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Posts Tagged ‘Kisumu County’

Kenya farming: Mr. Raphael Owaka from Kisumu County is able to generate income and provide decent life to his family

Posted by African Press International on September 29, 2013

  • By Maurice Alal

Most farmers in Nyanza region usually pay no heed to cassava farming activities but for Mr. Raphael Owaka from Kisumu County things are different because he is able to generate income and provide decent life to his family out of it.

Owaka, 56, a cassava farmer in Nyakach (formerly Nyando) District, states that he could have ventured into farming much earlier because of the sweet fruits that he has enjoyed since he ventured into cassava farming and stayed focused on the goal.

He says cassava farming especially the improved variety (MH95/0183) have provided him with self employment and a high reliable income to his family that has completely transformed his lifestyle together with that of his family.

Cassava farming can give you everything that you ever dreams to have in your life. I can now provide for my family whatever I desire,” says Owaka.

Owaka started cassava farming way back in 2004 soon after he resigned from his work to embark on Agricultural activities using modern farming technology which most farmers have all along been reluctant to embrace.

He lamented that cassava has different by-products such as starch, flour and cassava chips that are chopped using the cassava chip, starch extractor and miller for the flour. “Starch is used in secondary school to conduct practical and also as the libido activator especially for the old people,” he said.

Nyakach district has favorable climate for horticultural farming activities alongside Cassava but urged the farmers to diversify their Agricultural activities to enable the region produce enough crops for domestic use and excess for exportation now that Kisumu Airport has
been elevated to International status.

Owaka has prospered from his initial investment of only one tree of cassava which has the capacity to produce over 30 tubers compared to the present plot of an acre piece of land which has 4000 cassava trees. From this, he makes a profit of over shs.500, 000 every two

He sells a bag of cassava shs.1,000 and the produce from 1 acre piece of land fetches him not less than shs.1 million collectively annually. Cassava is a perennial crop that one is able to harvest for about 1 year before it may no longer bear tubers as expected.

The crop takes about 6 -8 months to bear tubers while in some parts of the country it takes a much shorter period depending on the climatic conditions of an area and how well the crop has been tendered.

Mr. Owaka is challenged farmers in Kisumu County and its environs to diversify farming activities and stop the traditional preference for maize, sorghum, beans and peas farming only but embrace cassava farming which has the potential to ensure Nyanza attains food

He, however, conducts various training on cassava husbandry to farmers within the Counties where the residents have shown interest in the hope of generating adequate income that could tremendously transform their lifestyle for the better.

“We should focus on farming instead of idling around waiting for famine relief from the Government. Kisumu County does not need relief food if local farmers redouble their efforts by engaging in serious Agricultural ventures using modern farming methods and irrigation,”
Owaka said.

He urged farmers to take advantage of the lake and river waters to irrigate their farms especially during the short rainy seasons. The training program has boosted his source of income, Owaka says, considering that he charges Shs 8,000 for every training he undertakes
which lasts for 2 months.

“We have also conducted farmers’ field school on cassava husbandry where participants are sensitized on the crop production,”Owaka revealed.

He further stated that so far over 1,000 beneficiaries have been trained and joined the cassava farmers associations, including Community Rehabilitation Environmental Protection (CREP) for which he is the coordinator.

In comparison with other types of farming, Owaka says cassava is cost-effective, not arduous and requires simple farm inputs than other crops.

Audrey Rolyne, a farmer trained by Owaka undertakes cassava growing of different varieties alongside bee keeping and concurred with his trainer that the cash crop has greatly helped him lower the cost of production while reaping maximum profit compared to dairy-farming for cattle and goats combined.

Rolyne says she quit her job as a cleaner to venture into farming activities where she grows cassava and now is the proud owner of one and a half-acre fully put under cassava farming that generates income which has comfortably sustained the family.

Mr. Owaka, however, pointed out that cassava farming can cost more than Shs. 50,000 but he has the advantage since it requires less farm inputs to kick-start it.

“For instance if you plant an acre piece of land you will require a total of 4,000 cassava cuttings with one cassava tree bearing over 30 tubers depending on the variety,” Owaka explained.

