- The bloc will begin operations as the statute requires six counties to pass the bill before it becomes operational.
- The 14 members are Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma, Busia, Trans Nzoia, Kisumu, Siaya, Homa bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Bomet, Kericho and Nandi.
Vihiga has become the seventh county to pass the Lake Region Economic Bloc bill.
Vihiga now joins Nyamira, Kisii, Migori, Kisumu, Busia and Kakamega counties.
The bloc will begin operations as the statute requires six counties to pass the bill before it becomes operational.
While signing the bill into law on Friday, Governor Wilber Ottichilo said the bloc will speed up economy of the 14 million lake region dwellers.
“Through this bloc we will ensure our local industries and producers are well protected. The bloc has already working, albeit at a low pace as the remaining counties finalise approval of the bill,” Ottichilo said.
He said the bloc will also revive industries that have chocked under the national government.
He said that leaders from the lake region were working together to ensure creation of jobs for the youth.
“This region can do well in agriculture, and therefore the agricultural issues have been given the first priority,” he said.
The bloc brings together 14 counties namely Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma, Busia, Trans Nzoia, Kisumu, Siaya, Homa bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Bomet, Kericho and Nandi.
The bloc has picked environmental conservation, establishment of a regional bank and development of water transport across Lake Victoria as the priority areas of common interest.
The governor said the sugar taskforce headed by Kakamega governor Wycliffe Ottichilo and Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri would come up with recommendations to ensure revival of the sugar sector.
Vihiga county Speaker Hazla Mudeizi said MCAs have gone through the entire bill and possible amendments have been made.
LREB chief executive officer Aballa Wanga said the counties that are yet to pass the bill are now in the process of doing so.
He said that only Bungoma and Kericho counties were yet to start the process of the bill.