Sunday, December 23, 2012

Profile: Maurice Ogur: Former KPL defender hangs his boots to train youngsters

Maurice Ogur, in red cap talks to a group of young players before the kick off of Ligi Ndogo tournament in Nyatike.

By Nick Oluoch

Former Premier League outfit Kisumu Posta defender Maurice Ogur quit active soccer at his prime a decade ago to stop the young boys who were abandoning school for the easy money in the lake fishing through soccer, and ten year later, he has definitely managed to turn the

At his prime, Ogur was one of the best defenders in the country, first turning out for Lake Basin development Authority FC in the Provincial League in 1988 before joining the then Kisumu based Premier League side Kisumu Posta between 1989- 1992 during one of the best periods in
the clubs’ history.

Born 38 years ago in Sori area on Nyatike district, Maurice did his primary Education at Sota primary school within the district before proceeding to Kakrao High school in Migori. He then transferred to former soccer powerhouse Kisumu Day where he sat for his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in 1987.

He was then recruited by the Lake Basin Development Authority who, on top of signing him for their team which was then playing at the Nyanza Provincial League, also gave him employment at their offices in Kisumu.

It was while here that his talent blossomed and fame spread in Kisumu and the neighboring town and within eight months, he was plying his trade in the Premier League.

“Kisumu Posta came calling and it was impossible to ignore the opportunity” He says adding that they however agreed that he would always be available whenever he was not occupied with the team, and hence his

After two years, Premier League Giants Gor Mahia FC, who had been keenly following his progress and who were by this time rebuilding their after the great team that won the 1987 Mandela cup identified him as a potential player who could help in steadying defense.

They then followed their interest by making a formal offer to take him to Nairobi and he was then allowed by his club to talk to Gor’s representatives.

“That was the most difficult decision I have had to make” He says adding that just like most footballers at that time, the chance to play for a club as popular as Gor was almost impossible to turn down because of its history and the type of players it had, and what’s more, turning out for Gor at that time almost guaranteed one a call up to the National team.

But again, he had a job at LABD and it was obvious he had to quit the job if he was to link up with Gor and so, as much as he wanted to play for Gor, Ogur opted to remain in Kisumu and continued at Kisumu Posta for another three seasons under veteran coach the late Oloo Gadafi who went ahead and coached Scarlet, (currently known as Ulinzi)

And during his time there, Ogur recalls some of the most memorable games he took part into, like the games about Mumias Sugar FC were always memorable because they always had an air of a ‘derby’, the same with the games against Scarlet.

In 1993, Sony Sugar FC, who had been promoted to the league and were seeking to boost their defense, an offer Ogur would let pass once again because he had already decided to stop active soccer and come back home to develop the game from there.

“I had by then been approached by people back at home to come back and start a program which could help develop soccer in the region” He says adding that he the needed to this call and in 1994, aged 23 years old, he left Kisumu Posta and went back and formed ‘Ligi Ndogo Nyatike
Initiative’, an initiative aimed at improving the level of soccer in the region.

It was a sacrifice to do this he admits, but says with high number of boys leaving schools every year to go and work in the nearby Lake Victoria as fishermen, he also acknowledge it was a move he had to make for the sake of the of the community.

The initiative identified youth football, as an area of focus and for the past fifteen years, has been organizing annual tournaments bringing together boys who are below the age of seventeen from all beaches in Nyatike to the tournament.

“We make sure that all team which participate get uniform since it’s not much of a competition” He says adding that they also try and showcase the talents to the Premier League team by inviting scouts during the tournaments.

Last year, one of their best players Tairus Omondi, a strike was signed by Gor Mahia while another two joined the armed forces, something that had never happened before in the area and every year during the Secondary school ball games in the region, graduates from the initiative who are spread all over Migori and Homa Bay counties are always the star players.
A section of the boys under 17 years who took part in the tounament.

And the boys, aware of the sacrifice Ogur has had to make for them ever grateful with the few who have left always coming back and trying to help the young e ones also make it.

“We hope to have our boys joining the professional ranks soon” he says adding that with the talents being witnessed at the games, It is only a matter of time before the graduands from the initiative start playing in foreign leagues.

©Nick Oluoch, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A woman suffers after trip to herbalist to extract tooth turns tragic

