Governor Nyong’o’s 5-year report card as he eyes another term in Kisumu
When he burst into Prosperity House in 2017 as a governor-elect armed with an ambitious 35-page manifesto, many were waiting to see if he will be able to deliver on his campaign agenda.
And for a start, Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o who prides himself as a planner and a reformist started implementing his ten-point agenda for the county.
An effort to decommission the infamous Kachok dumpsite that had formed part of his campaign agenda quickly started as his administration began implementing some of his envisioned economic blueprints. The project has however stalled.
With less than four months remaining before the end of his first term and as the region prepares for the August 9 general elections, Nyong’o’s scorecard is a bag of mixed fortunes.
While some of the projects listed in his campaign manifesto have been implemented, others remain a mirage with residents casting doubt if they were realistic and achievable.
Some of the projects are still stuck at the ideological level and little effort has been made to implement them.
The projects that were in his manifesto that are yet to kick off include the ambitious plan to provide all households in the county with clean piped water.
Several families in the county are still struggling to access clean water while supply in Kisumu has also been affected on several occasions as a result of low production.
Last month, several estates in the city remained without water for several days with water supplier Kiwasco blaming the shortage on climate change. Ironically, Kisumu borders Lake Victoria.
Key facilities including hospitals were hit by the shortage, disrupting vital services.
Kiwasco said that at least 19 estates were affected by the intermittent supply.
The developments however cloud Nyong’o’s manifesto that had prioritized increasing the supply of clean water to residents. The provision of clean water was listed as agenda four in his campaign manifesto as a legacy project.
Other projects that are yet to see the light of the day that he had listed as his legacy projects include the setting up of libraries and resource centres at village levels.
It also remains to be seen if his administration will achieve his goal of building pilot light rails in the sugar belt and pilot trams in Kisumu city that he had prioritized in his manifesto.
The legacy project is yet to kick-off as sugarcane farmers continue to struggle with problems that have persisted in the sector for several years.
Johnson Owigo, a cane farmer claimed that they were yet to see any fruits from Nyong’o’s administration.
“We have bad roads in the sugar belt areas of Muhoroni and the county government has not done anything to improve their conditions,” he claimed.
Governor Nyong’o as well as his allies however believe he has done a lot to implement most of the items in his campaign manifesto and blamed delays in funding from the national government for the failures in implementing some.
In a State of the County Address he delivered in December, the governor painted a rosy picture of the projects he has been able to implement and claimed his transformation journey is on course.
The projects include the establishment of a modern sports complex. Nyong’o’s administration renovated the Jomo Kenyatta Sports ground and renamed it to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sports Complex. The complex however is yet to start operating.
For the governor, however, the Handshake between ODM leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta was a major boost for his administration and has seen some projects implemented with the help of the national government.
Among the projects that the County Chief has managed to implement include the creation of village councils that he had listed as one of the main agendas in his campaign manifesto.
In 2020, through the initiative, Nyong’o unveiled 70 administrators to drive his development agenda.
Another campaign manifesto that the governor has been able to implement includes the upgrading and modernization of the region’s largest referral facility Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Referral Hospital.
Nyongo’s administration has built three new wards and increased bed capacity from 600 to 850 beds at JOOTRH. In addition, the county government has also installed an oxygen plant.
A comprehensive cancer centre has also been constructed at JOOTRH and has helped in improving access to healthcare.
“A landmark development in the hospital is the construction of the Comprehensive Cancer Care Centre cancer and Blood Disorders Center to comprehensively manage cancers and other blood disorders,” Nyong’o said in his Fourth State of the County Address.
Through collaborations with various partners, the county government also launched a healthcare insurance scheme dubbed “Marwa healthcare” that has been helping poor families.
The county is also keen to complete a number of projects including the modernization of Kibuye market which is at an advanced stage. The national government also constructed a Ksh600 million market dubbed "Uhuru Business Complex".
Within the city, a city beautification project that has transformed the look of Kisumu has also been implemented with new pavements built and lights installed.
The project however came at a cost for several businesses that were demolished to pave way for the city’s reorganization.
Nyong’o is hoping to lure more investors to invest in the city during the upcoming Africities conference.