A delegation from Borlänge Municipality, Sweden is in Turkana County as part of a partnership between Lodwar and Borlänge municipalities over development of a sustainable integration program for refugees and the local community.

Governor Josphat Nanok received the delegation led by Deputy Mayor Mari Jonsson in his office today, and held discussions on the municipality partnership whose letter of intent was signed by the Governor and Borlänge Municipality Mayor Jan Bohman in October 2017. The Governor said the partnership was a unique opportunity to share experiences, ideas, successes and failures in the implementation of innovative socio-economic integration plan.

He said that a second municipality will be developed in Kakuma/Kalobeyei to take advantage of economic growth potential that was revealed through a study by the World Bank’s International Financial Corporation.

He revealed that the next focus in the development of the Lodwar municipality was building the capacity of a board to manage the municipality.

On the integration program, the Governor said the Kalobeyei Integrated Socio-Economic Development Program launched last December was an implementation of an innovative idea on refugee support by the Turkana County leadership aimed at ensuring the local community benefitted from the presence of refugees. He said more partners were needed in developing infrastructure to support the implementation, especially on water services.

On her part, Deputy Mayor Jonsson revealed that Borlänge hosted a large number of Somali immigrants who make up 8percent of the population in Borlänge town. She said the need for the partnership arose from the shared situation between Turkana and her municipality due to the presence of refugees and the aim to find common solutions to the common challenges.

The visit comes after delegation from Turkana led by the Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro had visited Borlänge Municipality in last December. In the meeting the DG lauded the partnership as a great opportunity and maintained that the county should tap into the great planning capacity by the Swedish town in the development of Lodwar and Kakuma/Kalobeyei municipalities.

UNHCR Head of Kakuma sub office Tayyar Sukru Cansizoglu who was in attendance termed the partnership as wonderful, and said that Turkana had presented the world with a unique model for refugee integration that took advantage of the economic potential presented by their presence.

Other senior government officials in the meeting were County Secretary Peter Eripete, County Attorney Erastus Ethekon, County Executives Esther Lokwei (Lands, Energy, Housings and Urban Areas Management), Chris Aletia (Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries), Emathe Namuar (Water Services, Environment and Mineral Resources), Chief of Staff Ekuwam Nakiporo and Chief Officer for Lands Mark Ewesit.