Only a handful of Siaya County residents turned up at the KMTC grounds to celebrate the 60th Madaraka Day with local elected leaders a no-show at the fete.
The poorly attended event saw many chairs remain vaccant with all the elected leaders from the region giving the event a wide berth.
The function was officiated by officials from the national and county governments. Two county CECs Agunda Ochanda (governance) and Martin Konyango (Health), Chief of Staff Cyrus Oguna were the only members of Governor James Orengo’s government who attended the event.
Through his speech that was read by Mr Ochanda, Mr Orengo reiterrated his commitment in ensuring good governance during his tenure.
Dr Konyango called on the residents to register for the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) so as to get health services at local hospitals.
“Let us all take the health policy cover which will enable us get basic services in the public health facilities. It is sad that majority suffer because of their inability to foot the hospital bills," said Dr Konyango.
Speakers took the opportunity to encourage policy bearers to empower women and people living with disability.
"When you educate a woman, you educate a whole society. Gone are the days when women were viewed as sources of dowery," said Prof Achola Wao, the Chairman Siaya Municipal Council.
His sentiments were echoed by Siaya Maendeleo ya Wanawake chairperson Pattricia Apoli and former nominated lawmaker Prof Jacklyn Oduol.
"Factors that hinder girl child education like early pregnancy must be fought collectively by both men and women," said Ms Apoli.