THE SPEECH BY H.E JOSPHAT KOLI NANOK

THE GOVERNOR OF TURKANA COUNTY ON MADARAKA DAY CELEBRATIONS ON 1st JUNE 2015 IN LODWAR

 The County Commissioner,

Officials from my government

Honourable Members of the County Assembly,

Honourable Members of the National Assembly

The Sovereign people of Turkana County

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

Today, we mark yet another important day in our Nation and County. It is today, 1st June, that we celebrate the internal self-rule we got through the sacrifice of our fellow Kenyans who shed blood to set free this Country.

This is a day when all our struggles culminated to freedom and  a day all of us regardless of our ethnicity, boundaries and other differences come together to celebrate our independence and more so to renew our commitment to join hands and pull in the same direction to make Turkana County a better place for this generation and the generations to come.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

It’s now two years into devolution and if we look back as a County, we have every reason to celebrate and hope for a much brighter and promising future.

For 50 years since independence, our story was different –the story of painful struggle, neglect and marginalization. Two years on, the story of Turkana has changed, hope that was long gone has been rekindled, we have recaptured our original space and we continue to restore our dignity as a sovereign people of this county and nation. We are now enjoying the fruits of our Constitution, a Constitution that not only brought devolution but continues to ensure that we are on the right path and that our fundamental rights are respected regardless of our geographical positioning.

We are truly making good progress and keeping our steps in the right direction as a county.

The successes realized in the last two years are remarkable; this is a collective effort by all of us. Hence we need to continue working as a team to bridge the 50 years of under development.

In the coming financial year 2015/2016, we hope to continue with finalizing some of the activities we began this year. In addition, key flagship projects outlined in the county integrated development plan will feature in the budget. A much enhanced focus on quality performance will be core of programme delivery.

 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

In the last two years, my government has managed to turn things round with allocations from the national government and the   local revenue we collect.

While we have tasted the fruits of devolution in the last two years, it’s not yet time to celebrate – we have a lot more work to do, than several other counties.

In this regard, my government has put priority in improving both the standards of Health service delivery and access to healthcare.

Health and Sanitation Sector had the highest budget allocation of 16 percent for this financial year. Through this allocation, commendable progress has been noted across monitored health indicators. The County referral hospital renovations works are 80 percent complete.

Our county immunization coverage has seen a 21 percent increase from 58 percent last year. Emergency health preparedness and response has improved from 50 per cent to 80 per cent.

While the 30 Health centres completed last year are yet to be equipped, service delivery is ongoing – drugs have been supplied and medical staff are discharging their duties.

I am glad that the health centres have relieved pressure from the Referral Hospital and now people are treated within their localities. The initial distance our people had to travel to access health services has drastically reduced from 55kms to 35 Kms. This is a distance which I believe will further reduce when the 60 dispensaries with staff housing will be completed very soon.

In Lokori the health centre is complete with a theatre table and soon the anesthetist will be deployed. This will help with minor surgeries that don’t necessarily need to be brought to the Referral hospital in Lodwar. The renovations for Kapedo sub-county hospital have begun.

In collaboration with Red Cross my government has begun the construction of a minor theatre in Lokitaung while other renovations for the hospital are also ongoing.

In Kaikor women no longer have to suffer, my government has built a maternity wing at the health centre. We will continue to assess other facilities to see the need for more maternity wings. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that no woman dies while giving birth.

The Lorugum health centre is complete ,the staff has been deployed and we shall soon commission it. I am glad that the hospital staff housing scheme for Turkwel has also begun and the people will get services without hindrance.

A staff has also been deployed to Juluk dispensary and the residents should now continue to draw services as usual.

The Lodwar County Referral Hospital now has acquired oxygen plant for the county referral hospital. Patients in critical conditions and the children’s ward will now have oxygen supply by their bedsides. This will reduce deaths brought about by breathing complications and lack of oxygen for other critical medical procedures.

Our county was recently profiled being number 3 with the highest budget allocation for purchase of drugs. So far, we have spent 106 million shillings on drugs for the first and Second quarter. Cumulatively we expect to spend close to 250 million shillings to adequately stock our dispensaries and health facilities to provide optimal care to our growing population.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

Human Capital development remains a priority of my government. A pillar that fundamentally supports the development and enhancement of other sectors.

In actualizing this priority, my government has created bursaries and scholarships.

The bursary allocation for wards has increased from the 150 Million to 342 Million raising the figure of wards allocations from 5M to 7.7M. These bursaries have benefitted over 12,000 students in 2013/2014 and 15,000 in this financial year. The beneficiaries are High school, polytechnic, college and university students. These are poor and needy students who are out of school due to school fees challenges.

The new feeding programme for the 30 completed ECDs has begun and this is meant to ensure children are retained in schools. This year another 60 ECDs are under construction- two per ward and this will allow for more school enrolment.

