Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to return to Nyanza region. Last year, Homa Bay and Siaya Counties received the 4th and 12th fully kitted mobile clinics respectively.
Today we deliver the 24th fully kitted Beyond Zero mobile Clinic to Kisumu County.
Thank you for your warm welcome which reminds me of the warm reception I received when I visited the SOS Children Village in this beautiful County in June last year.
Just last week, the entire nation knocked at your doorstep, to attend the 2nd edition of the national Devolution Conference. This is because Kisumu City is growing into a successful metropolis with huge potential to become western Kenya’s industrial hub supported by an international airport and world class hotels.
On another positive note, social development has been greatly enhanced by school attendance amongst girls, not only in Kisumu County but in the larger Nyanza region.
This is because I believe that we can make faster progress as a nation if we ensure our women and girls receive the right education. Education enables women to work, raise healthy families and contribute to the economy of the nation.
I urge the youth here to take advantage of the ongoing Nyalenda slum upgrading programme and to take up jobs not only to earn money for their daily upkeep, but to also generate seed money to start their own businesses.
I am aware that the main economic stay of this beautiful County revolves around the lake. Farmers should explore alternative methods of fish farming to stop over-reliance and over-fishing from Lake Victoria. Fresh water fish pond farming is both an efficient method of producing fish and also more predictable in terms of planning and management.
However, our life style as fishermen and fishmongers has unfortunately become a source of vulnerability to HIV and AIDS.
We must stop any risky behaviour that can lead to the spread of HIV/AIDS that is eventually passed on to innocent children and leaves many of them as orphans in the care of relatives and aging grandparents.
Last Saturday, the world celebrated International Malaria Day. We must combat this disease, which is endemic in this region using all means available. Pregnant mothers and children below five years should always sleep under treated mosquito nets.
Your County is blessed with many resources that other counties would be envious of. The abundance of water and rich soils has allowed your County to be amongst those counties with the greatest agricultural potential in our country thereby enjoying food security.
I urge the County leaders to plan how they can best exploit these God given natural resources for the benefit of the people.
Finally, I want to assure the people of Kisumu County that I remain committed to partnering with your leaders to deliver the promise to improve family health and to keep our mothers and children alive. Together, we will get to Beyond Zero.
It is now my pleasure to officially hand over the fully kitted mobile clinic kindly donated by Tullow Oil to your Governor Jack Ranguma on behalf of the people of Kisumu County.
I wish you and all Kenyans Happy Labor Day celebrations tomorrow.