By Collins Matubwi
……………….The Making of a leader series………………………..
As Prof Margaret Ogolla in one of her literary works ‘The River and the Source’ puts it, a home without a daughter is like a river without a source.
This exact definition that can be used to describe the Kakamega County Women Representative Else Muhanda.
The Women Representative is a trailblazer in her own world and a person who does not shy away from speaking her mind, something that has earned her accolades among her peers and both at the National Assembly and at the county level.
In an exclusive interview with the County Splash News at her home in Madala village in Shinyalu constituency, she reminds us of how she is committed at bettering the lives of the girl child in the society.
Her biggest worry is the rising numbers of teenage pregnancies and abortion cases among school going girls in the county, a move she says needs concerted efforts to tame the vice.
Such cases have arguably increased during the Covid19 period where children have been out of school for seven months now.
‘’The cases are increasing by the day and this is worrying, something must be done.Before the advent of the virus,we had made steps in stemming out the vice but recently we are losing the fight, we urge parents to join in this fight,’’ she said.
Last year, Muhanda went against the grain, sponsored more than 500 young mothers (Tumaini) scholars) back to school, and some have already sat for their KCPE and KCSE exams and performed exemplary.
She further sponsored their higher education in universities and colleges of their own choice.
Muhanda also sponsored 300 Form Four leavers who got grade C– (minus) and below in last year’s KCSE to take technical courses at the National Industrial Training Authority facilities in Kisumu, Nairobi and Athi River.
Muhanda then established the Kakamega County women’s Maendeleo SACCO (KACOMA) in 2018 and through the initiative, she has touched many lives.
Forr the three years she has been in office, she has been able to reach to at least 5,000 vulnerable farmers across the county by giving them free farm inputs.
The Kakamega Women Representative is an Alma Mater of Kenyatta University where she pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Education between 1980 – 1984.
“I chose teaching as a profession since I wanted to transform lives and get our people out of abject poverty through education,”
She has a Post Graduate Diploma in Population Studies also from Kenyatta University institution between 1987-1988 and after her studies,she became a commissioner at the National Council for Population and Development.
She taught for a while in several secondary schools and later Kenya Polytechnic. She joined the business world and later in 2013, she joined the County Government of Kakamega as a County Executive Committee Member in charge of Health and Trade.
This is after she failed to secure the Kakamega County Women Rep seat in 2013 but in 2017 during her second stab for the much-coveted seat, she won with a landslide in the nominations as well as in the general elections.
She is a staunch supporter of ODM leader Raila Odinga and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya. She is supporting the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
“I will still seek my re-election in 2022 as Kakamega Woman MP. I haven’t finished my work of transforming the lives of women and young girls in the county. If the seat is scrapped as per the BBI proposals and we go to the senate, then am in support of the proposals so long as the Senate shall be made an upper house with powers,” said Muhanda.
Apart from politics, Muhanda is a dedicated mother of three children and wife to Eng. Peter Muhanda.