Residents of Turkana Central and Loima sub counties are set to benefit from a water management project funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and implemented by Unicef in collaboration with the County Government.

The four year KOICA project: “Strengthening community resilience in Turkana County through improved water management” launched by the Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro, KOICA Country Director Hyeyoung Shin and Unicef WASH Chief Andrew Trevett today in Naipa, Kang’atotha Ward, aims to improve water availability for domestic and livestock use, increase of water points and improved sanitation.

Speaking during the launch that doubled up as the official opening of the Naipa Water Supply facility, DG Lotethiro commended KOICA for its support of Turkana since 2008 on improved water services and hygiene.

He said the KOICA-Unicef project will be a major boost in the County Government investment to end the challenge of water shortage through development of Turkana’s immense underground water resources.

The DG maintained that despite the County Government’s effort to provide water to majority of residents, the region’s water needs were greater than budgetary allocations available which called for more support from development partners.

He expressed appreciation for the project which targets 250,000 people in rural areas to be water secure and 775 villages to have improved hygiene and sanitation practices through elimination of open defecation using community led total sanitation (CLTS) model.

Ms. Shin, who is exiting as KOICA Country Director, said she was satisfied in what the agency had achieved under her tenure through the successful partnership with Unicef. She said the agency was eager to invest in counties that in their view had greatest water needs.

Newly appointed Country Director Soyeon Shin said she was impressed by the joint effort by the County Government, KOICA and Unicef to ensure the implementation of the project was successful. She expressed her commitment to ensure the project was completed.

WASH Chief Trevett said the project was an investment in people through improving resilience of communities in facing natural disasters and climate change.

County Executive for Water Services Emathe Namuar in commending the project said it will benefit a quarter of the county’s population and assured of his Ministry’s support to ensure the project achieves its expected impacted. He added that with the availability of water, the community will be supported to set up small irrigation schemes for subsistence farming, as part of effort to achieve food security.

Members of County Assembly who spoke at the launch were Chairman of the Water, Environment and Natural Committee James Abei, area MCA John Lokwatuba and Nominated MCA Philip Alany.

Also present were County Ministry of Health officers, KOICA and Unicef staff