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Makueni County on Thursday opened doors to its first cancer treatment and management clinic at the Makueni Referral Hospital, Wote.

The clinic is courtesy of the EMPOWER PROJECT, a partnership bringing together Roche, International Cancer Institute (ICI), Women for Cancer and African Cancer Foundation.

The County First Ladies Association (CFLA) was key in realizing the clinic by mobilizing all the partners and resources including the county government and Family Bank which donated five Chemotherapy chairs for the cancer unit.

Speaking at the event, governor Kivutha Kibwana said his administration will commit adequate budgetary provisions for essential supplies and human resources to ensure that the rising burden of cancer in Makueni is reversed.

He said that before establishment of the unit, patients used to travel to Kenyatta National Hospital and private facilities for diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This, he said, was expensive and time consuming. It was associated with delays, with patients sometimes missing treatment due to long queues as well as lack of follow up and poor outcomes

So far, the county government has seconded an Oncologist Pharmacist, 2 clinical officers, one nurse and one records officer for the coordination of the unit. Further, it is in the process of recruiting 2 oncology clinical officers, 2 oncology nurses, a radiologist and a pathologist to support the increasing traffic at the centre.

Makueni becomes the fifth county to unveil the EMPOWER CANCER CLINIC after Kisumu, Bungoma, Meru and Taita Taveta.

CFLA chairperson Maria Mbeneka (Laikipia) said the aim of pushing for establishment of the cancer clinics in counties is to enhance early cancer detection, treatment and management while reducing the prohibitive costs of treatment.

The event at the Mother and Child Hospital in Wote was graced by 15 county first ladies among them host Nazi Kivutha, Edna Lenku-Kajiado, Sarah Tunai-Narok, Saline Barchok-Bomet, Wato Kuti-Isiolo, Elizabeth Kinyanjui-Nakuru and Sheila Sang-Nandi.

Others were Priscilla Murungi- Meru, Priscilla Oparanya-Kakamega, Christine Mvurya-Kwale, Dorothy Nyong’o- Kisumu, Stellah Samboja- Taita Taveta and Ivy Bunei of Baringo County.

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Enhancing Food Security in Makueni

Governor Kivutha Kibwana and his deputy Adelina Mwau on Thursday flagged off 30MT of maize seed worth Kshs. 7.5M for distribution to 15,000 farmers across the county a head of the October-December short rains.

The consignment, which is support from Bayer East Africa, is part of the county government’s efforts working with its partners to enhance food security initiatives.

The initiatives target to support 47,382 farm families, 75 youth groups and 118 other groups with seeds, seedlings and equipment to improve food and nutrition security in the county. The target beneficiaries are spread across all the thirty wards in Makueni County in line with the county government’s philosophy of “O kila nyumba kalila.”

The overall goal of the initiatives, governor Kibwana said, is to cushion the farmer against the effects of covid-19 pandemic by ensuring availability of quality seed and seedlings for enhanced productivity and profitability at farm level. This is to be achieved through a collaborative effort between the government and stakeholders as follows:

1. Bayer E.A, supporting with 30,000 Kgs of maize seed (worth KShs 7.5M), targeting 15,000 (500 per ward) beneficiaries

2. Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme – Climate Resilient Agricultural Livelihood (KCEP-CRAL), a government programme, targeting to reach out to 5,297 beneficiaries with an assortment of maize/beans and sorghum/green grams seeds as well as other farm inputs (ripping service, hermetic bags, tarpaulin, fertilizers). The programme will also support 20 staff with motorbikes to enhance their mobility when offering extension services.

3. Small-scale Irrigation and Value Addition Project (SIVAP) targeting 540 beneficiaries with beans, cow peas, green grams, dolichos lab, millets, and sorghum seeds for demonstrations and bulking in the project areas (Utangwa, Kyemwee Irrigation schemes and Muoni/Kikuu Catchment – Makindu, Nguu/Masumba, Emali/Mulala, Mbitini and Kasikeu wards).

4. The National Irrigation Board (NIB) is supporting the initiative with 7,000 avocado seedlings which will be distributed to Kilungu, Mbitini, Ukia, Mbooni, Kithungo/Kitundu, and Tulimani wards. (10 seedlings per farmer).

5. The Government of Makueni County (GMC) will support the initiative with 10,000 avocado seedlings and 1,500 macadamia seedlings under ward projects in Mukaa and Ilima wards. (10 seedlings per farmer).

6. The Agriculture and Food Authority’s Nuts & Oil Crops will support the initiative with 5,000 cashew nut seedlings which will be distributed to 500 beneficiaries across the county at 10 seedlings per farmer.

7. The Makueni Youth Agribusiness Empowerment Project (MYAEP) will support 60 youth groups as follows;
a. 10 groups with beehives, honey harvesting kits, honey extracting machines,
b. 10 groups with chicken,
c. 20 groups with pumps, drip irrigation kits, vegetable seeds and farm inputs (fertilizers and agrochemicals).
d. 20 groups for capacity building (skills development)
e. The project has also supported 8 staff with motorbikes to enhance their mobility when offering extension services.