He says market for the cassava is readily available and during the harvesting days, vendors and local residents compete for his produce due to high quality of the crop.

Owaka says Government efforts to reduce poverty especially in rural areas could be given a major boost if cassava farming is adequately promoted and funded.

Many young people in Nyanza are facing a major challenge of unemployment yet many owned inherited land that lies idle. “If youths are empowered with skills and funded on the cassava, unemployment related challenges like high rate of crime can be reduced significantly,” he says.

Farming is the best investment that one can have in the region, he says, stating that you only need a piece of land where you grow the crop as it does not require a lot of capital like coffee or tea plantations.

Owaka urged the youth to acquire technical and vocational skills rather than idling around and be used by politicians to fight their wars. He hopes to provide employment opportunities to young people in the County by planting pawpaw, vegetables, passion fruits and water melon in another 2.5 acre piece of land.

Kisumu County Director of Agriculture, Joash Owiro pledged to give all the necessary support but challenged more farmers to help satisfy the growing population. According to the last year’s census results most locals are accustomed to dairy, maize, beans, groundnuts and sorghum farming.

The major concern raised by Owaka and Owiro is the low uptake of cassava farming but they remained optimistic that farmers in the area will steadily pick up by joining the production process.

Kisumu County can make major strides in terms of farming to curb the perennial food shortage in the area and particularly in Nyakach district apart from improving the region’s economy.

Farmers should stop politicking and seek assistance from the Government which is always ready to fund such farming initiatives to promote full exploitation of available potential and utilization of Kisumu International Airport.

“Why can’t horticultural farmers alongside those who undertake cassava farming work together to improve their socio-economic development and curb perennial food shortage in the County,” Owiro posed.


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Kenya: Kisumu County Governor Jack Nyanungo Ranguma is a man under siege

Posted by African Press International on September 5, 2013


Kisumu County Governor Jack Nyanungo Ranguma is a man under siege. Ranguma early this week arbitrary instructed acting Kisumu City manager Chris Rosana to indefinitely suspend 8 chief officers on alleged grounds of gross misconduct among other accusations. Topping the list of victims is the industrious Town Planner Absalom Ochieng  Ayany, Town Eng Adrian Ouma and acting administrative officer Engineering department Morris Matunga.

The report suspending the officers among others is  a culmination of an audit which was sanctioned by the Governor himself early this year.Its imperative to note that the two purported auditors were Rangumas errand boys during the campaigns and their qualifications to carry an audit of such a magnitude for a county like Kisumu is highly questionable and bordering fraud . And again, such a gigantic audit wasnt advertised for fairness,transparency and competitive bidding.Currently Rangumas blue eyed boys have pitched tent in the payment corridors demanding staggering millions from the cash trapped coffers of Kisumu county.

The duo is Odida John who is Rangumas nephew and Haggai Hawi Kadiri,and Kadiri after handing in his half backed and malicious findings landed a lucrative and  powerful post of Director of county assistant without adverticement in the dailies as the law stipulates all in a desperate bid to reward his sycophancy and loyalty. And Odida is poised to take over from Interim county secretary Davis Nakitare in a deal recently hatched in Nairobi in one of the  top of the range hotels a couple of weeks ago which was graced by his close handlers and think tanks.

So far Ranguma has employed over 15 people  in posts that are not provided for in the county administrative manual, neither have they been advertised in the print as required by the law.  A governor is entitled to officially hire only four officers namely a legal officer,  driver, gardener, cook and an aide. Close to over staggering 400m Kshs is alleged to have been spent since he took the mantle  without procurement procedures being adhered to.

Kisumu is the only county in the entire republic where  cash is collected and spent directly without being initially banked in central bank as required by the constitutional provisions. County reps are equally up in arms with the former taxman wondering why he has failed to constitute a public service board to help in the running of the county affairs.

According to the devolution act,the board should be in place within a period of 60 days after the oath has been taken.Back to the suspended officers,Ayany has been given his matching orders for having been over heard telling a land beneficiary to clear council rates so that he can start developing his parcel Kisumu city being awash with housing crisis are a result of the bulging population.

