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TOBONG’U LORE A TRUE MODEL FOR SUSTAINABLE PEACE- FIRST LADY MARGARET KENYATTA

TOBONG’U LORE A TRUE MODEL FOR SUSTAINABLE PEACE- FIRST LADY MARGARET KENYATTA

By Governor’s Press Service

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has termed the annual Turkana Tourism and Cultural Festival, Tobong’u Lore as an effective tool for fostering peace and regional integration.

Speaking today when she officially opened the three-day festival at the Ekaales Centre, the first lady said the festival was an opportunity to use culture in building better relations in the region and encourage peaceful coexistence among communities.

“Today we celebrate harmonious living because bringing communities together helps us become more tolerant of one another, more understanding and more cohesive. As one of the most celebrated cultural festival in Kenya and internationally, the celebration of as culture brings a better understanding of who we are,” she said.

She expressed hope that the festival will lead to more Kenyans in diaspora come back home to support potential of devolution.

First Lady Kenyatta lauded Governor Josphat Nanok for the idea of the festival and its role in cementing lasting peace in the region.

In his speech Governor Josphat Nanok said the annual event had played a big role in fostering peace and reconciliation among communities that had in history been at war over cattle, natural resources and boundaries.

“It gives us an opportunity to celebrate as people living with each other, the peace with each other and identifying as one people. It is also an opportunity for you to see the rich Turkana culture and its diversity,” he said.

He attributed the stability witnessed in the international borders especially with Uganda to efforts of the County Government and Ugandan Government represented by Minster of Karamoja Affair John Byabagambi and the National Government that he said had led to heightened trading between Lodwar and Moroto. He said the border with South Sudan needed more effort to stabilise and encourage peaceful coexistence of communities.

He added: “We hope we will also stabilise border with South Sudan, and local borders with West Pokot and Baringo where peace and unity have to be nurtured. The visitation and cultural practices and songs will foster cohesion with communities.”

The County Chief said the festival was an opportunity to rally the local community into ‘embracing the new economy and diversify their economic activity’

He assured that the Council of Governors was intent on improving relations with the National Government and said the improved working relations between the two tiers of Government had been witnessed in the second term of devolution. He also reiterated his commitment to work with the Government of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

In the festival were Governors Prof. John Lonyang;apuo (West Pokot), Stanley Kiptis (Baringo), Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi), Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo Marakwet),  Uasion Gishu Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno all who led delegations from their respective counties.

Foreign delegations included Governor of South Sudanese State of Kapoeta Louise Lobong Lojore, Minister of Karamoja Affairs John Byabagambi and a delegation from Ethiopia.

Turkana leaders in the event included Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro, County Secretary Peter Eripete, Senator Malachy Ekal, Loima MP Jeremiah Lomurkai and the Speaker of the County Assembly Ekitela Lokaale.

A host of County First Ladies are attending this year’s event, led by the Chairlady of the Forum of County First Ladies Nazi Kivutha of Makueni.

Deputy Governor Urges Residents to Plant More Trees to Combat Global Warming

Deputy Governor Urges Residents to Plant More Trees to Combat Global Warming
Residents of Turkana have been encouraged to plant more trees to increase forest cover in the County and combat effects of climate change.
Speaking today when he led celebrations to mark the International Day of Forests in Lodwar, Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro said an all-inclusive tree planting drive that involved the County Government and non-governmental organisations and residents across the County was the only solution to increasing forest cover in Turkana.
He said: “Moving across Turkana you will not find any cows grazing, all our herds of cattle have been driven across the border to Uganda, Sudan and other countries in search of pasture and water because there is little vegetation for the cows to feed on due to effects of global warming. So we have to turn the tables by planting more tree.”
International Day of Forests is marked every March 21st worldwide is meant to increase awareness on importance of forest cover and tree planting. This year’s theme is “Forest and Sustainable Cities”.
The Deputy Governor instructed the Department of Natural Resources, to increase number of tree nurseries in Turkana to produce more tree seedlings to be distributed for residents to plant.
“We want at least 10 million tree seedlings which will then be distributed by the Department in villages in the entire Turkana County to be planted and for residents who receive the seedlings should be told nurture the trees until they are grown,” the DG said.
He urged parents and schools to teach children on the importance of tree planting from a young age.
The Deputy Governor called on development organisations to plant trees at the location of their projects. This he said should be replicated by churches, mosques and other institutions.
County Executive for Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources Jennifer Nawoi said that trees were important and that the Ministry was encouraging communities to manage forest sustainably for better survival.
“We are sensitizing communities on the need to plant trees in their houses, farms and business premises. This is how we will attain the goal of greening Turkana which is a flagship project of the County Government and calls for collective effort of all stakeholders,” she said.
Kapedo/Napeitom MCA Willy Nalimo and chairman of the County Assembly’s Department of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources who was in attendance asked the community not to cut down trees along the river and preserve indigenous trees that took long to grow.
The DG led tree planting exercise at the County Government Headquarters, Public Service Board and Ekaales centre before joining a procession that included representatives from Kenya Forestry Services (KFS) Kenya Forestry Research Institute around Lodwar town.