Makueni women sensitized on online entrepreneurship

The State Department for Gender has kicked off a sensitization drive on the 50 Million African Women Speak Project in Makueni seeking to connect local women entrepreneurs to their peers in 38 African countries.
50 Million African Women Speak project is a digital platform designed to provide a one-stop shop for information on how to run business, accessing financial services, creating business opportunities online and access to training resources in 38 African countries.
Florence Chemutai, an official of the department, urged women from Makueni to register for the Pan-African networking platform that is meant to connect 50 Million African women in business.
She spoke at Mukuyuni on Thursday during the official launch of the sensitization drive in an event attended by governor Kivutha Kibwana and his deputy Adelina Mwau.
Chemutai said the networking platform is a web and mobile-based application expected to directly impact African women and create a fair-waged job for both young people and women from the increased business activities and capital flow.
Mwau cited lack of access to capital as the main hindrance to the empowerment of women in Makueni, adding that such technology will open markets for mango fruit farmers among others.
Mwau described the initiative as “a very practical way of speaking to the general agenda of empowering women” with its business resources and custom-built social networking features already attracting thousands of women and connecting them to do business with each other and share experiences in ways that were previously not possible.
Governor Kibwana on his part emphasized that the program will give Makueni women a chance to showcase their products and link with a market of millions across Africa, in addition to leveraging on opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and mentorship as part of a vigorous online community of entrepreneurs.

Ukambani governors hold first SEKEB Summit meeting

The three Ukambani governors; Kivutha Kibwana, Alfred Mutua and Charity Ngilu on Tuesday held the first ordinary summit meeting of the South-Eastern Kenya Economic Bloc (SEKEB) in Machakos.

Top on the agenda of the meeting was development of modalities to enhance Inter-county trade, identification of priority programs/projects of the bloc, marketing of the bloc as a key investment zone, infrastructure development to expand interconnectivity of the region for ease of doing business and movement of people.

The three leaders agreed to establish a technical committee comprising of trade CECs as well as create a cabinet portfolio from each county to drive the agenda of the bloc.

Governor Kibwana said the bloc is eyeing KES 4 billion grant from the Global Climate Fund which if approved will fund several mega dams in the region, besides funding climate smart agricultural projects.

Governor Mutua said the three of them have agreed to create the proper political environment that drives genuine development and rolling back of the poverty ravaging the region.

Ngilu on her part was upbeat that the region is rich in resources which if well tapped can create 60,000 jobs per year.

Shina Foundation to the rescue of vulnerable groups

County first lady Nazi Kivutha, through her Shina Foundation, has reached out to vulnerable groups along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway with a donation of cash and other items as a cushion against covid-19 distress.

The donation targets 207 beneficiaries organized in nine groups, and who are former commercial sex workers, drug addicts/peddlers based in Mtito Andei, Kibwezi, Emali, Makindu, Sultan Hamud, Salama, Malili, Kambu and Machinery towns.

Each of the nine groups received Sh 20,000 cash as seed capital for income generating activities while each individual will receive 5 litres of hand washing soap and a hand washing jerrican.

Nazi also donated 3,605 masks where each household member of the 207 beneficiaries will receive a pack of five face masks.

“We chose groups along the highway because of their vulnerability. Shina Foundation and our partners, among them Centre for Health Solutions and AIDS Healthcare Foundation, felt many young people were at extremely high risk of Covid-19 infection owing to their care-free life associated with substances abuse and commercial sex work,” said Nazi when she presented the donation to the County Coronavirus Emergency Response Committee at the county administration offices Monday.

Governor Kivutha Kibwana who received the donation, lauded Shina foundation terming the outfit a major player in the county development especially in resource mobilization for family planning, health development and mentorship.

Makueni, World Vision Partnership to Quench Kalawa Ward

Kalawa ward is arguably one of the driest parts of Makueni county, perpetually battling water scarcities.

On a normal day, residents have to trek a considerable distance to fetch water from points that the county government has continued to develop across the expansive ward.

A partnership between the county government and World Vision is however projected to change the above scenario and make the ward one of the water secure wards in the county.

The two institutions are co-funding a project dubbed Athi-Kalawa Sanitation Project meant to distribute water to 80 % of the ward area.

The project involves pumping water from Athi River to Wii hills, construction of a treatment plant, construction of a 500 cubic meters reservoir and three distribution lines (Kalawa, Miangeni and Syotuvali) for communal water circulation.

World Vision national director Lilian Dodzo who paid a courtesy call to governor Kivutha Kibwana on Tuesday, to discuss the project progress, said the project purposes to cut the distance to the nearest water point from households to a maximum of 500 meters.

According to County Executive Committee member for Water and Sanitation Rosemary Maundu, the project is 30 percent done and phase 1 must be complete before end of the year 2020.