The council gave out land in 2010 courtesy of a council resolution but proper policy mechanisms have not been put in place to urge or compel the beneficiaries to develop them.Town Eng Adrian Ouma was shown the door for heeding to Eng Koderas directive to relocate mushrooming kiosks from Gumbi road to Ondiek Highway.Kodera is the Executive in charge of Roads, Public Works and Physical Planning. And Moris Matunga was crucified for not accounting for a paltry Kshs 5000 in the year 2013 when he was in charge of single business permit yet he had left that department two years ago by time the alleged siphoning was done.”Matungas letter read in part,according to our investigations conducted between 15th April and 25th june 2013 it has been discovered that when you were working at single business permit in charge you committed several acts of fraud that were not only contrary  to suppose to be due and faithful discharge of you officially assigned duties but is also an offence under section 45(1) of the anti corruption  and Economic crimes act 2003″. Some members of the county are also contemplating putting the Governors high handedness and lack of consultation as an agenda this week.



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Kenya: Kisumu County Government has launched an anti-litter monthly clean up initiative

Posted by African Press International on June 17, 2013


Kisumu County Government has launched an anti-litter monthly clean up initiative targeting a 75% reduction in litter in all the seven constituencies.

The clean up initiative dubbed “don’t trash Kisumu” aims to improve collection, public awareness and enforcement of environmental by laws.

According to Governor Jack Ranguma, the effort is not only for aesthetics but also to reduce trash flowing into the drainage system, thus decreasing repair costs.

He said every first Saturday of the month will be a clean up day, within the County and the inaugural exercise will be launched on the 6th July.

The program focuses on education and behavioral change and involves sustainable programs for business, educators and the community.

The County, Ranguma said will also impose heavy fines for illegal dumping, and told everyone to be responsible in managing their liter within the surrounding environment they live.

“We will review environmental by laws to help us enforce these anti-litter efforts and make our county one of the cleanest in East Africa,” said Ranguma.

“If people don’t see me and my deputy or the City Council picking up trash, they are going to think it’s not an issue. We must lead them,” the Governor said

Deputy Governor Ruth Odinga said they will work closely with line environmental organizations, Universities, Churches, business Community to undertake cleaning.

“We will get that graffiti cleaned up. If there’s one person that hates graffiti,” Odinga said, pausing for emphasis, then“it is me.”

The Program will involve an annual litter audits and measurement of collected litter as a way to evaluate the progress toward achieving the 75% reduction goal.

Ranguma and Odinga asked employees from various county departments, workers in private offices, and business elites to join in the effort to clean up Kisumu on the 6th July.

Yesterday, a meeting held at Odinga’s office chaired by the Executive member for Environment Ms Rhoda Ahono resolved to mobilize residents to join the don’t trash Kisumu Campaign.

The County Director of Environment John Sunday said they had an anti-litter strategy designed to raise awareness of litter. Ahono set up a clean up committee.

The clean up initiative Committee vowed to reduce litter through education, maintenance and enforcement and is collecting statistics to measure its progress.

The team includes, officers drawn from various County Departments and will be charged with the task of driving the campaigns.

Additionally, the County also will maintain contact with the business community, Universities, churches and with land owners to help keep the areas clean.

So far, more than 45 business communities and real estate owners have jumped onboard, and pledged to join the Don’t trash Kisumu initiative.

Sunday said the exercise will revitalize community pride and create litter awareness.

The program was developed to include individuals, businesses, organizations, schools and City departments among others.

County secretary Humphrey Nakitare said he will be in charge of monthly audits of the clean up exercise.

“We want to ensure that Kisumu County emerges as the role  model in cleanliness,’’ he said.



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Kenya :Fish Production has reduced drastically due to excess fishing pressure

Posted by African Press International on June 10, 2013


Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Felix Koskei yesterday said fish production has reduced drastically due to excess fishing pressure in the country.

Koskei said the production has reduced from 220,000 in the year 2000 to 130,000 metric tons in 2012.

He stated that Lake Victoria has been a major contributor of fisheries resource in Kenya, accounting for 85 percent of the fish production in the country.

According to Koskei the current fish demands cannot be achieved as the lake can no longer support any more fishing pressure.

