The Honorable Speaker,

The Honorable Deputy Speaker,

The Honorable Leader of Majority,

The Honorable Leader of Minority,

The Honorable Members of the County Assembly,

Distinguished Guests,

I am very delighted to join you today to report to the people of Turkana on the State of our County. We are well on course to achieving our development targets as highlighted in the County Integrated Development Plan 2018-2022. This is despite the programmatic disruptions occasioned by the unprecedented global public health emergency; Covid19 Pandemic.

Hon. Speaker,

I wish to appreciate the support and strategic collaboration my Government has received from this Honorable house, in the last twelve months since my last State of the CountyAddress.

The deliberate and consistent participation of the Turkana Leadership Summit, for which the leadership of this House are members, has helped my Administration record commendable strides in many areas. Some of these include; the security and peace interventions within and outside our borders, the harmonization of the Ksh2.8 Billion Social Infrastructure Projects as Corporate Social Responsibility by Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA); a component of the World Bank/National Government funded Kainuk-Lokichar-Lodwar-Nadapal-Nakodok A1 national trunk road project and finally, the contextualization of the all-important national discourse on the Building Bridges Initiative. These joint efforts continue to place, secure and advance the best interest possible for the people of Turkana County.

Hon. Speaker,

Health Services and Sanitation

The Novel Coronavirus has continued to pose the greatestpublic health challenge globally, with the most developed world economies devastated just like their least developed counterparts. The Nation of Kenya and Turkana County in particular have had their fair share of disruptions.

The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30th January 2020, and a Pandemic on 11th March 2020. Kenya’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed on 13th March 2020. Turkana County’s first case was reported on 24th May 2020 in Turkana West’s KakumaRefugee Camp. As of Wednesday, 25th November 2020, the total numbers of tests conducted were 6,086 with thenumber of COVID 19 cases in Turkana County rising to 744.

The highest number of cases in the county has been recorded in Turkana West with 449, Turkana Central with 273, Turkana South 15 and finally Turkana North with 7 cases. A total of 606 individuals recovered with the county recording 12 virus related deaths, with 9 from Turkana West and 3 from Turkana Central. There are a total of 720 patients in Quarantine facilities.

To bring this situation under control, my Administration has intensified efforts to combat the spread of the virus. These include; combining effort with the National Government in hiring and deployment of 387 staff to offer critical and essential services in our healthcare facilities. This is in addition to redeployment of existing health workers, intensification of screening, triaging and testing, enforcement of COVID 19 prevention directives for patients visiting health facilities and ensuring uninterrupted supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for our health workers. We have conducted more training on COVID-19 to clinicians across the county. This is aimed atstrengthening detection and management of patients.

Hon. Speaker,

The Sub Counties Covid 19 Emergency Response Committees continue to run a seamless and robust COVID-19 sample collection, packaging and referral system to MoiTeaching and Referral Hospital. We have also continued to partner with NGOs in the fight against this invisible enemy; we recently installed a GeneXpert machine at Lopiding Sub County Hospital courtesy of EGPAF. Furthermore, my Administration has committed Ksh. 25 million to buy our own PCR machine. This machine will ensure all samples are tested here and results given in record time. The Government has recently procured three new ambulances for Turkana West and Turkana Central for referrals and to ease transport of Covid-19 samples.

Additional efforts that have sustained our resilience in the face of disasters and especially with the COVID 19 pandemic are; the focused support from AMPATH in facilitating COVID 19 samples to the testing center at MTRH-Eldoret, IRC’s contribution in community mobilization and communication, donation of medical supplies and wash related commodities.

Still on Covid 19, UNHCR’s supported the isolation centresin Turkana West and donation of PPEs and ambulance to the Kakuma Sub-County Hospital and Kakuma Mission Hospital respectively. Save the Children Internationalintensified efforts in training of frontline workers and distribution of wash related commodities to health facilities.

Hon. Speaker,

I want to salute our frontline healthcare workers for working tirelessly in responding to the spiking coronavirus cases in our health facilities across the County. The situation is presently under control and more measures are under review to ensure the health of the community and staff in our facilities is safeguarded.

Moreover, I would like to express my profound compassion to all our healthcare personnel who have contracted the virus in the course of duty. I wish all those still undergoing management, a quick recovery. My thoughts and prayers are with you. To those who have recovered, take a brave heart with renewed energy and continue attending to Turkana residents during these challenging times, while taking into consideration preventive measures against Covid 19.

I recently signed into law the Turkana County Health Administration Bill 2020. The Act establishes the County Health Services Administration Fund to provide for additional funding for the participatory and sustainable management of health systems and public health facilities. I recently launched County Health Sector Strategic and Investment Plan (2018-2022), County Health Sector Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (2018-2022), County Nutrition Action Plan and Turkana County Family Planning, Reproductive Maternal, Neonatal Child Health, Adolescence and Youth Communication Strategy. We applaud our development partners for their support in the development of these health strategic plans.

Hon. Speaker,

My Government has progressively improved access to health care services across the County. We have attained a 15-Kilometer distance between one health facility and the other as compared to a 50-Kilometer distance in 2013. In this regard, we have operationalized Lokori Sub-County Hospital, Kamuge, Lomunyenakwan, Lobulono, Loya, Lopuski, Natiir and Lomunyenpus dispensaries. This will go a long way to further reduce the distance to five kilometers as recommended worldwide.  The department of health has also increased the number of health facilities offering laboratory services from 45 to 55 reducing further laboratory-necessitated referrals.

As a matter of strategy and after the enactment of Community Health Services Act, 2018, out of the target 167 functional community units, the county has achieved 135. Stipends for 1,864 Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) have been paid. In our endeavor to make Turkana County open defecation free, 151 villages have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) out of a target of 200 villages in the last 12 months. My Administration is happy to report that we have 265 operational health facilities and 1,190 health workers. With support from DANIDA through Health Sector Service Fund, we have continued to support operations and maintenance of 156 rural health facilities at a cost of Ksh33 million.

My Administration reached to 29,500 vulnerable households with water, sanitation and hygiene supplies out of a target of 32,000 households. Through concerted efforts between my Government and that of partners, we managed to reduce the HIV prevalence rate from 7.6% to 3.0%. This has been attributed to the biomedical, structural and behavioral interventions.

