From floods to fish business, Kisumu residents hopeful of problem-solving 2021/22 budget
Kisumu residents are hoping that the new budget will favour the common citizens and not only leaders.
According to Hellen Akinyi, a resident of Kisumu, she pleads with the government to set aside enough funds to mitigate calamities like drought that affects the northeastern region of Kenya from time to time, floods and locust menace.
She told People Daily that Nyando Sub-county within Kisumu has always suffered a great deal during floods leaving thousands of people homeless after their houses are marooned by the flooding waters.
During the floods, she says a number of schools are always forced to close down until the situation calms down while others continue with their education.
"When it is time for examination, they are not favoured because they spent better part of their time at home. If the government can come in and allocate more funds to ensure that dykes are built in the area to prevent the situation then it would be good,"she said.
She added that a lot of people have also lost their lives during floods something which the government can control.
On his side, James Odiwuor accused the government for always neglecting common citizens during budget allocation.
Odiwuor said in the recent past, the budget has always been in the favour of leaders who are well off.
He says the budget has always been increased every year and hoped that the budget that is going to be read will be moderate.
"Right now the country is going through a crisis and we are finding it hard to survive. Prices of commodities has gone up. I know of a family that is surviving on one meal on a daily basis because they are not able to afford the other meal,"he said.
Several fishermen who spoke to us said allowing fish imports from China is hampering their trade as fish imports continue to flood the local market.
Maurice Omondi said that most of their customers were now resorting to buy fish from China thus damaging the market for locally produced fish.
"Most of our customers are claiming that our fish is expensive thus making them to go for China fish.The government should stop allowing China fish and recognize our local ones."he said.
The fishermen also wants the government to ensure that they allocate enough money to mend roads leading to the beaches stating that most roads in Kisumu county leading to beaches are inaccessible during the rainy season and needs to be upgraded.
"Fishermen pay tax like any other Kenyans and deserve a chunk of government revenue which can be ploughed back by improving the roads and constructions of cold storage facilities along the beaches,"said Omondi.
Moses Adero added that the government has neglected them as fishermen and even when the water hyacinth were there they did nothing until it was drove by strong winds.
"Other sectors like the Jua kali industries are recognized by the government and given loans but us we have been dumped."he said.
Rice farmers also said they've never been recognized by the government during the budgeting.
George Odwa a farmer at the West Kano irrigation scheme said that they have been experiencing alot of problems in the market.
"The government itself took the initiative of controlling the birds and for the last six years it has never been done."he said.
Odwa also requested the irrigation board to continue carrying the research on the seedlings which had collapsed and asked the government to see away of rejuvenating it back.
Speaking on fuel prices, Ezekiel Otieno has appealed to the government to reduce fuel prices stating that they are really suffering.
Otieno says the government has always been unfair to them as they have been increasing the prices daily.
Geoffrey Nyakang'o said that this year's budget should dwell more on measures that will empower youth and women in participating in economic activities so as to mitigate on hardships that have been necessitated by COVID-19 pandemic.
"We need policies that will make it easier to add value on agriculture, to participate in internal and external trade and to venture into cottage industries so as to create more jobs for youths," he said.
Another resident Bonface Osano says the budget should be very clear on funding arguing that Kenyans are already overtaxed and any budget proposing more tax burden would be undesirable.
"The jubilee government lacks an economic reform agenda they are pursuing at the moment yet they want to give us a historic big-budget, ours is to wait and see," he said.