From 2013, through 2014 to 2015 the enrolment rate has steadily increased at an average of 79,000 children per year.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

My government takes seriously the issues of women and the Youth. I am glad that the regulation to aid in distribution of the 220 Million shillings for this group is complete. The management committees have been constituted and we are only waiting for patrons to be identified for the process of disbursing the funds to start. Through these loans, thousands of our youths and women will be empowered and become actively engaged in meaningful economic opportunities, wealth creation and in the development of our County.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

We are right on course with the constitutional requirements on the two third gender rule. As it is, from the 1533 staff establishment, 1068 accounting for 70 per cent are male employees and 465 accounting for 30 per cent are female employees of which 71 per cent accounts for locals and 29 percent is for other Kenyans. On the entire establishment, more than half, accounting for 50 per cent are youth drawn from the age bracket of below 35 years.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

Food security remains a key priority of my government. An integrated approach to tackling the hunger has informed my government’s initiative to put more land under irrigated agriculture. This year we want to focus on Nangitony, Kalemegur and Napuu irrigation schemes as we continue to expand acreage of other existing schemes. My government purchased seeds worth 31 million shillings which have since been distributed to farmers across our seven sub counties.

My government is now subdividing the Kakwanyang irrigation scheme amongst 600 households so that these farms are given special attention for quality production.

These farms are meant for production of high value crops that will feed our towns and populations and also create surplus for sale.

My government is focusing on restructuring the former Turkana Rehabilitation Project (TRP) which currently implements most of our land reclamation activities for it to be the County’s irrigation driver. Through the bill that is currently under development by the ministry, we want to empower TRP and expand its mandate so as to accelerate achievement of our food production target.

My government continues to be responsive to emergency needs of the people and livestock. The County emergency response initiative has so far managed to reach slightly above 800,000 people with assorted food stuffs of over 4,000 tonnes. This response continues to cushion the most vulnerable populations even as we work on long term food security plan for our county.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

Water is a precious and necessary commodity for all of us. Following recent water shortages and drought stress, my government has in the last 10 months trucked more than 57 million cubic litres of water across our seven sub counties reaching more than 300,000 people and tens of thousands of livestock.

Across the county, we have sunk 57 boreholes this year alone and this serves a population of about 57,000 people if one borehole is estimated to serve 1000 people.

Water pans have also been constructed along the dry areas where livestock are concentrated. This will help reduce walking for herders and their livestock.

I am glad that we finally managed to strike fresh water in Kalokol- an area that had for many years suffered from acute water shortage. To better enable the residents of Kalokol enjoy water access, my government is in the process of enhancing water connectivity and distribution.

Despite striking water at Makutano in Nakalale ward, the borehole yield was however low contrary to what hydrological survey had indicated. Nevertheless, we have embarked to drill another borehole which we believe has more water to serve the Nakalale populations.

The layout and designs to connect the Napuu water aquifer to the main Lodwar water supply is in the process. The plan is also to equip and connect the Nabulon borehole which has a yield capacity of 75,000 cubic litres to the Kanamkemer supply line.

Most of the recent killings and attacks by the Pokot bandits were directed mostly to those going to fetch water from the river in Lorogon and its environs, my government has now drilled a borehole in Lorogon and just awaiting quality results for the water so that pumps can be fixed and the residents get water.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

Insecurity continues to be a challenge in our county. It is continuously slowing our development and violating our fundamental human rights. I want to condole with families across our county that have lost their loved ones due to the escalated insecurity at our borders.

As a County, we will continue doing all that is possible within the law to protect and secure our people and their livelihoods. Through the peace-building funds, we have been able to facilitate numerous peace meetings and missions both within and across our neighbours in Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia.

In the last two weeks, leaders from the four counties of Baringo, West Pokot, Samburu and Turkana, traversed all the counties speaking to our people to embrace peace. I can only speak on our commitment – all of us know we want peace and it’s my belief that the efforts put in the last two weeks with all the leaders will bear fruit. I have no doubt my government will continue to engage with those that  support peace efforts.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

Pastoralism remains the backbone of our County’s Economy and the main source of livelihood for our people. In ensuring good health for our livestock, my government dewormed more than 700,000 livestock and a further 600,000 animals were vaccinated against livestock diseases. This will be a routine exercise by my government.

To spur and strengthen trade for our people, my government recently commissioned two large livestock sale yards. One in Kalemnyang’ in Loima and Kang’atotha in Turkana Central. These are strategic sale yards that serve a wide livestock market especially traders from the larger Lokiriama-Loreng’kipi, Kotaruk  and the lower Kerio belt all the way to Kalokol.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

More than 300,000 of our people drive their daily livelihood from fishing. This is a big population considering the value addition that the industry adds to our local economy.

My government is focusing on improving security, resource sharing and surveillance along Lake Turkana.

Through the Ministry of Pastoral Economy and Fisheries, my government  acquired two modern rescue boats equipped with floaters, life savers and first aid kits for beach management units in Kalokol and Kataboi.