The County Government has constantly controlled the wave and surge of Malaria with support from Global Fund. In the coming weeks, we plan to distribute 102,000 mosquito nets to the vulnerable households across the County.

Hon. Speaker,

It is evident that Lodwar County Referral Hospital has undergone modern infrastructural developments. Among those, we have a 3-bed capacity each for ICU and HDU with 7 ventilators. This intervention has reduced referral of critical care patients to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.

To maintain good hygiene and sanitation standards in LCRH, my Government has drilled and fully equipped a borehole within the facility. We have also improved laboratory diagnostic services through the completion of a molecular laboratory.  

The referral hospital has Health Management Information Systems (HMIS), which is key in generating data to help in making decisions. We have also installed Logistics Management Information System (LMIS). This has ensured forecasting demand and ensuring availability of essential medical and medicine supplies in all facilities throughout the year with the introduction of a four-month lead-time. Based on the total annual budget for medical supplies, each Sub-County receives Ksh. 234 million as its allocation based on consumption data, service workload and level of health service.

Further, we have automated the Out-Patient Department in LCRH and this has led to improved tracing of patient’s records in enhancing effective and efficiency in service delivery. Our efforts to make LCRH a level 5 teaching and internship referral hospital has received a major boost, wenow have Clinical Officer’s interns at the facility and aim to get medical officer interns in 2021.

Hon. Speaker,

Water Development, Mineral Exploitation and Natural Resource Management

As part of my Government’s commitment to provide safe and clean water for human and livestock use, we have constructed and installed a Desalination Plant and pumping equipment for Napetao village in Kanamkemer Ward. This plant is projected to benefit 2,600 persons and 4,200 livestock units. We have also constructed another Desalination Plant, Distribution Line and Storage Tanks at Lomelo Water Supply in Napeitom/Kapedo Ward, expected to serve 6,000 people, two public institutions and 10,000 livestock units.

The Construction and Development of Napuu Water Project in Kanamkemer Ward is currently at an advanced stage. The scope of works accomplished include; construction of the elevated steel tank (300 m3) of 20 metres high and construction of 4.5 kilometers rising main pipeline from Napuu boreholes to Narewa. The project is expected to benefit about 12,000 residents of Narewa, Lokitela, Turkana University, Kasarani Village, Kanamkemer Sub-County Hospital, other parts of Kanamkemer and Nawoitorong. I note that the National Water Storage and Harvesting Authority has taken a bit longer than expectedto complete the project which was supposed to be completed by the end of the month as per the agreement.

Hon. Speaker,

In addition, we have continued to invest in solarized boreholes as well as expanded pipelines in Natiir, Kakemera, Lochor Esekon and Sopel to benefit 6,100 persons and 9,300 livestock units. The same technology has been adopted at Lokuyen water supply system that includes 20m3 storage tank and 2.5 Kilometer pipeline extension to benefit 2,000 people, three public institutions and 80,000 livestock units. Nachuro water supply in Turkwell Ward has also benefitted with similar intervention including civil works for storage and distribution system to benefit 3,500 people, one ECD center and 60,000 livestock units.

In addition, department of water services installed solar system at Lokichoggio borehole to serve LokichoggioMixed Secondary School, rehabilitated four hand pumps in Iria, Natumamong and Lochor-angamor and replaced Nakururum Water Supply with a new pump.

Lokori water supply system in Lokori/Kochodin Ward has transitioned to solar power and benefited from improvement of the distribution lines to benefit 40,000 people and six institutions. Working together with our partner in the sector (IRC) the Government has rehabilitated Kanugurmeri, borehole and erected elevated steel tank of 50m3 and installed a Water Supply System in Kapua, Kalokol Ward. This investment will support 1,100 persons, ECD center and Dispensary. In the rest of Turkana East Sub County, Eight boreholes were sunk in Lopeduru, Kidewa, Nakatongwa, Emanman, and Kachelang’a. These projects are expected to benefit over 10,500 people, four institutions and 20,000 livestock units.

The Government is also in the process of constructing a 3-Kilometer pipeline extension from Kaeris Resource Centre to health facility, Lojem to Mambo Leo Village and construct a 50m3 masonry storage tank to benefit 1000 people, a school, a dispensary and 8, 000 livestock units.

To further address safe and affordable drinking water for our people, the County Government has recently drilled 10 boreholes in Turkana Central Sub County. The areas benefiting include; Napuu, Kerio, Nakwamekwi, Kanamkemer, Lodwar Township, Nakechichok, Nakadukui, Nariamawoi, Nayanae-Angikalalio and Kadinyang’ole. The Boreholes will soon be equipped.

Turkana West benefited with two boreholes at Loroo and Akalaliot villages. We up-graded high yielding boreholes at Lopuski to solar system. My Government has also undertaken repair of broken water systems in various villages of Lopur ward.

Hon. Speaker,

UNICEF Constructed a water pan at Lokunusio in Song’otWard, whose construction is ongoing and that will improve livestock water access to more than 15,000 livestock units.

Kenya Water Services Trust Fund has been supportive inimproving and equipping Lokichar water supply and fabrication of 100 m3 steel elevated tank while providing water to RCEA, Uhuru Girls Secondary School, piping of water from Chinese II and Nayulkaale, Kapese and Lokichar IDP serving 10,000 people and 10,000 livestock units.

The County Government embarked on de-silting of major water pans at Ng’eu, Lobulono rock water catchment,Natodomeri and Nangloromet/Nakinomet which are at final stages of completion. Once complete the water pans and rock catchments are expected to benefit 2,000 people, 15 institutions, 4,000 shoats and 10,000 livestock units.

In line with the Climate Change Act 2016 and support from Trocaire, my leadership has developed a Climate Change Legal framework including a Climate Change Fund (Regulation). The Climate Change Bill and Regulation is yet to be forwarded to this House for debate and approval. This legal framework will encourage Government, community, public and organizations to implement climate proof programs, mitigation and adaptation Programs.

We have also developed a Climate Change Action Plan 2019-2022, which is currently providing a roadmap on implementation of Climate Change adaptation programs in the County.

