Last year during Migori Investment Forum held in Migori Teachers College and attended by investors and county residents, Governor Okoth Obado made an appeal to members of the county to put more effort on promotion of local investment.
According to the Governor, counties will only develop faster when the locals took it as their role to develop their counties and not wait for people to come from outside to help them in developing them.
The Governor’s call could not have come at a better time. Especially at this time when counties across the country seem to be obsessed with looking for ‘investors’ to come and invest in their counties
As counties, we have to accept that the development of our counties solely lies in our hands and that nobody will travel all the way from USA, Europe, Middle East or Asia just to come and help us develop the county.
What we should be asking for is for the respective county governments to come up with rules and regulations which will make it possible for our investments to thrive as well as encouraging more county residents to invest within their counties.
Like all counties in the country, Migori faces a number of challenges among them unemployment, poverty, diseases, poor infrastructures among others and these are areas that we have to address by ourselves and not wait for any person to come from out and help us sort out.
And we are lucky; we have the solution to most of the challenges we are experiencing. To begin with, Migori is the second richest county in terms of natural resources, only second to Kwale County.
This means that we have to get the best way of managing our resources well and ensure that the county is able to use them to our advantage.
From fish in Lake Victoria, to Gold in Nyatike and Rongo, Copper in Nyatike to Sugarcane in Awendo, Thim Lich Ohinga to Sandy beaches of Lake Victoria, we have to get the best way of exploiting them and using them to develop the county.
We must also embrace partnership as a key component for development since we as counties west of the country share the same resources and challenges and need to help each other to lift each other.
Migori, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Siaya and Busia all borders Lake Victoria, the largest fresh water body in the world and so the five counties have to get a common way of ensuring that not only is the resource is well utilised, but is also protected against environmental degradation.
On the same issue, most of the main roads in Migori County also pass through Homa Bay, Kisii, Nyamira and Narok County. It is therefore imperative that the five counties have something like a joint road plan to ensure that the roads are well maintained across the counties.
Another area we must put more emphasis on is in the Human Resource department. Migori is already blessed with adequate human resource to enable it move ahead with its development plans. But that does not mean that we can afford to rest on our laurels.
Migori as a county must identify its specific human resource needs, and ensure that these needs are met by the colleges and Universities within the county.
The county must partner with institutions of higher learning like Rongo University College to ensure that the needs of the county are met by the courses being offered in the institution.
For example, with the huge mineral deposits in the county, the University must look into ways of producing personnel who will help in exploiting the minerals to ensure that the county benefits from them
The same applies to the hotel industry where there has been considerable development in the industry, especially with the now rapidly expanding number of beach hotels in Nyatike constituency. This means that the University has to ensure that the county has enough personnel who can work in these hotels to ensure that they can compete some of the best hotels in the country in terms of services delivered.
And finally, we as the people of the county must support our county government and offer constructive criticism if we want to see our county move forward and compete with other counties when it comes to development.
It is normal, and right to expect services from the county, but at the same time, the county must be given time to set up structures which will enable it to work before we can start judging it.