TURKANA NEEDS FURTHER SUPPORT, PARTNERSHIPS TO CATCH UP WITH REST OF KENYA- DG LOTETHIRO

The County Government requires further support from the National Government and development partnerships if the region is to catch up with the rest of Kenya on development, Deputy Governor Peter Lothetiro has said.

Speaking in a meeting with Senior Economic Advisor to the Deputy Presdient Ken Ohashi, the Deputy Governor that Turkana was one of the regions that had lagged behind on development blue to the marginalization caused by the Sessional Paper Number 10, that limited development in Kenya in specific areas that were considered “high yeilding”.

He listed areas where more support was needed for that he said would have the biggest impact on improving the livelihoods of the people of Turkana.They include construction of major ams to harvest water to be used for livestock keeping, irrigation farming and domestic use.

“Our population is rising, climate change implications are severe, therefore there is need for longterm development on water and food security with dams that will solve challenges of water shortage for livestock and be utilized to grow food,” he said.

The desalination of the water in Lotikipi aquifer he said was a venture that if actualized, had the potential of changing lives ‘in a bigger way than even the discovery of oil’.

The DG said the County Government had invested in the fishing industry in Lake Turkana but more still had to be done to revitalize the industry and find better markets for fish and end current exploitation of fishermen by rogue traders from Congo.

“Turkana County Government has the ability to change lives of the people and the potential is there, what we need is support from the government and partnership from organization, not aid but development partnership,” he said.

County Secretary said through Kenya’s history Turkana had minimal representation in Governance of the country, especially at the level of technical input. He said decisions were made at the national level with little input from the community.

He said that the discovery of oil in the county was Godsend, to enable Turkana reverse years of neglect by Government but cautioned on the danger of denying the community its rightful share of oil revenue.

He encouraged Advisor Shashi to urge the Presidency to invest in sectors of Agriculture for food security, education, water and health.

“The cost of living in Turkana is high, due to its geographical location prices of items are higher compared to other parts of the country, but with support we can build infrastructure and improve capacity to produce food and cut most of theses costs,” he said.

County Executive for Finance and Economic Planning Robert Ereng’ called for the national government to address the disconnect that existed in understanding of issues affecting the people and the real situation on the ground.  He said Turkana potential to grow economically could not be ignored any longer and called for involvement of the community in decision making at the top.

Health Services Executive Jane Ajele urged the Government to be involved in encouraging private sector investment in the health sector.

Chief Officer for Roads Ariko Namoit said proposed capping of oil revenue based on the equitable allocation of funds to county government will deny the region a huge percentage of oil profits.

In the meeting were County Executives Charles Lokiyoto (Public Service, Disaster Management), Anthony Apalia (Trade, Youth and Gender Affairs), Chief Officers Dr Lolelea Natade (Water Services, Environment and Mineral Resources) Agnes Mana (Economic Planning), and Mark Ewesit (Lands), Security Advisor Augustine Lokwang’, and other senior county government officers.

Mr Ohashi was accompanied by Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Team Leader Fumiaki Marakaini and JICA Kenya Senior Economic Advisor Anne Olubendi

Veterinarians off to Kibish for Mass Treatment and Vaccination

The County Veterinary Services Department in conjunction with Catholic Relief Services/Caritas- Lodwar will be conducting mass vaccination and treatment of animals in Kibish Sub-County. The exercise will kick off tomorrow with a total of 2292 households being targeted.

County Executive Committee Member (CEC) Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Chris Aletia flagged off the exercise today at the ministry’s county headquarters.

The CEC thanked Catholic Relief Services who is the donor funding Caritas in conducting the exercise.

“It is not easy, at times, we talk to donors and they never get back. But Caritas Lodwar has been here with us and it has done a lot for the community,” said CEC Aletia.

Aletia acknowledged that this is a noble initiative and emphasised on the need to ensure secure food production through promotion of veterinary services, disease control, best practices in animal production and best management in fodder production.