Hon. Speaker,

In an effort to enforce the right for clean and healthy environment within Turkana County, my Government in conjunction with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), gazetted 12 Environmental Inspectors pursuant to section 117 of the Environmental Management and Coordination Act. The officers have powers to enforce and ensure compliance to environmental laws and regulations. I call upon the residents of Turkana County to conserve, protect and preserve the environment to avoid litigation through the gazetted County Environment Inspectors. Since the beginning of the year 2020, the County Environment Inspectors have conducted 72 Environment Inspections and audits across the County. Out of the 72 Environmental Inspections, 28 Environmental Restoration orders were issued to various proprietors on environmental remedial interventions to be undertaken.

With the aim of building capacity for our local artisanal minors, my Government has registered 10 more artisanal groups, which leads to a total of 13 groups across the county. In addition, we are in the process of registering Turkana Association of Miners in the office of Attorney General. The registration of these groups will enable them have access to finance, integration into value chains and markets and more indirectly enable value addition to raw mineral outputs such as through cutting and polishing of gemstones, smelting and refining of gold and jewelry making. This will further augment Government revenues through the collection of levies that will improve the County revenue base.

Hon. Speaker,

Lands, Energy, Housing and Urban Areas Management

With the support of the World Bank through Kenya Urban Support Programme, the County Government is constructing a fire station on a 10-acre land, near Turkana University College at a cost of Ksh.52 million. This station will be the headquarters of the County Fire Department. The same program provides for solar lights for Ekales Road at Ksh.33 million.

The supplier for the County Government’s maiden fully loaded fire engine procured at Ksh.53 million delivered the equipment to Lodwar last week. It was my honor and pleasure to unveil this important machine last Friday for immediate use by the Lodwar Municipality residents.

I acknowledge the County Assembly’s effort to approve the Integrated Strategic Urban Development Plans for Kakuma, Lokichoggio, Lorugum, Lokichar, Lokori, Lokitaung, Lowarengak and Kalokol. These plans will provide an overall integrated physical framework for growth of these urban areas and provide basis for coordinated and harmonized development. I have directed Lands and Urban Development Ministry to fast track the charter for establishing Kakuma-Kalobeyei Municipality to benefit the targeted population which is the host and refugees and to tap value from the integration efforts advanced by KISEDP.

Doing so, will enable these towns to attract funding from development partners particularly the World Bank under the Kenya Urban Support Programme.

Therefore, I appointed an ad-hoc committee to assess the suitability of Kalokol, Lokichar, and Lokichogio for town status while Kakuma and Kalobeyei for conferment to municipality status, in line with set criteria for elevation.

In a bid to improve our revenue streams, the Government refurbished the county staff quarters at the UN-Camp in Lokichogio and Lodwar at a cost of Ksh.14 million.

Hon. Speaker,

Ownership of land and the reaping of maximum advantage from such land in Turkana County have been negated by the lack of appropriate land title deeds. My Government is engaging National Ministry of Lands to support in land adjudication process and subsequently the issuance of title deeds. This process will start with Lodwar Municipality and thereafter expand to other planned centres.

In improving accessibility to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy solutions, the Government in FY 2019/2020, installed 19 improved biomass-cooking stoves in Milimatatu Girls, AIC Katilia Boys and St. James Kaikor Boys Secondary Schools. Furthermore, Naregaekamar, Lorogon, Letea and Kangakipur Primary Schools also benefited at total cost of Ksh.6.59 million.  In addition to this, we have spent Ksh.13 million for the on-going works of installing 45 solar streetlights at KaerisWard. This will be expected to be complete this month.

Hon. Speaker,

Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources

We are not in doubt that our tourism sector is thriving very fast. This has placed our county as the preferred destination of choice for locals, national and international tourists. The intensive showcasing of our tourism products across the globe has contributed immensely to Turkana prominently being identified as the “Origin of Mankind”.

The potential of Turkana as an attractive tourist destination remains untapped. My Administration has identified and mapped additional 30 tourism products bringing total to 95 tourism sites. This will enhance tourist experience; increase the visitation and length of stay because of the diverse tourism products that our destinations have on offer. My Administration is soon operationalizing the Turkana County Tourism Information Centre and Gallery located infront of the Lodwar Law Courts. The Centre will showcase the rich Turkana cultural heritage, artifacts and documentaries among others. This will serve as the one-stop-shop for domestic, regional international visitors to find appropriate information about The Origin of Mankind and the places to visit.  

It is also important to note that two of the Eco-Lodges are being finalized. Kainuk in Lobokat Ward and Lokitoe-Ang’aberu in Lake Zone Ward at a cost of Ksh.30 million and Ksh.20 million respectively.

Hon. Speaker,

Since the launch of Ushanga Initiative in 2018, as a program run in collaboration with the NationalGovernment, we have procured beads, materials, tools and equipment at Ksh. 20 million, this was used to support the training of women in modern beading techniques and distributed as startup kits to qualifying trainees to support their production capacity. Consequently, 300 women were trained and 1,100 women sensitized on Ushanga’s modern beading skills.

In collaboration with Mercy Corps, we have successfully gazetted Song’ot Ranges in Turkana West, going forward this will lead to job creation, as the community will be able to sustainably manage the conservation of this important resource.

In order to increase tree cover for climate change mitigation and benefits from tangible forest products, we have improved tree nursery infrastructure through completion of ablution blocks and potting plants in eight nurseries in Lapur, Kibish, Kakuma, Turkwel, Kanamkemer, Township, Lokichar and Lokori/Kochodin Wards. Further, we have completed Kanamkemer tree nursery office and store.

Hon. Speaker,

My Administration has distributed 508,000 seedlings to community members and institutions across the County for the last one year. To promote, protect and conserve wildlife and forestry, the County Government has successfully regularized the appointment of 60 rangers. These officers have been deployed in Ekalees centre, South Turkana National Reserve, Kenya Forest Service, Kainuk Eco-Lodge and Patrol Teams along Turkwel Riverine, Kakumaand Kalokol.

Hon. Speaker,

Food and Nutrition Security

To further entrench the pursuit of my Food and Nutrition Security priority agenda in my second term, my Administration has developed a groundnut strategy, applied innovations in agriculture through Flood-based Farming Systems and Climate Smart Agriculture practices. We have successfully completed surveys, designs and development of bill of quantities for 24 irrigation and land reclamation projects. These projects have already been advertised for tendering in readiness for implementation in this financial year 2020/2021.