Rispa Auma Aguko
When Rispa Auma Aguko had a tooth ache in 1995 she didn’t know that a trip to a local herbalist could turn tragic.
The mother of four and a resident of Arambe village in Migori district was taken by her husband to extract a bad tooth which though successful turned tragic later when her jaw started to swell.
“The incident happened 17 years ago when the local herbalist removed my tooth but later my lower jaw started to be painful before it started extending,” Rispa said while speaking painfully with the sound coming as though her jaws re clenched tightly.
The jaw which has now extended to the size of a hand ball makes her lower jaw to extend which apart from being painful is making it hard for her to eat and perform her chores.
“I have been surviving on fluids since last year when the pain increased as I cannot chew on solid foods due to my swollen jaw. My life has been slowed due to stigmatisation and I wish to start afresh after all these  years” Rispa says.
According to Rispa’s health records, her lower jaw needs reconstruction because it has extended and swelled. This has reduced the activity of her jaw and movement of her teeth.
“I have visited several hospitals for re-construction and Kenyatta Nation Hospital has agreed but the cost  is way too high for me. I was first referred from Migori, to Homa Bay and then Kisumu hospitals before finally I was taken to Kenyatta National Hospital” she says.
Her last stop was KNH where after a scan she was told that to get a mandibular reconstruction operation she needs to pay Sh200,000 to remove the swollen lower jaw.
Meanwhile, Rispa has been forced to beg for hand outs from the public to try and raise the amount. About a month ago through her youth group at her local Seventh Day Adventist Church she has launched a CD to try to raise the amount.
“Rispa has gone through much stigmatization and have been moving from hospital to hospital to have her jaw reconstructed to no avail, we have seen her condition deteriorating from two years ago and we launched the CD,” Pastor John Obunga Oyaro of Arambe SDA said.
The gospel album, Jasamaria Mang’uon, which has four gospel tracks sang by youths in the church and pictures of Rispa retails for Ksh100.
The church and Rispa call for well-wishers to come forward and help materially, financially and emotionally to get treated for her treatment by funding the crucial the crucial surgery.
Her pastor says they have opened an account 0124508384800, National Bank- Migori Branch where well-wishers can pay directly

©Manuel Odeny, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

4.7 million Kenyans benefit from free Tsetse fly project

A man making a tsetse fly trap 
Over 4.7million Kenyans are no longer at a risk of contracting sleeping sickness after African Development Bank (AfDB) project to create a sustainable ad free tsetse fly and trypanomiasis areas.
The Sh859 million project started in 2001 covered three project areas in Mwea Game Reserve area in Meru, Ruma National Park in Lake Victoria region and Lake Bogoria Game reserve which covered over 24,000km2 of land.
“The project which ended in 2010 involved mass-rearing of tsetse flies, sequential release of gamma-radiated sterile males to curb reproduction and traainnig of over 6,000 community members in involvement in baseline data collection and processing,” AfDB said in their report.
Other methods involved using community crush pens and tsetse fly traps and use of insecticides and logistical support to in head offices in Kisumu, Nakuru and Embu by offering six motor vehicles and 10 motorcycles among other items.
Equaly locals and cattle were treated for any symptoms of sleeping sickness and farmers trained on eradication and farming techniques.
“The project’s aim was to end tsetse fly and trypanomiasis risk which was a serious obstacle to poverty reduction and food security and ease difficulties experienced by people infected areas in obtaining an early diagnosis due to the lack of access to basic health care,” the bank said.
The report says that 6 million herd of cattle in the designated areas have been freed from tsetse fly affect which has increased meat and milk production annually by 13,360 and 180,000 metric tonnes respectively.
The project was attained by a total of 210 staff from AfDB, Kenya Wildlife Services, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Ministries of Livestock and Public Health and Sanitation.
The same project was carried out in other East and West African countries.

AfDB funds Turbi-Moyale road

Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki officially opening the Turbi-Moyale road. SOURCE: INTERNET 
The board of directors of African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $120m funding of the Turbi-Moyale road which will go a long way to finance 94% of civil work.
The construction of the road is part of the third and last phase of the Mombasa–Nairobi–Addis Ababa Road Corridor Development project which was launched in Moyale town last Wednesday by President Mwai Kibaki.
“AfDB’s support to Kenya in the three phases of the development of the Mombasa–Nairobi–Addis Ababa road alone amounts to $429 million, this development of the corridor will have significant impact in regional integration and trade for the benefit of Kenya and Ethiopia, whose combined population stands at 125 million,” the bank said in an online statement.
During the launch Gabriel Negatu, Director of the Bank’s East Africa Regional Resource Centre (EARC) said the Turbi–Moyale section is the last section in Kenya to complete the Trans-African Highway from Cairo to Cape Town.
During the ceremony, Kibaki expressed his Government’s appreciation of the Bank for playing a leading role in road infrastructure development, and its continued support as a development partner in Kenya.
The funding comes after the official opening of the 50km Thika Super Highway which the bank funded by half of the cost to a tune of US $180m while the government and Exim Bank of China financed US $80m and US $100m respectively.
In the statement AfDB says the super highway will carry up to 60,000 vehicles daily and help about 100,000 residents of Kasarani, Kiambu and Thika work in the formal sector, while another 125,000 are in the informal sector – a majority of whom have to commute to Nairobi.
“Additionally 12,000 high school students will benefit from the road and 12,000 KU and JKUAT students attending part time classes in the evening,” it said.
During the launch AfDB President Donald Kaberuka said their partnership with Kenya started in 1967 with investment of US $3 billion. Of this 60% went to physical infrastructure especially in transport and energy sector.
AfDB is Kenya’s leading development partner in the road sector with operations totalling more than US $1 billion.
“We reaffirmed the AfDB’s strong commitment to infrastructure development in the country and on the continent since infrastructure promotes trade and creates a conducive environment for business,” he added.
On his part Kibaki said the Nairobi–Thika superhighway is source of a national pride adding it’s “It is the first modern highway infrastructure in Kenya’s history, contributing to achieve the country’s goal of reaching middle-income status by 2030.”
President Kibaki commended the AfDB for its unwavering support in the project, providing a paradigm shift to the country’s road infrastructure network.