A commitment to partnership between the county and national government to promote and protect the heritage, culture, and tourism of the Abasuba people and the Suba region marked the conclusion of the Rusinga Festival 2022, one of the most well-attended events in its eleven-year existence.
Nearly a thousand people came to experience the rich culture of the Abasuba and take in the breathtaking surroundings, including Tourism and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Penina Malonza among other top government officials.
Speaking during the event, the Tourism and Heritage Cabinet Secretary announced that two levels of government plan to work together to not only promote and preserve the endangered culture of the Abasuba, but also position the region as a top tourist destination in the western circuit.
Malonza revealed that the government plans to add the Rusinga Festival to the national cultural festivals calendar, alongside festivals in Lamu, Turkana, and Kitui.
In addition to preserving the culture of the Abasuba, the national government is also taking steps to promote tourism in the region.
“We are in the process of classifying the Suba shoreline, sandy beaches, and bird-watching islands as protected tourist destinations to increase their economic viability and attract more tourism,” Malonza said.
She added: “The state department for Tourism will consider setting up a cultural resource center within the region that will trigger the renaissance of the endangered Abasuba cultural heritage.”
The state cabinet secretary also agreed to provide financial and technical support for future events including, the efforts to revitalize of the rich culture of the Abasuba people.
Homa Bay county executive member for Tourism, Hon. Sarah Malit who also graced the occasion revealed conservation plans in partnership with the national government to help protect the endangered Roan antelope, Homa Bay county’s heritage.
“We will initiate the ‘Roan Marathon’ in the new year to help conserve the Ruma National Park, home to the only population of Roan Antelopes in the world,” said Malit.
As the Rusinga Festival came to a close, attendees were treated to a variety of activities and performances showcasing the rich culture of the Abasuba people. These included traditional dance and music performances, artisanal crafts and food displays, and cultural workshops.
The event also featured a number of sporting activities and competitions, including football, boat-racing, and tug-of-war. These sporting events provided an opportunity for local athletes to showcase their skills and for visitors to enjoy the festive atmosphere.
Among guests that were present include; Suba North MP Hon. Millie Odhiambo, Permanent Secretaries John Ololtua and Imma Mohammed for Tourism and Heritage respectively, Homa Bay County Executive member for Trade, Polycarp Okombo and a host of other senior national and county government officials.