The land under crop production has progressively increased to 41,845 acres from 40,465 acres one year ago. In February this year, desert locust invaded and spread across the county with Turkana East, Turkana South, Turkana Central and Loima severely affected, with crops and rangeland resources destroyed. In total, 82,000 households became vulnerable as a result of desert locust invasion. An estimated crop yield spanning 9,449 hectares and 452,500 hectares of pasture and browse were affected, destroying 15% of crops and 35% pasture. This resulted to substantial economic drain translating to direct food and incomeinsecurity to our cropping and livestock farmers.

My Government had put much effort in surveillance and control measures with support from the National Government and Food and Agriculture Organization to combat locust infestation in the county. These measures included; training of 663 technical staff, scouts and youth on use of mobile surveillance app (eLocust3m), establishment of control base in Lodwar, provision of 200 Knapsack and 3 motorized sprayers, 40 ULV sprayer, 400 PPEs, 5 Mobile android phones 4,000 litres of Pesticide.

These efforts led to the ground surveillance of 280,000 hectares and aerial surveillance of 1.8 million hectares and eventually bringing these pests to control. However my Administration will continue to do desert locust surveillance following reports of possible re-emergence.

The department of Agriculture recently purchased three more tractors bringing the total available to farmers to 13. This investment is key in enhancing mechanised food production. A total of 4,655 acres was put under maizeproduction yielding 68,583 bags of 90Kg; 6,147 acres of sorghum yielding 53,554 bags of 90 Kg and 2,879 tons ofvegetables and fruits respectively.

Irrigation engineering works are at advanced stages at Naadunga, Kachoda and Nakukulas drip irrigation schemes.  Similar works are advancing at Nakwamoru, Kaputir/Lokwar, Kanaodon surface irrigation schemes and Lomidat Spate Irrigation. Simailele surface Irrigation project with 180 hectares has been completed with funding from drought resilience program (DRSLP) and the joint effort and support by the County Government. This will benefit 500 farm households.

To innovatively drive food production systems, my Administration has established floodwater-harvesting structures of 60 hectares targeting 300 farmer households through integration of various flood-based technologies for crop production in Locher-emeyan in Loima Sub County. This spate Irrigation project is currently 77% complete. In partnership with GIZ and WFP, a total of 105 hectares were conserved using spate technology, targeting a total of 350 farmer households drawn from; Kajukjuk in Turkana North and Kakong’u in Turkana South.

Hon. Speaker,

Over 60% of our people rely on pastoral economy as their main source of sustainable livelihood; In the last one year, partners supported with Ksh65 million to vaccinate 614,479 livestock against Peste des Petits Ruminante PPR (Lomoo); 370,841 livestock against Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia CBPP (Loukoi in cattle); 386,878 livestock against Contagious Caprine PleuropneumoniaCCPP (Loukoi in shoats); 105,376 livestock against sheep and goat pox S&G and 82,179 livestock against Lumpy skin disease.

We have also treated 115,392 camels, 293,602 cattle, 667,040 goats and sheep, 5,912 chicken and 3,373 donkeys against Haemorrhagic septicaemia Mange, tick borne diseases and Trypanosomiasis.

Additionally my administration has spent Ksh. 9.5 million, in procuring and distribution of 19 cattle crushes in all the seven sub-counties for support of animal handling during treatments and vaccinations. We have enhanced livestock disease surveillance by training 74 livestock disease reporters who report disease syndrome from the village level.

Through this effort, the County Government through the directorate of Veterinary Services, has since conducted livestock disease surveillance and reached 12,944 households County-wide. This has improved the awareness of current disease status for planning, hence prompt response for the reported cases leading to improved livestock health.

Further, the rehabilitation of Kanamkemer slaughterhouse drainage is complete and it is now operational. This has enhanced waste disposal and seen improved hygiene. We are also pleased to announce the completion of LokicharCold chain, renovation of Lokitaung’ slaughterhouse and Cold Chain.  These projects will improve veterinary service delivery in these areas.

In partnership with National Government’s directorate of veterinary services, the satellite veterinary laboratory in Lodwar is currently being upgraded to a regional veterinary investigative laboratory status. The aim is to have a robust and efficient disease surveillance and diagnostic system for timely response in Turkana and in the northern Kenya region.

Hon. Speaker,

My Administration with partnership with Save the Children and FAO distributed 11,734 bags of livestock feeds that cushioned 26,120 livestock across the county. Additionally in Kakuma Ward, construction of strategic reserve feed store is 90% complete and will benefit 10,000 pastoralists by providing storage space for 5,000 bags livestock feeds to be utilized during drought period. To increase market access through livestock fattening and disease screening, infrastructures in Napeililim holding ground stand at 92% completion. Once complete, 7,000 livestock traders are to benefit.

At the same time, Lomosogol livestock breeding and multiplication centre in Kerio Ward is also nearing completion at 92%.  Additionally, with support from Regional Pastoralist Livelihoods Resilience Project (RPLRP), construction works at Lokiriama sale yard stands at 95% completion rate. These projects upon completion will enhance increase in market access for our livestock and eventually improve our economic return as a County.

To enhance development of Fisheries Value Chain, Market Access and Linkages, we have established a Cold Chain (Solar freezers & cool boxes) in Kalokol Ward to reduce fish post-harvest losses. Further, we have also enhanced our fisheries livelihood support through acquisition of 10 motorized boats distributed to Kalokol and KangatosaWards and Four (4) solar freezers procured for MerierBMU (Kerio Delta ward).

Hon. Speaker,

Peace Building and Borderlands Initiatives

Peace building remains an integral cornerstone of strong and socio-economically empowered communities. Dividends of peace trigger and drive sustainable community-led development efforts.

Peaceful coexistence begets honour and dignity for the people. This is the reason I have given peace and security a special place in my five point transformative development agenda. We are committed to peace with our local neighbours and communities internally and at the borderlines of neighbouring countries.

We are tackling the peace pillar of the 5-point agenda through a multifaceted approach that focuses on targeted resourcing, creation of facilitative partnerships and networks with governments, development partners and peace actors. This calls for supportive legislation to anchor peace building programming in law.