Dr Michael Eregae, the Chief officer of Fisheries, Livestock and Veterinary Services, said the ministry is aiming at supporting food security in Turkana especially with a high percentage being livestock which is the main source of food in county.

He added that it was important not only to focus on livestock diseases but to also handle other areas involved with fodder production and water.

Father Paul Areman, the Deputy Director of Caritas Lodwar, said that the organisation has been supporting the county government in water services but was now looking forward to also supporting fodder production.

The treatment and vaccination exercise is a follow up of one that was conducted last year where 50,000 shoats were handled and now a target of 70,000 shoats is aimed at.

TURKANA COUNTY GOVERNMENT PARTNERS WITH CARITUS LODWAR TO IMPROVE LIVELIHOODS IN THE COUNTY

The County Government of Turkana is partnering with Caritus Lodwar to support different Development projects as a way of improving the life of its people. Caritus Lodwar operating under the Catholic Diocese of Lodwar is an extension of Caritus Kenya which is a development and humanitarian arm of Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The County Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro has thanked all partners working with the county government to support its development projects. While speaking in a meeting where he was representing Governor Josephat  Nanok today, the Deputy Governor appreciated the good work done by Lodwar Diocese Bishop and acknowledged that despite having few donors, there is evidence of the good work done by the diocese.

Under the leadership of Bishop Dominic Kimengich, Lodwar Diocese felt it was important to change the church from being a giving church as it were during the missionary leadership to be a people’s church. That is a church where the people are self-reliance and not depending on the church for everything. There was also need to improve family life, need to empower lay people and highlight the role of the lay people in supporting the church and also the need for peace building that could see conflicts are reduced in Turkana and neighboring communities.

Health and water are the main Sectors that the Caritus has partnered with the County Government. Other departments at Lodwar Caritus are; Education, Children and Childhood Protection, Justice and Cross border Peace, emergence and Resilience, Social Ministry and the department of Livelihoods and Agriculture.

In his reaction to questions raised by different stakeholders who were also attending the meeting that was organized by Caritus Lodwar, the Deputy Governor informed all stakeholders that the county government has a County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) that recognizes all the partners and their contributions to the county. Diocese of Lodwar is among the partners whose activities are captured in The CIDP and there is need for the county government and the diocese to go through it together and see how well to work together.

Lothethiro informed the stakeholders that the County Government has done a lot in trying to resolve cross border issues. This he referred to the ongoing peace meetings organized by the County Government with the most recent ones being peace meeting in Uganda early this month and another one held in Kainuk  at the weekend.

Concerning health, the Deputy Governor said the problems facing the County health sector will soon be a thing of the past since the county government has good plans in place that will see the health sector get to a higher level.

Despite all these the Deputy Governor raised that it was important to have frequent communication between the county government and partners so that issues are tabled to be able to get suggestions on how to serve the community better.

“The County Government might not have all the solutions to the problems in Turkana but together with partners we can try to solve the problems”, said Lothethiro.

He acknowledged that the County is on track since it is the first one to embrace the ‘Delivery as one’ project by the UN which is meant to have all UN organizations deliver projects together.

In his closing remarks Bishop Dominic thanked the County Government for the good work being done. According to him, county staff can even do more than what they are doing in service delivery. The Bishop also asked the County Government to look at the issue of noise pollution in Lodwar. According to the Bishop, entertainment places and churches are everywhere in Lodwar and are using loudspeakers that produce too much noise at night.

NORWAY SIGNS AGREEMENT TO EXTEND FUNDING TO UN-TURKANA PARTNERSHIP 

Norway Signs Agreement to Extend Funding to UN-Turkana Partnership
By Governor’s Press Service 
Successful partnership between Turkana County Government and intergovernmental organisations has borne more fruits after development partner, Norway signed an agreement to extend its support of UNDP devolution project in Turkana.

In the event at the Norwegian Embassy in Nairobi today, Norway has agreed to extend their support to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) devolution project that targets Turkana with support expected to benefit the UN’s Delivering as One office in Lodwar.

The agreement will see an increase of funding by approximately 550,000 US dollars, to be extended to June next year.

Norwegian ambassador to Kenya Victor Conrad Ronneberg said that the country was committed to ensuring that devolution works by providing strategic support to ensure effective service delivery and sustainable development.

The Ambassador said that he had heard of the good work done by the county government and had to come to witness for himself.

The increased funding will be channelled to support the delivery of results within the broader context of the Turkana County and UN Joint Integrated Area-based development Programme, with an expected outcome that the capacity for devolution will be increased at sub-national levels with the technical support to Turkana County through the establishment of coordination.

