boda boda (motorcycle) assembly plant.

 

  1. EDUCATION AGENDA

The Azimio Government will, under the strengthened inter-governmental consultation and cooperation, support and collaborate with each county in the region to ensure that:

  1. The school transition rate from primary to secondary school reaches 100%, while the transition from secondary schools to TVET and tertiary academic institutions, is above 80%.
  2. Increase the staffing levels to 100% from the current understaffing level of 50%.
  3. Improve the welfare of teachers through focusing on career progression, health insurance and mental health status.
  4. Ensure quality ECDE, primary and secondary school infrastructure, including buildings, electricity supply, access to clean and safe water supply, ICT innovation centers, learning equipment and materials, and primary healthcare services.
  5. Complete the establishment of well-equipped and resourced TVETs institutions in each constituency.
  6. Establish a well-equipped ICT and digital entrepreneurship institution in each TVET.
  7. Establish computer labs in all primary and secondary schools in the region.
  8. Provide learners with meals on need basis.
  9. Establish entrepreneurship and technology innovation and incubation centers within tertiary education institutions in partnership with industry.

 

  1. THE HEALTH AGENDA

Under the strengthened inter-governmental consultation and cooperation, the Azimio Government will support and collaborate with each county in the region to ensure that:

  1. Every person has access to free and quality healthcare services.
  2. Allocate adequate resource towards preventive healthcare.
  3. Strengthen community healthcare policy for better delivery of preventive and promotive healthcare services.
  4. Strengthen public service accountability mechanisms to arrest the rampant corruption in the health sector.
  5. Complete and equip the Kakamega Level 6 hospital to become a regional referral hospital.
  6. Support capacity building of all cadres of healthcare personnel for quality health service delivery.

 

  1. SOCIAL PROTECTION

Under the strengthened inter-governmental consultation and cooperation, the Azimio Government will support and collaborate with each county in the region to:

  1. Identify all needy households by category, including single mothers, OVCs, older persons, persons with disability and the poor who qualify to benefit from the social protection fund that will be established.
  2. Develop a graduation process that weans families from dependence to empowerment through creating linkages with industry and the private sector.

 

  1. INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT

Under the strengthened inter-governmental consultation and cooperation, the Azimio Government will support and collaborate with each county in the region to:

  1. Internationalize Kisumu international airport to operationalize horticultural produce trade in western Kenya with countries in Europe and Africa.
  2. Dualize the Kisumu-Busia and Webuye-Malaba highways.
  3. Ensure full implementation of the National Government oversight roles in ensuring the Standards established by the Roads Standards Board for the development and maintenance of all roads in the region.
  4. Develop cross-border road networks to ease trade in the border towns, by implementing/enforcing the EAC Common Market Protocols.
  5. Extend SGR to Kisumu and Malaba.
  6. Rehabilitate and revive the Kisumu-Busia railway line.
  7. Rehabilitate Lake Victoria ports at Busijo and Port Victoria.
  8. Invest in labour-based technologies to create jobs for the youth and women

 

7. ICT DEVELOPMENT AND THE DIGITAL ECONOMY

Under the strengthened inter-governmental consultation and cooperation, the Azimio Government will collaborate with County Governments and CDF committees to:

  1. Establish ICT and digital enterprise centres in each constituency in the region.
  2. Establish a center of excellence in ICT and digital enterprise at Masinde Muliro University.
  3. Train young entrepreneurs in E-commerce.

 

8. THE CREATIVE ARTSAND SPORTS INDUSTRY

Under the strengthened inter-governmental consultation and cooperation, the Azimio Government in collaboration with the County Governments, will:

  1. Establish creative arts development centers and performing studios in each county in the region.
  2. Promote the development of sports and talent academies in the region.
  3. Establish talent incubation academies in the region.
  4. Brand, market and promote various cultural festivals as major touristic events in the country.
  5. Promote the study, publication and preservation of the history and culture of the people of the region

 

  1. ‘BORESHA MAJI’ AGENDA

Under the strengthened inter-governmental consultation and cooperation, the Azimio Government will work with County Governments to ensure that every household in the region is supplied with clean and safe water for domestic use.

  1. TOURISM PROMOTION

Under the strengthened inter-governmental consultation and cooperation, the Azimio Government will support and collaborate with counties in the region to:

  1. Develop and promote the Western Kenya tourism circuit.
  2. Develop major hotel conference facilities in Busia, Kakamega, Bungoma, Kitale and Mbale towns.
  3. Develop and restore the Mt. Elgon, Kakamega and Maragoli Forests as key eco-tourism circuits, among other tourist attraction sites.
  4. Develop and promote cultural tourism in all counties.

 

  1. ACCESS TO OPPORTUNITIES FOR PROFESSIONALS IN THE REGION

The Azimio Government will strive to ensure equitable distribution of professional opportunities to all regions including to professionals from Western Kenya. In addition, the Government will respect the not more than two-third gender principle.

THE TEN-POINT AGENDA FOR THE AZIMIO LA UMOJA ONE KENYA COALITION

  1. Azimio la Ugatuzi
  2. Azimio la Jitihada
  3. Azimio la Kina Mama
  4. Azimio la Ukulima
  5. Azimio la Viwanda
  6. Azimio la Wananchi
  7. Azimio la Uwajibikaji
  8. “Waste not a Single Child”
  9. Maji Kwa Kila Boma
  10. ‘Babacare’

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