In this regard, my Government has committed huge financial resources to create peace infrastructure that supports and promotes safe and secure return, as well as resettlement of communities earlier displaced by conflict from resource-rich areas in different parts of the county.These areas had become inaccessible zones for our people due to acts of insecurity and lawlessness perpetrated by peace spoilers.

Hon. Speaker,

Members of this House are aware that the Government allocated close to Ksh.190 million in financial years 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 for construction of 19 resettlement projects in various conflict-hotspots across the county. Further, in the current financial year we have set aside Ksh. 40 million for four additional projects in other areas to enhance the impact and spread the gains of resettlement projects.  All projects are at different completion stages.

Hon. Speaker,

In partnership with the National Government Ministry of Arid, Semi-Arid Lands, UNICEF, KOICA and UNDP under the auspices of the Kenya-Uganda MOU and Delivery as One (DAO) initiative, my Administration has created water infrastructure for peace – The Urum Water Supply and Reticulation Project in Lokiriama/LorengkipiWard at a cost of Ksh 16.5m. This multi-partner development intervention will benefit 2,000 People, two public institutions and 20,000 livestock units.

Additionally, the Ksh 250 million for Namoni-ang’ikaalaMultipurpose Peace Dam Project under the same initiative is currently underway in Loima Sub-County. This is expected to ease and finally stem out the perennial crossborder conflict and insecurity arising from dry season resource based conflict between our pastoralists and their Ugandan neighbours.

Despite impact on travel due to restrictions arising from COVID-19 containment protocols by regional governments, direct inter and intra community grassroots peace interventions to support cross-border peace efforts are going on at lower levels, and consequently the international corridors are calm and generally peaceful except for a few isolated incidents of livestock theft by peace spoilers.

In early October 2020 and under the Chairmanship of the Rift Valley Regional Commissioner, we convened a meeting in Nakuru to discuss regional peace prospects in Turkwel and Suguta Corridors with other Governors from Baringo and West Pokot. This meeting resolved that the peace effort along these corridors be jumpstarted with county governments working closely with their National Government counterparts that include respective County Commissioners and their security teams.

The first meeting to roll out this effort was held in Kabarnetin Baringo County in the week of 4th to 6th November 2020 under the Chairmanship of the Rift Valley Regional Commissioner and peace stakeholders/delegates drawn from counties of Baringo, West Pokot, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Samburu, Laikipia and Turkana. Another Peace and Security meeting was convened at Kapedo on Saturday November 14, 2020 to preach peace and commit leaders to the implementation of the Kabarnet meeting 15 point resolutions.

Hon. Speaker,

To bolster peace and security agenda, we have finalized the preparation of Community Safety and Peace Policy 2018 and Bill 2020. These will be ready for presentation to this House for consideration and further action.

Hon. Speaker,

Public Service, Decentralized Administration & Disaster Management,

The continued increase in rainfall across the neighboring counties of Trans-Nzoia, Elgeyo-Marakwet and West Pokotresulting in unpredictable increase in the water levels of the Turkwel dam is of a great concern for all of us.

My Government in consultation with the National Government has established a Turkwel Dam Multi-Agency Risk Surveillance Committee. This is a forum aimed at discussing with partners the requisite preparedness and contingency measures in case of a spillover of the Turkweldam.

I note that Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA), which is the entity in charge of management of the dam, has assured of the structural integrity of the dam despite water levels rising to historic highs. However, in response to the unlikely situation of dam spillover, a multi-agency team was constituted to conduct a rapid flood risk assessment. Out of this, 40,326 households residing downstream would likely be affected.

The County Government has come up with a detailed contingency plan. In so doing we appreciate the role partners play in supporting the Government in preparedness. Especially, the synergy and partnership from WFP, IRC, Concern Worldwide, toward the development of a contingency plan for Turkwel dam potential spillage.

According to KVDA, the dam spillage is designed to occur at the water level of 1,150 meters above sea level, which currently stands at 1,147.92 metres above the sea level.

I want to urge residents of areas likely to be affected by floods to move to higher grounds to avoid loss of lives and property. On the other hand, the rising levels of water in Lake Turkana in recent months, has affected communities living along the lake. The Lake supports 500,000 people and so far 24,320 have been displaced in Kerio, Kangatotha, Kalokol and Lake Zone wards.

In our efforts to cushion the vulnerable communities as a result of the economic effects of COVID-19, the desert locust invasion, floods and other disasters, I have directed the Department of Disaster Management to begin procuring 4,925 metric tonnes of relief food commodities worth Ksh.255 million, to benefit a target population of 640,366 people across the county.

Further, we have set aside Kshs.419,881,338 in the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund to procure 70,000 of 50 Kg bags of maize, 6,500 of 50 Kg bags of rice, 1,600 of 50 Kg bags of beans and 15,000 of 20 litre Jerrycans of vegetable oil. The procurement plans for this emergency relief food has already started in earnest.

Hon. Speaker,

I recently signed into law the Turkana County Compliance and Enforcement Bill, 2020. This legislation provides for the establishment of mechanisms, measures, and structures for the compliance and enforcement of laws within the county. It will also provide a framework for cooperation and consultation with National Government security agencies in the enforcement of laws.

On regularization of the enforcement officersmost of the officers serving in the unit were previously engaged on a local contract, which ended in June 2020. Last August, the department facilitated the vetting and regularization of 154 enforcement officers to permanent and pensionable terms to ensure continuity and effective delivery of services.

These officers have been deployed to support the collection of revenue, protection of Government installations, providing VIP protection and some will be re-trained to be County Government prosecutors in a county court. Most of these officers are supporting operations in sub-counties. I urge the public to cooperate with these officers in the course of their duty.

Hon. Speaker,

The County Government has approved uniform for enforcement officers. This is for purposes of visibility, recognition and identity. The first impression of the Inspectorate uniform was inaugurated and commissioned during last Mashujaa Day celebrations. It is worth noting that, being in uniform promotes public safety and upholds the rule of law so that individual liberty may flourish.

My Administration has secured a 45-acre piece of land for the establishment of the Enforcement Training Institute at Nameturuana (Shaba), Lapur Ward in Turkana North Sub-county. We will fence off the land and set up administration and other structures within the Institute. Once operational, the Institute will entail a state-of-the art training facilities that will be important in providing effective capacity building for purposes of training and re-training of the enforcement officers and other Government officers with an aim of improving the service delivery in the county.