The system will include setting up of a “Delivering as One” Joint Coordination Secretariat for Turkana County and provision of coordination and technical staff.

Speaking during the event, Turkana County Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro highlighted the investment opportunities in the county that have been at the centre of discussions with investors and gave an update of progress made with the Delivery as One Joint Programme with the UN.

He assured the delegation that the county government was committed to the success of projects under the programme.

In the event it was agreed that process of developing a new CIDP in Turkana and its contents will be shared with other counties to be used as a model.

This will be based on the new CIDP guidelines and will include on ground mentorship by multiple UN Agencies such as the UNDP, WFP, UNICEF, UN Women, FAO).

The funding will also extend to the operationalization of a county Performance Management System (PMS) in Turkana.

UNDP Country Resident Coordinator Siddharth Chatterjee said Turkana County had immense potential to contribute to a progressive Kenya. He assured of UNDP’s commitment to ensure that development was just not on paper but realized by the people.

He expressed the honour he felt working with Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok who he said carried a clear vision of the transformation of the county and acknowledged that the team behind the Governor was committed.

In attendance were CEC for Trade, Tourism and Industrialisation Robert Loteleng’o, Chief of Staff Abraham Losinyen, Deputy Director for Planning Victor Lekaram and the UN Joint Programme Coordinator Erastus Ethekon.

We’ll Not Participate in Elections after Raila Withdrawal-Governor Nanok

By Governor’s Press Service
Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok has said that NASA supporters in Turkana will not participate in the presidential election after the alliance’s flag bearer Raila Odinga withdrew his candidature from participating in the repeat polls.
Speaking in Lodwar today during Mashujaa Day celebrations, the Governor called on President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA leader Raila Odinga to dialogue and end the stalemate.
“Whether we accept or deny it, this country is divided down middle even if the elections are held today. It’s only when as leaders we put our pride aside and come to the table that this conflict will be solved this,” he said.
However, the Governor called for peace and asked residents not to prevent those who wished to vote from exercising their right.
Speaking about his reelection, the Governor said that he was pleased the Turkana electorate stood with him despite so much money and huge amounts of relief food used by Jubilee in a bid to unseat him.
“One billion shillings and over 300 truckloads of relief food was used to try to take the gubernatorial seat from me, but we beat all that and with God we will also defeat the petition against my reelection,” he said.
He said that calls from Jubilee to strip him of the Chairmanship of the Council of Governors will not faze him as the election of chairman to the CoG was a responsibility of County Chiefs.
“Only the 47 Governors will decide if I continue serving as the Chairman of the Council of Governors, no one else will and the decision will be made soon,” he said.
Governor Nanok condemned heads of police in Turkana West for turning up four hours after the fatal gun attack that killed six people.
The Governor said that this reluctance by police to respond to the Lokichoggio gun attack added to a trend of marginalisation practiced by the Jubilee government on the Turkana people.
“This kind of laxity and laissez-faire attitude
exhibited by the police ought to be strongly condemned. All lives matter and therefore I would like to call upon the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Internal Security Fred Matiangi and the Inspector General of Police to institute speedy investigations into the murders and bring all those responsible (for the slow response) to book especially the OCS,” he said.
Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro said that Turkana too had heroes who needed to be recognised during national holidays. He said the county government will start to fete it’s heroes if this did not change.
He added that the County Government had started to deliver on its pledges to the people and highlighted plans to end water shortage in The County starting with major urban centres.
Turkana Central MP John Lodepe also addressed the public and asked residents to boycott next week’s repeat presidential elections.
“I will defer with my party leader Raila Odinga on one thing by asking you that on that day stay at home don’t demonstrate but do not turn out to vote,” he said.
He demanded that Turkana County police Commandant inspects the refugee camp in Lokichoggio for guns and expressed concern that the main assailant in the Lokichoggio AIC Mixed Secondary school shooting who was a refugee could easily have access to a firearm.
Senator Malacky Ekal echoed the MP’s sentiments and wondered how the attackers could not be stopped despite the three military camps and police stations near the school.
“I called Police chief Mr Boinett to tell him that no bullet was fired from the police and that the area OCS was told about the attack but said that hiyo ni shida yenu. This is shocking coming from someone who is paid to protect Kenyans,” the senator said.
Kanamkemer Ward MCA James Ikeny
asked the National Government to disburse funds to counties to enable devolved units carry out their functions.
Leaders demanded that UNHCR as the body in charge of refugee affairs compensates families of victims of deadly shooting at the Lokichoggio Mixed Secondary school.
They also urged that security in learning institutions be beefed up during the examination period.

