Governor Nyongo was elected in 2017 because people believed he was a man of action. They believed he would turn around the fortunes of Kisumu, a County that had been run down by the defeated politician, Jack Nyanungo Ranguma.
The mandate was resounding and the fearless governor seized on this to rebrand, redesign and rebuild Kisumu, almost from scratch.
Building must involve taking things down. Old structures have to pave way for new ones and in doing so, older and unplanned structures have to be brought down.
With better foresight and planning, much needed space is eventually created for everybody as congestion is kicked away. A good and functional city must have something for everyone, not just some select cabal of shadowy individuals.
You cannot talk something to death. You have to act!
But it has come at a painful cost and it is admirable that Prof. Nyongo has remained resolute and steadfast in his quest to remodel this County. He has not pandered to short term politics. He is looking at the bigger picture. Nyongo is playing the long game. Kisumu must be rebuilt, Kisumu nyaka ger!
There are challenges, of course, from many quarters. Politicians, who have been major beneficiaries of the disfunction are seizing on the opportunity to hurt the governor, inciting citizens into rejecting the much needed changes taking place in Kisumu.
The Covid-19 pandemic too, couldn’t have come at a worse time. It has disorganized the economy, leaving millions destitute. Kisumu is one of the counties heavily hit by the pandemic.
But all hope is not lost! And now, optimism is picking pace. Actually, you cannot talk something to death, you have to act!
The post-covid Kisumu is likely to experience a big economic boom. The pandemic paralysis is likely to be followed by a sharp economic rebound, especially for our County.
Optimism is increasingly replacing angst as many people, moreso traders, are starting to see and reap benefits of the reorganisation. Some of them have already moved into the newly built market shades, much to the chagrin of detractors.
Kisumu has some of the oldest markets in Eastern Africa and it was time historical ones like Kibuye got spruced up. The world is increasingly getting dangerous especially with the emergence of zoonotic diseases and we cannot throw caution to the winds when it comes to matters health.
A dirty and disorganized market is an obvious health risk.
Kisumu cannot remain stuck in the 18th century! It must realign itself with the realities of the 21st century and Prof. Nyongo, aided by his loyal and workaholic deputy, Dr. Owili, could not have come at a better time.
Other new markets are nearing completion and the City is taking an international standard with streets taking a modern outlook. The pathways for pedestrians are now clearly marked and the beautification process is already turning heads.
Almost all parks are ready for reopening and people who have taken sneak peeks into them appreciate the beauty of the works going on. Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground is actually a beauty to behold, with the majestic Od Mikai sitting comfortably at the centre.
High end Hotels for high class clientele are now common in almost all corners. At the centre are the Imperial Hotels, Acacai Premier to mention just a few.
Parking space is increasingly becoming less of a problem as the true City Status of Kisumu takes shape.
Eateries are cleaner and the water supply by Kiwasco is incomparably better.
The city is also going to host the ninth Africities Summit, a very important cities meeting in sub-Sahara Africa and with it will come numbers, not forgetting challenges, challenges which proper planning will easily mitigate.
The Madaraka Day celebrations is here in less than a month and many lessons are bound to be learned from this annual event, lessons which will help the city host the aforementioned Africities conference.
The Mamboleo Show ground, the ground which will host the President for Madaraka Day is now an International Stadium as the entire facility has got a complete remake.
The current governor is putting in place systems and functions which will eventually spur a much awaited economic boom.
He also needs, perhaps, to work on a local economic stimulus package to give the expected rebound not only a shot in the arm but also a hard kick.
All debts owed to local contracts can and should be paid. The county staff, especially those who have worked throughout the pandemic can also be given a package, not only to appreciate their work during this dangerous time, but also to strengthen their purchasing power. Kisumu must sell!
Meanwhile, other Kisumu residents must also reposition themselves to be able to reap the benefits of this expected economic turn around.
The Kisumu tide is going to rise and with it, will float, all ships, including those of the naysayers!