Hon. Speaker,

I want to plead to this Honorable House to consider increasing the budget allocations for this Department to help actualize, a modern, well trained and motivated enforcement body that is well progressive in improving the service delivery to the public. We have so far trained 20 officers on VIP and critical infrastructure protection. The training imparted skills so that officers can be instrumental and effective in protecting the county critical installations and providing support to county’s senior officers.

Being the first line of defense against safety and security, I direct County Department of Public Service, Administration and Disaster Management to also train the new law enforcement officers on firefighting and emergency response skills.

Hon. Speaker,

In our commitments to strengthen devolution at the grassroots, we are concluding the recruitment process for 156 Village Administrators across the county. Once recruited, the administrators will ensure the participation of the village unit in governance process. At the same time the Government will develop regulations to guide the management of the village units in the county as provided for in Section 25 of the Turkana County Village Administration Act. The regulations will govern matters on allowances of the village elders, delimitation of the village units, conduct of the village council members and general administration of the village councils. This framework will provide seamless criteria for the effective management of the village councils in the county.

In providing quality services to the Turkana Community, the Government has regularized the result-based management system in the public sector. More than 105 senior government officers have been put on performance contract. The rest, 3,000 employees have been subjected to Staff Performance Appraisal System. This move has led to improved efficiency in service delivery to the public by ensuring that holders of public offices are held accountable for results.

In addition, my Administration is in the process of developing a Rewarding and Sanctioning Framework. The Framework will help in identifying mechanisms for rewarding best performers and sanctioning non-performers.Going forward, promotion of County Public Service, will be pegged on performance appraisal of good standing and it won’t be business as usual.

Hon. Speaker,

Owing to the instrumental role the administration officers play in the provision of proximal public services, we have completed renovation works for Lokiriama/Lorengkipi, Nakalale, and Nanam ward offices. We have also set aside Ksh. 7.5 million to renovate Township, Kaeris, Turkwel, Kerio Delta and Kalobeyei ward offices in this financial year (2020/2021). This will be important in providing an appropriate work environment for county employees working at the decentralized units.

The Government has enhanced effective participation of the citizen in decision making through public participation as provided for in section 5 (1) of the Turkana County Public Participation Act, 2015. Coordination of these fora in all administrative units and identification of key stakeholders has enhanced confidence in Government and meaningful engagement of the people in decision-making processes.

It is evident that the county administrative officers have played key role in ensuring public views on governance, budget making process, and service delivery have been incorporated into the Government programming for the benefit of the people.

Hon. Speaker,

Partnerships and Investments

My administration continues to applaud our development partners and donor community for their support; especially World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) for provision of funds towards COVID-19 Emergency Response and on-going establishment of an investment promotion portal; respectively. These engagements will contribute in flattening the COVID-19 curve, support our economic recovery and strengthen revenue collection in Turkana County.

My Government in pursuit of the commitment made to the people of Turkana and anchoring on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) number 17 recognizes the benefit of strategic partnerships. Therefore, my Government continues to attract many partner organizations, private investors and philanthropists by offering a favorable operating environment. This has seen all those with programmatic interests in Turkana sign Memoranda of Understanding and agreements with the Government to support implementation of various interventions across sectors as outlined in the County Integrated Development Plan. So far, 21 MoUs have been signed between the Government and partners.

Hon. Speaker,

My Government is keen to ensure a paradigm shift in the conceptualization, formulation and implementation of humanitarian and development activities in Turkana in order to achieve greater efficiency, generate more impact and ensure sustainability of positive results. Realization of this has begun through a conventional agreement with the UN system in Kenya and my Government to respond effectively as a key partner to support a multi-leveled development response in a coordinated and coherent manner with the activities of the County Government and other development actors.

My Government anticipates that all entities planning activities in Turkana County would formulate their activities in the context of and in harmony with the proposed overall UN support program-Delivering-as-One, which is meant to increase accountability, efficiency and system-wide coherence.

To this end, my Government, through its enabling environment, has benefited her residents from many programming approaches in Turkana; the KISEDP initiative, geared towards inclusive and sustainable programming for both refugees and the host community, is a globally recognized model that has attracted massive resources and aroused global interest leading to high level visits from around the world; recently by the German President and the Princes of Ireland.

To promote trade and uplift livelihoods of refugees and host communities, three fresh produce markets have been constructed and commissioned last month in Turkana West, funded by European Union Trust Fund through World Food Program at a cost of Ksh23 million under KISEDP to serve a total of 330 host community. The three markets are Towo-Kayeni in Kakuma, Natukobenyo and Tumaini in Kalobeyei. These markets are expected to catalyzecommerce and growth of local enterprises for the greater socio-economic growth between the refugees and host community.

At the end of last month Child Fund launched Ksh.28million food security project in Loima. The three-year project will invest in orange-fleshed sweet potato and targets over 12,000 beneficiaries in ECDE centers in Loima. Five acres of farmland in Loima will be set aside from each irrigation scheme for the project.

Hon. Speaker,

My government cannot overlook the long term development initiatives by other organizations like UNICEF, Oxfam and USAID’s Nawiri program for resilience led by Mercy Corp in Turkana, who have put so much effort in Water, Health and Nutrition, Education, Food security, Trade and tourism, Child Protection, Gender inclusion, Peace and Security to address the complex and daunting developmental challenges of Turkana County. My Government will continue to facilitate and provide favorable environment for all these initiatives to work in order to realize the social economic transformation of our people.

Hon. Speaker,

Trade, Gender and Youth Affairs

To promote trade and investment through trade licensing, regulations and control, the County Government has continued to increase number of licensed businesses every year. So far for the past 12 months, we have renewed licenses of 7,000 businesses and issued licenses to 300 new startups.

The department of trade has recruited 100 local producers to benefit from the identified six external market linkages through Export Promotion Council. We have since trained 1,900 Micro-Small Medium Enterprises operators on savings and credit skills with functional loan awards and social fund to cushion traders against contingencies.

Field metrology services have increased number of standards calibrated and number of weighing and measuring equipment tested and stamped from a target of 400 to 1,945. This will help in protecting our consumers from unscrupulous businessmen and women.