We Commence Delivering On Campaign Promises – Governor Nanok

By Governor’s Press Service

Turkana County Government has started implementation of pre-election pledges to the people of Turkana, Governor Josphat Nanok has declared.

Speaking today at the Moi Gardens after launching two water projects- a borehole in Nakwamekwi and a chlorine dosing plant in Lodwar town, the Governor said that he was keen to deliver on the promise to prioritise projects that will see Turkana be water sufficient and food secure.

“The borehole commissioned today in Nakwamekwi will solve water shortage that has been witnessed in the area and in a few weeks I we will have piped water to the village and neighbouring areas. Such projects will be witnessed all over Turkana as we move to tackle the challenge of water shortage,” he said.

The Governor was joined by Save the Children Country Director Wang Lee to launch automated chlorine dosing pumps in boreholes in Lodwar town, a joint project between the NGO and the County Government.

The Governor thanked the organisation and called for continued partnership to boost water distribution especially to institutions such as Early Childhood Education Centres.

On his part Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro said the County Government had set up a department of partnership that will improve relations with development partners such as non-governmental organisations.

County Secretary Peter Eripete said donor community could count on Turkana for accountability in partnership and assured of transparency in joint programs.

County Executive Committee Member for Water, Irrigation and Agriculture the Ministry had budgeted for additional water rigs to reduce the cost of drilling rigs.

Lodwar Township MCA Robert Lowoko urged the county to equip four more boreholes sunk in Nakwamekwi with only laying of pipes left.

Governor Nanok is the new council of governors chair

Governor Josphat Nanok has been elected as the new chair for the Council of Governors (COG). Nanok takes over from Meru Governor Peter Munya whose two-year term has lapsed. Munya has held this position since May 21, 2015 when he took over from Bomet Governor Isacc Ruto who was the first chair to the Council.

Governor Nanok becomes the third chair at the Council that comprises of leadership from all the 47 counties in Kenya. He will be deputized by Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu who retains this position as the vice chairman of the Council. Ukur Yattani of Marsabit County has been replaced by Kiambu Governor William Kabogo as the new Chief Whip

Turkana County Public Service Board Gets a New Chairperson

Dr John Teria Ngasike has been sworn as the new chairperson for the County Public Service Board (CPSB) and is to head this docket for the next six years.

Dr Ngasike was sworn in by Lodwar Court Senior Magistrate, Christine Wekesa. The post became vacant two years ago after the demise of Dr Lotulya. Mrs Patricia Ekadeli has been acting in this position and handling the board since then before she handed over to the new chairperson at a colourful ceremony held at the county headquarters today.

Speaking during the swearing in ceremony, Turkana County Governor Josphat Nanok congratulated Dr Ngasike for being appointed the chair of the board. The governor expressed optimism that the new chair would help the county government to have a professional civil service that is disciplined and capable of working within and out of the county.

Governor Nanok reiterated his commitment to make sure that 30% of revenue collection bills salaries for county civil servants while the remaining 70% is channeled to development projects.

Governor Nanok nonetheless acknowledge the county is facing challenges that are posed by high number of unemployment. He explained that job seekers cannot all be accommodated by the Public Service Board, but assured the public that his government is working with other development partners and private sectors to open up new employment opportunities.

Dr Ngasike has had an illustrious academic career that began in Lokori Primary School before joining Lodwar High School for his “O” level. In 1992, Dr Ngasike joined Kenya Science to pursue teaching as a profession and in 1998 joined Kenyatta University to study a Bachelor of Education in Early childhood a course he later mastered in the same institution in 2003.

He advanced his academic profile in USA by joining Arizona University where he acquired his doctorate degree. Dr Ngasike became a graduate assistant at Kenyatta University in 2005 before he became a tutorial fellow in the same institution five years later (2010).

In his remarks after being sworn in, Dr Ngasike promised to champion for meritocracy in the recruitment process and added that the public service board will have an “open door policy” where members of the public would be free to visit the offices to question anything they felt was unfair.

The new chairperson said he is committed to pursue Article 10 of the Constitution of Kenya and also abide to the public service virtue to help uphold the honor and dignity of Turkana County Public Service Board.

Also present at the meeting were Turkana Central MP Nakara Lodepe; County Secretary Peter Eripete and his Deputy Chris Aletia; CEC Health Jane Ajele; CEC Energy and Environment Rhoda Loyor; CEC Public Service, Decentralized Administration & Disaster Management Charles Lokiyoto; ODM Senator hopeful Malik Ekal; and host MCA from the Turkana County Legislative Assembly and other county government officials.