The Siaya Governor, Cornel Rasanga on Monday challenged Luo elders champion change of retrogressive practices that was inhibiting economic growth of the community.
Rasanga lamented that some practices that had been sneaked into the community and made a norm was impacting negatively on the efforts by the locals to produce enough food for the society.
He cited a practice where parcels of land are subdivided to sons to put up homesteads as non-economical, adding that in the olden days, people would stay in one big family homestead and reserve the rest of the land for other economic engagements such as farming and grazing.
The governor was speaking in Siaya town while inaugurating the Got Ramogi Cultural Festival week, an annual event sponsored by the Siaya county government to honour Luo patriarch, Ramogi Ajwang’ who settled at Got Ramogi in Siaya county.
“We have to review some of these practices that we adopted and made to become our way of life and it is you elders to take a lead on this” he said while challenging some elders who had installed him as their patron.
He wondered why the affluent members of the community put up homes in urban areas and similar ones in the rural areas where they rarely reside.
“The world over, people out up homes where they have settled and this should be the practice for our people” said Rasanga.
Rasanga said his government will continue supporting initiatives aimed at preserving and promoting cultural practices and instructed the county executive committee member for tourism and culture to ensure funds were set aside, in the next financial year, to fund a tour by local elders to historical homes of the Luo community in Uganda and Sudan.
“As your patron, I will send some of you elders to meet those that we left behind in Uganda and South Sudan and learn from them” he said adding that in future, elders from such countries will also be encouraged to attend the Got Ramogi festivals.
By Philip Onyango