In the quest to improve the fishing industry, my government has also bought 12,661 modern quality fishing nets and they will be distributed to fishermen in due course.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

Infrastructure be it roads, telephony, Public information, ICT and Energy remain a priority for my government. It is the fulcrum where all aspects of development find balance.

As a core driver of the County’s socio-economic development, the Lodwar International Airport is a key focus of my government. To date, several consultations have been done with KAA, Kenya Civil Aviation, and National Ministry of Transport. A feasibility survey has jointly been done and potential site for the airport has been identified.

My government will continue to focus on opening up the County’s remote areas through extended grading and gravelling of county classified roads. An additional 6 Kilometres road under the Lodwar CBD is presently at the stage of bitumen placement. Already more than 200 Kilometres of our strategic remote roads are at an advanced stage of improvement while an additional 1639 kilometres of roads tender is at an award stage. At least 40% of the 5000kms county roads has been done besides the ongoing maintenance of previously graded ones.

In the energy sub sector, my government is working with 82 rural public institutions in a solar lighting project. To date 49 schools have  been lit.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

I am glad that the discussions we begun during the donor round table last year in September have begun to bear fruits. Safaricom has installed additional communication masks in Eliye, Kibish, Kaikor and Kapeddo which are presently operational. We encourage other service-providers to also join and open up Turkana for communication and business.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

This financial year, the budget was 12.9 billion shillings  of which 8.3 billion being the share from the national government and  3.6 billion  being a carry forward of the last financial year budget. The carry forward comprised of projects in Health, Education and Public Service that had not been completed by the end of financial year of 2013/2014.

Currently our local revenue collection is 120 million, a slight improvement from the former local authorities’ margin – this is however way below our County Integrated Development Plan target of 500 million shillings.

For our county therefore to sustain development in the long run, strengthening our local revenue collection is very critical. To this end, it’s my belief the recent recruitment of ward revenue officers and clerks is expected to improve management and administration of revenue collection.

The budget process is in its final stages and the budget appropriation committee is out since last week getting your views. Please participate in this process so that your views are captured before the report is tabled at the County Assembly

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

My government has strategies to attract investors and mobilize resources to support the realization of our flagship projects. Through the Public Private Partnership engagements, my government is working with several private investors who have shown interest to invest in our county’s green energy. Four Seasons Energy company is such an investor who hopes to invest 6 million Euros equivalent to 650 Million shillings over the next three years in producing 1500MW of energy through solar and wind.

Through KfW grant, our County is set to benefit from 2.5 million Euro grant – approximately 275million shillings locally for setting up a hybrid power generation plant in Kalokol. The MoU has been signed between KfW and the national treasury. Feasibility study been done and the works will be commencing pretty soon.

The United Nations family has committed to work with us under the “Delivering as One” framework that will see the UN invest 182 million US Dollars in Turkana over the next three years. This is the first of such agreement signed in the Country. The UN coordinator has now reported and he will be based here in Turkana at the joint Secretariat to oversee the implementation of the programme.

My government also recognizes the important role the private sector plays in the economic growth and development. To this end, we have been able to map out critical investment opportunities as profiled in the CIDP and further gone ahead to meet both individual and corporate investors. Through Dr. Richard Leakey of Turkana Basin Institute of archaeology, in partnership with my government, the Turkana Boy Monument at Nariokotome has been erected and only awaiting President Uhuru Kenyatta to come and unveil it.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

We have also entered formal engagements with national government institutions like KICC and Kenya Investment Authority. Through this partnership our County aims to benefit immensely from their experience and unique expertise in event management. They will also help in promoting and marketing our County not only for conferences tourism but also a destination of choice for investors and tourists. As a government, we have now embarked on the infrastructure to match the generated demand for our unique products across the Globe following recent successful marketing efforts in Berlin and the United Kingdom.

This August 27th to 30th, the second edition for Tobong’u Lore will be held. This is a day we will all come together to celebrate our culture and heritage as a people. This event will see all our brothers in the Ateker from the neighbouring countries of Ethiopia, Uganda and Sudan come to join us. We also expect people of various nationalities.

Tobong’u Lore 2015 will be celebrating the Ateker diversity for peace and development.

Let’s all prepare adequately because this is an opportunity for everyone to enjoy, make business and interact.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

In the next financial 2015/ 2016 Fiscal Year, my government’s priorities will be to invest more in the Health care and in the provision of quality referral services. We need a healthy working population to support in our development agenda.

We will focus on water infrastructural development and technology transfer to enable us speed up the attainment of our CIDP food security target. The ministry will focus on enhancing utilization of our abundant water resources to bring more land under food production while increasing household water access.

My government will further improve graded roads and drainage works besides continued tarmacking of our urban roads.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

On my own behalf and that of my entire government, I want to reiterate our commitment and dedication to service delivery to the sovereign people of Turkana. Personally, I pledge to continue working tirelessly for the people I adore, and the County I love most.

 

God Bless Kenya, God Bless Turkana County

Thank you, Asante Sana!

 

 

 

 

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