Just a day after taking oath of office, the new Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga, made an inspection tour of the County’s Teaching and Referral Hospital where she repeated her pledge to reform the ailing sector.
Addressing the press within the health facility, the governor said that the health sector is the most vital aspect of life which her administration will give more focus to.
“My government will ensure that health becomes our first priority. I will still stand firm on my all-time statement that our people should not go to Kisii to seek medical services but rather access these services right here,” said Wanga.
She stressed that her first move will be to ensure constant availability of drugs in the county hospitals while at the same time commended healthcare workers for their efforts despite hurdles they had to face while administering services to patients.
“I want to thank all the healthcare workers who have been working so hard to ensure that our people receive medical attention despite numerous challenges,” she said.
The governor also promised to improve the infrastructure of the facility as well as in other public hospitals within the county by constructing more buildings to enhance massive service delivery.
However, the governor reminded that all these cannot be done in one day and that the residents must be patient and give her administration enough time to implement the health reforms.
During her swearing-in ceremony on Thursday, Wanga stated that good health goes hand in hand with food security, adding that she would ensure that agriculture is also prioritized.
“Agriculture is a major backbone of the economy which essentially supports the largest livelihood of up to 80 percent of our population,” Wanga stated.
She therefore promised that her government will put in place measures to support value addition on local produce through Agro-processing.
“We will invest in value addition as well as providing subsidized input so as to optimize our agricultural potential,” the governor promised.
These include maize and sunflower in Gwasi, Groundnuts in Ndhiwa, Sweet potatoes in Kabondo Kasipul, Cotton in Karachuonyo and Pineapples in Kochia.
Wanga also seeks to optimize the Oluch Kimira irrigation scheme which aims to improve land productivity and substantially increase smallholder farmers’ average income and focuses on growth and poverty reduction.
On the other hand, the governor said that the blue economy is an important sector that should be exploited to full capacity, adding that having a closer proximity to the world’s largest water body is advantageous towards the realization of the same.
“We are going to revamp the fishery sector and work with our 146 beach management units in the realization of that,” she added.
The former woman representative stated that the project will only be possible through improvement of the roads leading to beaches, cold storage as well as provision of security for the fisher folks and reviving the fish processing plant in Homa Bay.
“My administration will provide fingerlings and fish cages to transform them from being just fisher folks to fish farmers,” said Wanga.
During her tenure as the chairperson of the Finance and Planning Committee in the National Assembly, Wanga lobbied for the allocation of Sh 300 million to purchase a ferry to ply the waters of L. Victoria thereby contributing to the blue economy.
By Brian Odhiambo and Sitna Omar