Hundreds of Siaya residents from across the breadth and width of the County have today given the County Government of Siaya a thumbs up on various initiatives taken so far to roll out devolution while noting a number of key areas that will need to be given focus as devolution penetrates the grassroots.

342379_101Participating at the 6th County Dialogue Forum meant to provide an opportunity for citizens to air their views on how devolution has impacted on local communities, members of the public from Ugenya, Ugunja, Gem, Bondo, Rarieda and Alego Usonga sub counties raised their concerns one after the other on the various sectors of the economy. The dialogue presided over by His Excellency Cornel Rasanga Amoth was held at the Siaya Agricultural Training Centre.

While some concerns raised touched on the National Government and were referred to the relevant offices, issues revolving around land inheritance, water access points, health care access challenges and dominance of eggs produced in Uganda and sold in Kenya dominated the dialogue forum. Bernard Oduma from North Alego, for example, raised the concern of Urewe Water Project that serves both North Alego and South East Alego and therefore ignored in resource allocation for rehabilitation. The Governor directed that resources be allocated before the end of the financial year to address that and any other project that serves more than one ward across the county.

While noting the strides the county has made with regard to increasing access to community health through a robust network of community health volunteers, Sylvia Awuor of West Alego Ward decried the bank deductions that sometime see the community health workers receive far less than they are actually paid and urged the county government to meet the banking costs. Some 2,148 community health volunteers are remunerated at a slight stipend on a monthly basis. Chris Dondo, a representative of people living with disabilities encouraged the county to permanently engage interpreters for the deaf and translate the County Integrated Development Plan into braille to increase access to the document but individuals with physical challenges in those areas.

The potential for large scale rice farming in Usonga ward was raised by Mathew Okoth who urged the Government to consider investing in the sector as a flagship initiative. Another concern revolved around absence of office space for ward administrators making them impossible to locate by the members of the public for ease of administration. Change of bursary lists without the consent of lower level committees before final disbursement also featured during the dialogue. Rabel Health Centre, Madundu Fish Banda and Ndunya Irrigation Scheme were noted as either stalled projects or having been paid without completion of works.

These and all other issues raised by the members of the public guided four-hour dialogue session and received back and forth responses from the County Executive Committee Members from all the ten departments of the County Government and the Governor himself.

The emerging resolutions of the forum will inform the report of the county on the status of devolution in Siaya county during the National Devolution Conference planned for Kirinyaga between 4th and 8th March 2019 and whose theme is; – Deliver, Transform, Measure; Remaining Accountable.342379_112 342379_83 342379_63 342379_20