Kibwana Commits his Executive Committee Members to Performance Contracts

Governor Kivutha Kibwana has for the third year running committed members of his county executive to performance contracts for the 2020/2021 Financial Year.

“Today is yet again another opportunity I have to preside over the signing of performance contracts as we continue to institutionalize the performance management process. This is the third consecutive year we are signing performance contracts. As we have indicated in the past, performance management continues to be an integral part of our service delivery and project implementation,” said governor Kibwana when he presided over the exercise at his offices on Friday  

governor Kibwana challenged the departments to work hard to ensure service delivery is given to the people of Makueni to the highest possible quality and that their work is changing the lives of the people they serve for the better.

In view of the COVID-19 challenges and emerging trends, Kibwana has directed all county departments to explore modalities of automating as many of their services as is practically possible. This will ensure continuity of service delivery even during such challenges. It will also help in cutting costs associated with traveling and meetings and direct such savings to development projects for our people.

Investing in Sports for Wealth Creation

The department of Sports and ICT in Makueni has given out 1,020 balls and 120 sets of uniforms to different county teams to promote sporting activities once the ministry of sports announces re-opening of the sports calendar.

Deputy governor Adelina Mwau who flagged off the equipment on Tuesday at the County administration offices said 35 teams across the various disciplines will benefit.

She said the county is investing heavily in a community based sports programme dubbed Ligi Mashinani as a way of keeping young people busy and draw them from antisocial behaviors.

The deputy governor said the long-term goal of this initiative is sharpening sporting talents so that young people can earn and create wealth as career sportsmen and women.

15 out of 30 wards had set aside Sh12 Million in the 2019/2020 financial year to support sports development at the community level. This will also aid in purchase of more sports gear.

The county government will in the current financial year train 2,340 coaches for different disciplines to improve the quality of sports coaching and eventually sports skills.

Communication from Makueni County Coronavirus Emergency Response Committee

Corona virus pandemic has continued to spread around the globe.

In terms of preparedness, the county has achieved the following:

a) Established and operationalized covid19 treatment centers at Makindu and Makueni County Referral Hospitals. Currently we have a bed capacity of over 312 beds at our treatment centers

b) Trained our health workers and equipped health facilities with PPEs to respond to covid-19

c) Trained opinion leaders, community health volunteers, community resource volunteers, area development committee members and youth groups all totaling to over 50,000 persons

d) Created awareness on coronavirus through various channels including radio, TV and community level campaigns

e) Continued with cross border surveillance where we’ve screened 189,559 at border entry point at Mtito Andei and Kibwezi

Turning to the covid19 situation in Makueni we wish to highlight the following

a) The county has as at today recorded 11 positive cases.

b) We have been able to successfully treat and discharge 1(one) confirmed positive patient and 18 of his contacts who had been quarantined in our Makindu quarantine/isolation facility

c) Currently there are 10 active cases of confirmed covid19 cases currently admitted at the covid19 treatment centre at Makueni County referral hospital. All the ten cases are people working in the hotel industry (1 from Kilome, 2 from Kibwezi East and 7 from Kibwezi West).

d) We have traced 150 people who are contacts of the 10 positive cases and the process of transferring them to the isolation facility in Makindu is ongoing

e) Regrettably, 6 people of Makueni origin have succumbed to the disease while being managed in facilities outside the county but their burials have been conducted under supervision of our public health officers. We wish to convey our message of condolence to the affected families

The County Coronavirus Emergency Response Committee has noted with concern some people are disregarding the laid down protocols and regulations and wishes to reiterate the following:

1. No eatery or hotel/restaurant will be allowed to operate without full adherence to the guidelines from the Ministry of Health. To date only 30 restaurants and eateries have met the set requirements. All those flouting the guidelines will be arrested, charged and have their licenses revoked. All vendors are reminded that no one is above the law and should at all times adhere to the strict guidelines attached to licensure

2. Bars and sale of liquor is banned as per previous county and national government pronouncements. Those found in contravention of the law will be charged and have their licenses revoked

3. Places of worship remain closed and digital content transmission is only allowed under issued guidelines

4. All forms of gatherings including political and social gatherings remain banned until otherwise guided. We remind members of the public that burials and weddings are restricted to a maximum of 15 close family members observing physical and social distancing

5. Hawking remains banned. All vendors found hawking especially to trucks along Mombasa road will be apprehended

6. No truck driver will be allowed into Makueni County unless they possess a covid19 free certificate. All those without this certificate will be turned back to their point of origin. We wish to remind all truck drivers and transport companies that drivers are required to take the covid19 test at their point of origin, 48 hours before they commence their journeys and in any case, have their certificates as at the time of commencement of journey

7. We continue to remind our people that movement into and out of Mombasa and Nairobi is restricted and therefore those sneaking into the county from these places will be dealt with as per the law.

H. E. Prof. Kivutha Kibwana


M. A. Maalim,
County Commissioner