After popping the champagne and giving flowery speeches during their inauguration, it is finally time for governors to roll up their sleeves and get down to work.
The six governors from Nyanza gave firm promises that they will deliver on their development pledges within their first 100 days in office.
Some of them, like Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, even asked their county residents to start judging them immediately after their swearing-in.
And of course, Kisumu residents have started the 100-day countdown to see whether the new Sheriff in town will walk his talk.
Will the good old Prof Nyong’o deliver on his well-crafted manifesto?
Nyong’o presented a very comprehensive manifesto, complete with the projects that he intends to undertake and within what period.
In his first 100 days in office, Nyong’o has promised to address 10 key issues. These include relocation of the Kachok dump site, creation of a city board and appointment of a city manager, clearing the drainage system in the city and modernising Kibuye and Jubilee markets.
Others are establishment of village councils and village administrators, presenting a bill in the county assembly for the establishment of Kisumu County roads maintenance team, rejuvenation of the rice and sugar industries, establishment of an economic and social council, giving community health workers modest wages and health insurance schemes and taking a comprehensive census of traditional health workers.
Fulfilling these pledges in such a short time, of course, will be a herculean task and only time will tell whether Nyong’o can do this—in only 100 days.
That aside, Nyongo’ will have to work hard to fulfill his promise on food security.
Kisumu is a net importer of food for its population of more than one million people, with the bulk of the commodities coming from Kisii, Nyamira, Kericho, Nandi, Coast as well Uganda and Tanzania.
Nyong’o promised to prioritise intensive irrigated agriculture to improve food production to feed the county and even have surplus to sell outside Kisumu.
“We want to put a sharp focus on developing the agriculture value chain and explore opportunities in the regional markets,” he said when he launched his manifesto in July.
He promised to wean farmers off unsustainable methods of agricultural production and livestock husbandry.
Nyong’o further pledged to give farmers incentives to increase yields and value “by developing agro-industrial zones and reducing post-harvest losses through commodity exchanges”.
The governor, who was sworn in on Monday, said he would exploit existing rivers and Lake Victoria to revitalise agriculture through irrigation.
Rice farmers in Ahero and West Kano irrigation schemes will be waiting to see what the new governor will do for them. Currently, only 2,000 acres out of the available 8,000 with potential for rice farming is being utilised.