Kisumu residents to catch glimpse of Omieri during Fish Fiesta festival


Kisumu County is set to showcase the revered Omieri snake as it holds the grand finale of Fish Fiesta 2024 festival.

According to the County Executive Committee Member (CECM) in charge of Trade, Tourism, Industry and Marketing, Farida Salim, the snake, which is preserved at the National Museums of Kenya in Nairobi will arrive at the lakeside city of Kisumu ahead of the event.

Salim said the exhibition of the legendary Omieri, will rekindle memories of the ancient tales and wisdoms it embodies.

“Omieri reminds us of the delicate balance between humans and nature, urging us to be mindful stewards of our surroundings,” she said.

Speaking to the press in Kisumu on Tuesday, April 23, Salim said the Fish Fiesta will culminate in Kisumu on April 25-27 at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sports Ground.

Proceedings during last year’s Fish Fiesta.

This is the second time the snake will be returned to Kisumu, having been on display at the same grounds in 2018.

For the last 37 years, the 5.3 meters python that was killed by a bush fire in Nyakach Sub-county has been preserved at the Museum.

Nyakach Paramount Elder Ogongo Yano said Omieri brought good tidings to the community before its death.

Yano said the community received bumper harvest, plenty of rain alongside other benefits.
“The death of Omieri in a bush fire brought us many problems and we regretted its death,” he said.

He said after the death of Omieri, it was taken to Nairobi against the wishes of Nyakach people.
Yano said over the years, they have asked the Government to return the Omieri to Nyakach for preservation.


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“We want a snake park at the site where Omieri lived so that it can be taken back,” he said.
He noted that the community has already donated a piece of land to put up the snake park to host the remains of Omieri.

Mr and Mrs Kisumu models last year

In its last exhibition in Kisumu, curious residents jammed the grounds to take a glimpse of the python.

The county administration has started putting up a makeshift where the body of the python will be placed for exhibition.

The signature event aims to promote and position Kisumu as a tourism, trade, and investments hub within the Western Circuit and beyond. Kisumu is strategically positioned complete with a lake which provides excellent opportunities for Lake Tourism, Marine Transport, and Water Sports.

One of the events during 2023 Fish Fiesta.

Salim highlighted that the County Department of Tourism is also running a marketing campaign dubbed, ‘Kisumu My Pride’ to appreciate and to showcase the best of Kisumu to the World.

She noted that through the campaign, the Department seeks to protect, conserve and aggressively market Lake Victoria, the biggest attraction and resource in the county.

Further, it seeks to provide alternative income generation sources through product diversification for people living around the lake.

Fish Fiesta is an all-inclusive event bringing together a consortium of partners to make it successful and memorable.

The partners in one accord urged residents to embrace domestic tourism as a way of exploring alternative destinations.

By Fredrick Odiero

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