This, he said called for immediate action and asked for cooperation from all stakeholders to observe the Dagaa (“Omena”) closed season to enable fish to mature. Fish harvesting demonstration in Kolwa Sub-location, Kisumu County. (photo by Mr Alal) Fish harvesting demonstration in Kolwa Sub-location, Kisumu County. (photo by Mr Alal)

“The demand for “Omena” for animal feed industry poses challenge in as far as availability of fish for human consumption is concerned,” he said adding that anyone found breaching the ban will face full force of the law.

Koskei further urged stakeholders to make concerted efforts to ensure sustainable utilization of fisheries resources to reduce post harvest loses and increase production from aquaculture to meet the increasing fish demand.

In a speech read on his behalf by Permanent Secretary Prof Micheni Ntiba during fish farming projects tour in Kisumu County, he called small scale fish farmers to take advantage of Trilateral Tilapia Cooperation and do fish farming as a business.

The Trilateral Cooperation is funded by Kenya, German and Israel governments at a tune of Ksh 262.2M. The project is to enhance suitable ways of protecting the Lake Victoria environment by creating alternative livelihood for the community living along the lake.

Through the program a total of 132 extension officers out of the targeted 130 and 58 farmers out of 300 fish farmers have been trained.

Currently the government has already invested a lot in aquaculture sector by financing the establishment of a bout 40,000 fish ponds across the country through Economic Stimulus Program.

However, the German Ambassador Margit Hellwing-Boette and her Israel counterpart Gil Haskelat said the program is to reduce excess fishing pressure adding that the projected started in June 2012 and will end by June 2014.  Left,Permanent Secretary Prof Micheni Ntima with German Ambassador Margit Hellwing-Boette and Israel Ambassador Gil Haskelat during fish farming projects tour in Kisumu County. Left,Permanent Secretary Prof Micheni Ntima with German Ambassador Margit Hellwing-Boette and Israel Ambassador Gil Haskelat during fish farming projects tour in Kisumu County. (photo by Mr Alal)

They also said fish project is to improve tilapia aquaculture in Western and Nyanza regions saying Kenya contributed Ksh. 7.98M, German Ksh. 159.6M and Israel 2.3M.





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Kenya Medical and Education Trust (KMET) improves the Education of Vulnerable Children

Posted by African Press International on May 26, 2013

  • By Maurice Alal, API Kenya

A total of 7800 Most Vulnerable Children (MVC) living in informal settlements in Kisumu County is currently gaining from early childhood development (ECDEs).

The 7,800 target MVC include in-school children who are at risk of dropping out and out-of school children. The project is designed to complement the Kisumu City Directorate of Education (formerly Kisumu Municipal Education) office’s efforts to achieve the millennium Development Goal number 2.

The Sh 21.1 Million project is being implemented by Kenya Medical and Education Trust (KMET), United Nations for Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Ministry of Education.

The KMET Programs Manager Mr Sam Owoko said to date 30 school communities and over 7,800 most vulnerable children reached as beneficiaries. This number has risen from the previous 19 schools to 30 with 4,900 vulnerable children.

“We are currently implementing an active inclusion of most vulnerable children in the education projects in the City,” he said adding that they plan to expand to other counties with proper funding.

This, he said is to increase access to early childhood development and education for 3900 children (2730 girls and 1170 boys) aged 4-5 years in the informal settlements within the Kisumu Municipality.

Owoko said the project has three components, ECDEs, Primary Education and Social mobilization and advocacy.

Kisumu Municipal Education Officer, Juma Omwendo said the county education board has in place a committee that looks in to ECDEs, Home craft and youth polytechnics and will ensure that the project runs smoothly.

Omwendo added that all primary schools will have management committees to look further into early child hood development. “At the city level there are already 450 early Childhood centers, and this project is in line with the constitution’s basic right for a child” said Omwendo.

He said that the governor is a superintendent of the ECDEs and that financial assistance will come though small but in the next financial year due to the slow transition of governance.

“A child must get better early childhood development and this includes also better health,” said Owoko. The informal settlements include Nyalenda, Obunga, Manyatta, Bandani and Manyatta Arabs.

