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More Efforts to Combat Corona Virus in Vihiga County

Efforts to fight the Second Wave of The Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Vihiga County are key as cases of the disease are on the rise claiming lives of many Kenyans.

This morning Governor Ottichilo received a donation of 35,000 surgical masks and 500 pieces of NK95 masks from delegates of The High Level Summit 1 (HLS1) led by Dr. Joseph Amunga.

"Am greatful to HLS1 for this donation and as a county we are always willing to work with them. Covid-19 is at our doorstep and we should take it as a great enemy. Always adhere to the government's directive on fighting and prevention of the disease." Said Governor Ottichilo.

In his remarks the HLS National cordinator Dr. Amunga emphasized on the need for adhering to health protocols to combat COVID19.

"In as far as development is a key agenda in matters of devolution, at this time we cannot ignore mentioning issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is our duty to observe the set guidelines to protect ourselves." Averred Dr. Amunga.

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Disaster Management Bill Signed into Law

Residents of Vihiga County stand to be a happy lot with the signing of the Vihiga County Disaster Management Bill, 2019.

The bill which is among the key pillars of Governor Ottichilo's manifesto seeks to establish an institutional framework with a technical wing that will help solve disasters such as the Corona Pandemic, floods , landslides, drought, accidents among others.

"This is a critical bill as it is also recognized in the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) in setting up of a Disaster Fund and Disaster Act," said the County Boss. He further noted that plans are underway to have a full-time insitutional framework that will help form an independent committee which will manage the fund. "The County Government Act provided that we make an allocation of 2% of our annual budget into the disaster fund," noted the Governor.

In her remarks, County Assembly speaker who was accompanied by a host of Members of County Assembly (MCAs), Honorable Hasna Mudeizi, noted that the process has been tedious especially as the country faces the Covid-19 pandemic. "Getting MCAs to have sessions and debate over the bills has not been easy. Am however grateful that my colleagues found time and have managed to reach this far. Regulations make us do things as a government in the right way and therefore the bills are a plus to operations of this county. They also help curb spending harpharzadly since there are set guidelines on spending," said the speaker.

Other Bills signed include the Vihiga County Early Childhood Education Bill,2019 and The Vihiga County Finance Bill, 2020.

The Education Bill provides room for improvement of infrastructure in ECDE centres as well as recruitment of the teachers and feeding of the school going children who need proper care.

The Finance Bill on the other hand seeks to execute provisions of the Finance Act that will help the county meet set targets of revenue collection. According to the Governor, this financial year the county has a set target of 216million as far a revenue collection is concerned. For the bill to be more effective, the county Incorporated the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) to ensure traders are not over taxed.

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Boost for Agricultural Extension Services

Farmers in Vihiga County are set to benefit from extension services after the Governor commissioned two vehicles and 20 motorcycles.

Under the auspices of National Agricultural Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP) component three which deals with capacity building of county Governments to support community led development initiatives, extension officers will move with ease reaching out to farmers and giving information on the right farming methods and technology.

Speaking during the commissioning, Governor Ottichilo said NARIGP has been instrumental in inculcating new technology in farming and making Vihiga farmers move from the traditional subsistence farming to agribusiness. The procured vehicles and motorcycles will go a long way in extension services for farmers to upscale production while harnessing new farming technologies. The Governor said that capacity building is a critical ingredient in ensuring success of NARIGP. " Am challenging our youths to take agribusiness seriously because it pays handsomely than formal employment," said the Governor.

100 youths have been trained as Community Facilitators for the Field Farmer Schools (FFS) that will be educating farmers on the best farming practices. The FFS program will run for 20 weeks and aims to build capacity on new farming technologies to farmers.

Deputy Governor Dr. Patrick Saisi said extension services to farmers is critical because it makes farmers have the right information and get it right. He said vehicles and motorcycles easing movement of extension officers, farmers will have an opportunity to double their profits in agribusiness, an attribute he said will have a multiplier effect on food production in the county.

Agriculture CECM Geoffrey Vukaya said NARIGP operation period in the County has been extended from 2021 to 2023 and challenged farmers to take advantage of it and venture into agribusiness.

Chief officer for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Pamela Busungu said extension services to farmers will enable Vihiga curb the perennial food shortage because farmers will have knowledge on the best farming practices on small acreages.

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