The contest is promising to be a bruising battle of wits and great ideas. Like traders who sell their wares in the market, voters in Kisumu County will be enriched with sterling choices. As days draw near, one contestant Hon. Asaka Nyangara continues to blaze the trail in churning blueprints to the masses to critique in the spirit of Public participation and open a serious pro-people conversation which has been seriously lacking in the current regime of Ranguma which operates clandestinely like some secret society.
Below is an expert of Hon Asaka’s enriching views on handling RURAL DEVT to reduce the pressure on Kisumu city, by opening opportunities to the rural folks right where they are.
Asaka Nyangara: The People’s Governor speaks on Rural Devt in Kisumu County
The 2017 election puts people first. It will decide on leaders who will reverse the current negative trends on our people as opposed to those who see the status quo to be the only option but also for their own selfish gains. Any government should and can address what ails its economy, what burdens its health care, what deprives its citizens of food, clothes, education and what hypnotizes its youth with false hopes and dreams; what burdens the women.
Today I have identified one area which ought to have been addressed by the current government but which has not even been spoken about. This Government is either clueless or simply does not care about the time bomb which is rural-urban migration. Kisumu City comes to mind. Listen, uncontrolled rural to urban migration impacts negatively on overall development as it leads to competition of scarce and overstretched resources, unemployment, congestion, environmental degradation, unplanned settlements/slums, insecurity, poor sanitation, communicable diseases, moral decay, stress, disintegration of families, alcoholism, drugs, increased vulnerability especially the youth.
The current government and my other competitors do not see rural to urban migration as a threat to our people; but I do. They will not talk about it; I will. They have closed their eyes and blocked their ears because they take advantage of the jobless youths in the main cities; but I have not. The youths are captives of the “gony’a syndrome” because they owe allegiance to those who give them pennies in the city in exchange of fanatic following for no reason; I am against this
The Government and my competitors are clueless; I am not. Our families have values; but this government does not. In clear terms, this is my 10-point on how I intend to address this big problem of rural-urban migration in our beloved county:
First, poverty reduction in rural areas is key to decreasing rural to urban migration. Here I am talking about the three facets of poverty: “income poverty”, “access poverty” and “power poverty”. Income poverty can be addressed by increasing income levels to the rural residents through livelihood activities (agriculture, trade, employment etc) while access poverty can be reduced through improvement of infrastructure between rural areas and Urban centre (for example, this would enable a resident at Oboch in Nyakach etc to commute daily to and from Kisumu city without permanently migrating to the city). Power poverty can be addressed by decentralizing decision-making to the rural residents and allowing them to participate on issues that directly affect them;
Second is to ensure every rural area/ satellite town in our county is provided with critical amenities like reliable power supply, sustainable healthcare, clean drinking water, quality educational institutions, reliable and disciplined public transport (bodabodas, matatus etc), reliable communication network and reasonable internet access as well as other facilities. These are double edged strategies because they will also avail means for gainful employment and steady source of income for rural residents, thus improving quality of life as well as exposure to career advancement opportunities in the rural areas.
Third is investment in satellite towns to create opportunities and growth. For example, invest more in quality hotel industries in satellite towns, motor bike/vehicle workshops etc;
Fourth is to establish or increase vocational training centres, colleges and universities outside main urban centers in rural areas. Such colleges will have double impact of spurring local economy and boost employment opportunities in rural areas. This strategy will reduce poverty and idleness that are main reasons for migration.
Fifth is to educate the community on the dangers of migration that include stress, family dislocation, despair, insecurity, diseases, breakdown of social fabrics etc.
Sixth is to provide off-farm job opportunities to the youth to encourage them to stay in the rural set-up;
Seventh is to avail credit facilities to the youth and allocate funds to the youth to help them start productive ventures in rural areas;
Eighth is to build dams and water catchment facilities for year round farming since agriculture in the county is rain fed and season based;
Ninth is to establish or create more women groups and allocate funds for their livelihood activities;
Tenth is to establish ready markets for products produced by the rural residents.
The peoples Governor.