In partnership with Mercy Corps and GIZ, my Administration succeeded in conducting four regional trade and export promotional events. This has broadened our export base and markets.

Hon. Speaker,

On Market Infrastructural development, my Government  utilized Ksh.31 million in modernizing Lodwar Fresh Produce, retail and boutique markets. These markets are 70% complete. We have also modernized Lokitaung Fresh Produce and Retail Market, which is 80% completed with a cost of Ksh.19 million. Upon completion, 300 traders are expected to benefit and boost their trade returns.

On the Co-operative Development front, we have registered nine co-operatives last financial year. This enabledmembers to mobilize savings and access credit facilities and facilitated collective marketing of co-operative products. I am pleased to note, that this Honorable House passed the Cooperative Policy, which provides for legal framework to guide the operations and management of the cooperative movement in the County.

My Administration has trained 1,500 youths on rare entrepreneurial skills, capacity building and mentorship in order to impart necessary skills that will help them to flourish in the social and economic sector. I am fully aware that, the youth form over 60% of our population, to this end, my administration will be disbursing Ksh.133 million from the Youth and Women Fund, before end of November this year. This is intended to catalyze the participation of youth and women in gainful economic ventures and start their journey to self-reliance.

Already 20 youth and women groups from each ward are to benefit. The Fund is aimed at enhancing transformative youth and women empowerment with focus on employability and life skills talents and entrepreneurship development.

Hon. Speaker;

Infrastructure, Transport and Public Works,

Good Infrastructure and transport network stimulates economic, social and political participation of our citizen; it spurs rural-urban trading and ultimately improves the quality of life for the people. The last twelve months has seen additional 1, 200 Km of roads graded and graveled bringing to a total of over 4,000Kms. Opening of access roads and maintenance of existing roads continues to be on top of our agenda. These roads have opened access to schools and to health facilities. Security and emergency response within the county has also been made easier.

My Government is dedicated to improving our road network across the county to facilitate easy movement of goods and services. The Napak Hill Road construction will cost the Government Ksh. 58 million. When complete, this road will ease movement of people, goods and services across the Hill. I am aware of the visit by the Committee on Transport to assess the progress of this particular project. I want to ask the ministry to closely supervise this project to completion.

Critical access through bridges and drifts has also been enhanced. The people of Katilia will soon be enjoying services of Lopeduru drift that is 260 meters wide. For a long time, the residents of Katilia Ward and the entire environs had difficulty crossing the rivers especially when the rivers are full.

Hon. Speaker,

Similarly, the users of Kotome Bridge will also have something to smile about, as we have embarked on the extension of the bridge and construction of the approach works at a cost of Ksh. 62 million.

River protection works has been a challenge. The exercise of river protection is very expensive and amidst competing costs, the County Government has only managed to protect two rivers; Lokichar and Lokichoggio through the county regular budget. Road Maintenance Levy Fund (RMLF) policy does not allow river protection works and construction of bridges.

I have recently appealed to KeNHA to include Kainuk, Kawalase and Turkwel rivers protection in their civil works, as they could not be included in the Corporate Social Responsibility project for the A-1 Road. Since 2015/2016 up to 2019/2020 we received Ksh.1.2 billion under Roads Maintenance Levy Fund projects. In the current financial year, we have set aside Ksh.315 million for the same projects.

Through the road construction projects, employment for 2,470 women and youth locally has been created. Through RMLF program that constitutes about 73% of the Ministry’s budget, Youth, Women and Persons with Disability (PWDs) have been awarded tenders amounting to Ksh.96,045,046 just in one quarter of implementation.

Hon. Speaker,

I have encouraged collaboration between departments and one such, is the ministry of Infrastructure and that of Lands in opening access earth roads within Lodwar Municipality. This exercise will continue to resolve the issue of trespass caused by lack of throughways. A total of 35kms access roads have been opened with plans to extend to other five major towns. The Ministry has embarked on repairs and maintenance of the machinery to make this exercise viable.

In ensuring safety on the roads, the County Department of Infrastructure and Transport early this year successfully conducted a one-week road safety campaign in Lodwar, Kakuma, Lokichoggio and Lokichar, which are major towns on the highway. Approximately 1,500 road users including pedestrians and motorists were reached during this campaign. Similar campaign will be conducted yearly across all the sub-counties as we aim at reducing accidents on our roads. The Department of Transport has also come up with a draft Transport Bill that when passed into law will help in the regulation of transport activities.

The County Department of Public Works continuesworking hand in hand with the various client ministries to deliver the projects as envisioned in the CIDP roadmap. This has ensured quality public works services to all Government entities and general public. For this year, all the Bills of Quantities and designs are complete and the ministries are now ready to implement. With the increase of new storey buildings coming up in the county, there is a concern about the quality of the structures. The department of public works has come up with a Public Works Bill with intentions to have it validated and presented to this honorable house for processing.

If passed, this will help the Government in the regulation, management and supervision of private construction projects and other civil works, so as to conform to the national construction building standards.

Hon. Speaker,

Education, Sports and Social Protection

Education is a primary driver for the development of other sectors of our economy hence investment in human development through education has been our major priority. As part of the core functions devolved to counties, Early Childhood and Vocational training remain two of the most important educational processes that need more investments to attract more human development at the county in future.

Hon. Speaker,

In last financial year (2019/2020), my Administration spent Ksh.158 million on Early Childhood Development Education Feeding Programme. The Programme procured 1,189.5 metric tonnes of rice, beans, fortified flour, table salt and cooking oil. The foodstuff benefitted 111,000 learners in 900 ECDE centres across the county. However, the closure of schools due to Covid19 pandemic disrupted distribution of food supplies to schools in term one of the 2020 academic year.

In this regard, I wish to laud Mary`s Meals Organization, which has been providing food to 394 ECDE Centers amid Covid-19. The Organization supplied foodstuff to parents of the targeted students, through community targeting. The Government bought instruction materials, teachers and pupils textbooks at a cost of Ksh.8 million. So far the materials have been distributed to 307 centres. We also purchased 1,172 tablets for digital learning in our centres, which are yet to be distributed. We are happy to report that 300 ECDE teachers recruited in last financial year have been deployed to their centres. The pupils’ enrollment stands at 109,629.