Some of the schools that have benefitted from this project include Tido, Manyatta, Kosawo, Kanyamedha and Kodiaga Prison Primary Schools among others.

Owoko revealed that 31 teachers have undergone training on early childhood development three times and will be able to teach most of the vulnerable children after graduation. Out of the project, 50 aged women put in two groups have also been trained to run day care services and 40 children are under their care.

“Others that have gained from the ECDE project are 60 teenage mothers in the informal settlements,” said Owoko.

He added that 50 professional women mentors have been identified and 26 inducted on mentorship skills by KMET to help in mentoring girl child to improve their education.

“Children under perform at primary and secondary level if they fail to pass through ECD,” Owoko saying parents should ensure that their children access basic education.

Owoko also said that195 Pupils and 31 patrons have been trained so far to facilitate formation of peer education clubs to help in role modelling in schools.

In strengthening sustainability of MVC basic education KMET has kicked off various interventions through partnerships between target communities and stakeholders in 5 informal settlements.

Such intervention includes community sensitization and awareness meetings, conducted various training to head teachers and quality assurance education officers.

UNICEF Education Officer, Linda Kharemwa said more of advocacy on ECDE will be beneficial since the devolved government does not have enough funding for the same. She however challenged both the devolved and national government to give Early Childhood development a priority instead of laptops.




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Kenya: Desist from Drug Abuse Kisumu County Youths told

Posted by African Press International on May 23, 2013

  • By Maurice Alal, API Kenya

Youths in Kisumu County have been told to desist from drug abuse and engage in productive activities that will change their lives.

National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug (NACADA) Nyanza Regional Manager Esther Salim Okenye said there is high rate of drug abuse in the six counties. - National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug (NACADA) Nyanza Regional Manager Esther Salim Okenye – National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug (NACADA) Nyanza Regional Manager Esther Salim Okenye

Okenye urged youths to go for loans to start-up small business saying the government is set to allocate funds to empower them in a bid to curb the rampant vice of dependency in the societies.

The National statistics of drug and alcohol abuse stands at 13 % meaning in every 100 people 13 are involved in drugs abuse. “This is high rate that call for immediate address by all stakeholders,” Okenye said.

She stated there is need for more sensitization of youths on drug and alcohol abuse adding that people between the age of 15- 65 are involved in drugs.

Okenye adds that in Nyanza, alcohol and bhang is the mostly abused by people especially youths. “We are second in bhang abuse after Western region,” she revealed.

In curbing the misuse of drugs NACADA has now embark on awareness creation through competition such as choir, music and ball games to bring youths together in all the 47 counties.

Okenye said the authority is currently undertaking various competition targeting youths in Siaya, Kisumu, Nyamira, Migori, Kisii and Nyamira Counties with winners proceeding to perform at national level.

She made remarks during Kisumu County Choir Competition on Alcohol and Drug Abuse held at Social hold where over 200 youths attended.

During the competition Ngege Youth Group Choir emerged the winner with Kobala Youth Group from Homabay County in second position.

The two groups will represent their counties at regional level before proceeding to national level.



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Kenya: The Catholic University of Eastern Africa donates drugs worth Ksh 210.000 to help flood victims in Kisumu County

Posted by African Press International on May 15, 2013

  • By: Maurice Alal, API – Kenya

A great gesture of good-will for the benefit of flood victims has been realised. The Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) has donated drugs worth Ksh 210,000 to for evacuation centers in Kisumu County where flood victims have been camping after floods invaded their homes.

The University’s Community Service Deputy Director Phyllis Gichimo who toured the area to assess the flood situation said they have provided the drugs to for evacuation centers in Kisumu County to assist the victims of floods who have been affected after the River Nyando burst its banks causing major floods in the areas.

The Centers are Sango Rota, Asawo Urudi, Gem Rae and Nyakwere all in Nyakach Constituency in Kisumu County.

She said about 1300 flood victims from the four evacuation centers have benefited from the program which is part of the University’s Corporate Social Responsibility.

The Kenya Red Cross Assistant Secretary General Emmanuel Owako said the situation had been overwhelming but they are monitoring it for any eventuality.

