The County Government and global charitable organization Oxfam will partner to improve governance and accountability to boost the government’s transparency to the public.
In a meeting with Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro at the County Government Headquarters, Oxfam Country Director Sumananjali Mohanty said though the organization had changed its strategy on humanitarian support, their vision of transforming communities through fighting inequality and poverty remained.
She explained that Oxfam program in Turkana was aimed at supporting active participation of citizens in governance, promoting gender justice through pushing for behavior and attitude changes, humanitarian work which had shifted to supporting the County Government improve its capacity.
On exploitation of natural resources, Ms Mohanty said that Oxfam was working to ensure local communities “secure rights to access, control and own their land and are empowered to make decisions.”
She committed to support the County Government in policymaking and formulation of transparent laws, policies and regulations.
DG Lotethiro proposed a structured engagement with Oxfam through formalising partner by signing of MoU. The agreement he said will address resource gaps that existed towards achieving transparency and accountability.
He insisted that the County Government required more support to meet its mandate on public participation especially in formulation of bills and policies, as required by law. He cited the vastness of Turkana and poor technology as some of challenges to conclusive public participation.
On the extractive sector, the DG said the county was in a critical point with heightened debate on acquisition and use of land as well as revenue sharing, which called for better support to improve community awareness and participation.
Present in the meeting were County Executive Emathe Namuar (Water Services,Environment and Mineral Resources), Chris Aletia (Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries), Charles Lokiyoto (Public Service and Disaster Management) who echoed calls for further support on policy formulation and legislation.
Others were County Attorney Erastus Ethekon, Chief Officer for Water Services Moses Natome and Deputy Director Water Services Tito Ochieng.
Accompanying the Country Director were Liason Officer John Lokopu, Meal Advisor Blandina Bobson and Regional Advisor on Extractives Gilbert Makore.