Governor Josphat Nanok has assured that the County Government is undertaking a humanitarian relief assistance programme to cushion residents from the effects of ongoing severe droughts.
Speaking when he addressed the media in his office today, the Governor said the ongoing exercise which was targeting 805,000 residents who are under food stress had already reached 70 percent of affected population.
“The County Government has intervened to provide humanitarian relief food supplies amounting to 2,500 metric tonnes equivalent of 36,000bags of 50kgs white maize, 10,000 bags of 50kgs beans and 10,000 jerricans of 20litre cooking oil. The distribution of these food supplies begun on 28th February and is expected to reach the targeted population in hard hit wards,” he said.
The wards are Kaeris, Kaaleng’/Kaikor, Lapur and Upper Lake Zone in Turkana North; Kibish; Naanam, Songot, Letea and Lopur in Turkana West; Kerio Delta and upper Kalokol in Turkana Central; Lobei/Kotaruk and Turkwel in Loima; Lobokat, Kalapata and Upper Lokichar in Turkana South and Kapedo, Lokori/Kochodin and Katilia in Turkana East.
He reported that 576,000 beneficiaries of the those targeted have already received the food and estimated that the rest will be reached in the course of next week. He said provision and delivery of food to an enrollment of 113, 718 pupils to 171 ECDs centers was ongoing.
The Governor urged for support from the National Government and humanitarian organisations to avert a humanitarian crisis.
On top of the relief food distribution, the Governor said the County Government was undertaking additional interventions including provision of supplementary food, screening cases, vaccination, treatment, drug provisions in all the health centres in the county. He added that investment in health sector will boost efforts to monitor and prevent cases of acute malnutrition among children.
Additionally, he said the county was supplying water through water trucks to drought hotspots in Loroo, Nalapatui, Namorkirionok in Turkana West; Naduat, Lokapelpus in Turkana North, Lopii in Turkana East and Nasiger and Kopoe in Loima sub-county.
To address the locust infestation that threatens to destroy vegetation in the county, Governor Nanok announced that the County Government had procured 3000 litres of locust chemicals with spraying to begin next week.
On long-term plans to achieve food security and water sufficiency, the county boss said the solution was investing in large water harvesting infrastructure such as dams and exploitation of underground water resources to support commercial irrigation agriculture.
The County Government, he said, was building partnerships to attract additional resources to implement development priorities geared towards attaining food security and highlighted implementation of Kalobeyei Socio-Economic Development Program (KISEDP) with UNHCR and expected intergovernmental cross-border peace initiatives as sources of expected additional resources.
He assured that the County Government was monitoring the situation and that budgetary reallocations to address the hunger if the drought persists was an option as it happened in the drought of 2017.