He said already teams were dispatched to the various evacuation centers where the society has donated food and other essential items to the flood victims.

Owako said the number of families who have been affected as a result of the flood is increasing in the region thus making the society to be overwhelmed in its volunteer work of helping the flood victims

Kisumu Deputy Governor Ruth Odinga who assessed the flood situation in the region said the County Government of Kisumu will work to ensure that the issue of flooding in the region is fully addressed.

She said the County Disaster Management Team will ensure the various regions within the county which are normally affected by the flood are looked into properly.

The flood situation in Kisumu County has led to closure of a secondary school in Nyando District making its nearly 1,000 students sent home as the floods continue to cause havoc in Western Kenya Region.

The Management of Ahero Girls Secondary School was forced to shut it down after River Nyando burst its banks and its waters submerged the institution.

The residents also said they lost many properties including livestock as a result of the floods.




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Kenya: Nyanza Administration Police Commandant under probe for snatching one’s wife.

Posted by African Press International on April 1, 2013

The Government has launched investigations against Nyanza Administration Police Commander James Mwaniki over claims of attempting to snatch someone’s wife in Kisumu. Nyanza Administration Police Commander James Mwaniki Nyanza Administration Police Commander James Mwaniki

This is after an employee of a security firm in the city petitioned the Nyanza Provincial Commissioner Francis Mutie’s office claiming the senior officer was breaking his family.
In a letter dated March 25, 2013, titled ‘breakage of my marriage,’ and addressed to Mutie, the man seeks to know why the officer wants to break his marriage.
The wife is also an Administration Police officer in Kisumu the rank of a Corporal.
The letter also copied to the Nyanza Provincial Police officer Joseph Ole Tito reads in part; “Sir, as stated above, kindly assist me through your able office to know why a very senior police officer, James Mwaniki wants to break my marriage with my wife.”
He says they have been blessed with three children and would not wish to break his family. On the letter, a marriage certificate between the man and the corporal AP officer is attached.
The man further states that his wife is not Mwaniki’s escort but has been going out with him and spending night-outs without his knowledge.
“On March 2, 2013 they went to Muhuru bay and later spent a night in Migori until the following morning of March 3,” states the letter.
He says the officer at one time also called his wife with whom they spend close to eight hours at night at a club in APs camp in Shauri Moyo AP line where they reside.
“Mwaniki send an officer to call my wife. When I asked her where she was going, she said that the boss wants her to go and open for him a beer,” said the wife’s husband, adding that the wife left at 6pm and came back to the house at 1 am in the night.
According to laws and regulation of the APs, a senior officer of his rank should not be in the AP line unless on a special duty. He has been reportedly going there with reports indicating that he even sends junior officers out of the club to pave way for him and the lovebird.
The AP boss who is reportedly referred to by his junior officers as libidious is said to have been involved with three female officers based at the PC’s office. Two female officers have children with their husbands.

According to their husbands, complains have been raised over the officer’s behavior with their legally married wives.
This has even created animosity among the two latest female catch of Mr. Mwaniki. They are said to be in bad terms with each other as they are fighting over the man.
However, the junior officers have also alleged that he has been mobilizing officers to attack the husband (complainant) on the eve of, and after, the incident in order to cover his behavior. This, he did when addressing a parade at Kisumu East District and Provincial headquarters.
“We turned down such orders as we could not involve in wrong doings of somebody who wants to break the marriage of other people,” claimed the officers who could not be named due to security reasons.
When contacted whether they have received the copy of the letter, Nyanza PC Francis Mutie consented and said they have launched investigations into the matter.
“I have received a copy of the letter and even interviewed the husband over the allegations. After proper investigations I assure you action must be taken,” the PC said.
Nyanza Police boss Joseph Ole Tito also confirmed receipt of a copy of the letter. “I have seen the letter and the truth is that we belong to different departments.
It is therefore up to the Administration department to get to the bottom of the matter and make a decision concerning the allegations,” Ole Tito told API on phone when contacted for comment.
However, efforts to reach Mwaniki for comment regarding the accusations were futile by the time of going to press.


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