Hon. Speaker,

Under the Education and Skill Development Support Fund, the Government did disburse Ksh.283, 618,000 million in the last financial year (2019/2020). This benefited 37,028 students compared to the previous year (2018/2019), where the Fund disbursed Ksh.328, 669, 930 with 35, 580 students benefitting. This is a reduction of Ksh.45,051,930 as compared to last Financial Year’s budget allocation.

Out of this Fund, last year, 26, 281 secondary school students got a lion’s share of Ksh.175,657,384 while 4,317 College students benefited with Ksh.37,968,412. University students received Ksh.45,176,767, which benefited 3,418 students, and a further 867 medical students received Ksh.8,792,423. Those who trained in teacher’s colleges with 1,111 beneficiaries received Ksh.8,602,184. Technical trainees in vocational and polytechnics received Ksh.4,220,296 with 572 beneficiaries, while 462 students in driving and adult schools also benefited with Ksh.3,200,534.

Hon. Speaker,

It is my appeal to this House to consider increasing the annual budget allocations of this Fund so that we have a diversified human capital that will help drive the progressive development of this great County into the future.

In nurturing talents in various sporting activities, the County Government is in the process of constructing Ekalees Sports Stadium Complex. This complex will cost Ksh.2 billion. The facility will be a 20,000-seater capacity. We have already completed architectural designs for the proposed stadium, which will cost Ksh.20 million.

In addition to this, I take note of the modern stadium UNHCR is constructing in Kakuma, Turkana West. Once these stadia are operationalized, they will help to diversify and foster youth talents across the county. I have directed the Directorate of Sports to bring to speed the stakeholders’ engagement for final ratification and adoption of the stadium consultancy report.

After the report, I will rally a number of substantive development partners behind this project so that the youth can realize their untapped full potential in sporting arena.Turkana County for the first time, hosted the North Rift Regional Cross Country Athletics Championship on 18thJanuary 2020. Athletes from Trans-Nzoia, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Samburu and Turkana Counties participated. We secured fourth place after ElgeyoMarakwet, West Pokot, and Trans-Nzoia. Samburu County came last.

Hon. Speaker,

The County Government continues to support 13 registered children care facilities in the County with food items and learning materials. In the last financial year, we spent Ksh 9 million that benefitted St. John Paul in Lokichar, Bethsaida in Kanamkemer, Lobokat Child Rescue Centre in Kainuk, Marian Home and Loyo Primary Street Children Center in Lodwar. This year, we plan to ensure all centres receive additional support.

We distributed food consignment comprising of fortified flour and cooking oil to People Living With Disability (PLWDs), street families, the aged and other disadvantaged groups in our society. Lodwar Rescue Centre is now operational and is currently home to orphaned children that my Government is supporting. Once I officially launch the center, it will support efforts to manage the problem of street children in Lodwar town. A similar facility is under construction in Kakuma in Turkana West Sub-county and will also be replicated in other towns.

Hon. Speaker,

On Vocational education and training, our centers continue to attract many artisans with the enrollment of trainees increasing from 194 in 2016 to 528 in 2019 in the six operational centers across the County. The increase is due to addition in number of instructors employed, expansion of number of training facilities, improved accommodation services and awareness campaign carried out in schools and villages in the last FY’2019/2020.

A team from the County Department of Vocational Training recently undertook an assessment on Vocational Training Centres in accordance with directives from the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA) to establish their readiness for reopening pursuant to Covid-19 directives. The ministry has relocated KalokolVocational Training Centre to a new facility that will house 120 trainees. In response to Covid-19, my Government launched an initiative of production of re-usable facemasks through Vocational Training Centers distributed to members of public at subsidized rates. To date, 69,000 masks have been produced by six of our Vocational Training Centres and with 9,000 pieces already sold to members of the local market.

Hon. Speaker,

Resource Mobilization and Prudent Utilization

Finance and Economic Planning,

The fiscal outcome for 2019/2020 financial year indicates a total cumulative revenue received for the County at Ksh13.2 Billion which is 89% of the approved revenue, against budget revised estimates of Ksh.14.8 Billion.

The revenue shortfall recorded in the last financial year (2019/2020) was Ksh 1.67 Billion as compared to a shortfall in revenue of Ksh3.36 Billion registered in financial year 2018/2019. In the last twelve months the shortfall in revenue of Ksh401 Million for conditional grants from development partners, could be attributed to the effects of COVID-19 disease, which forced development partners to redirect their resources to the fight against the pandemic.

Hon. Speaker,

The own source revenue target was revised down to Ksh.180 million from the previous Ksh.250 million due to the adverse effects of COVID-19. The total own source revenue collected in 2019/2020 financial year was Ksh182 million translating to 101% performance of the revised Own Source Revenue target. This is an improvement of 4%from the revenue collected in 2018/2019 financial year. The highest revenue collection was realized in the month of February 2020, while the least was realized in the month of May 2020. Disasters and emergencies such as COVID-19, floods and desert locusts forced revision of own source revenue targets, distortion of budgets and growing expenditure pressures.

Hon. Speaker,

The actual revenue received into the County Revenue Fund account was Ksh.13.24 Billion. Out of this, a total of Ksh.12.24 Billion was appropriated, resulting to unutilized funds amounting to Ksh.998 million. A total of Ksh.9.7 Billion and Ksh2.5 Billion was appropriated as recurrent and development expenditure respectively.

On budget absorption: by the end of June 2020, the County recorded a total of Ksh. 12.24 Billion against a revised revenue target of Ksh.14.8 Billion translating to an overall budget absorption of 82% compared to 78% recorded in the 2018/2019 financial year. The fiscal performance for last financial year is attributable to the effects of Covid-19 disease, revenue shortfall, delayed approval of supplementary budgets and release of funds from exchequer.

Recurrent and development expenditure performance was satisfactory standing at 96% and 53% respectively. The capital expenditure performance has remained a huge concern and its underperformance is attributable to bureaucracies in the designs, procurement and financial processes and legal requirements have largely affected performance of capital expenditure.

On the same note, most of the expenditure was diverted to fighting COVID-19 disease and other emergencies. However, there was an improvement in the performance of development expenditure from 39% recorded in 2018/2019 financial year to 53% in 2019/2020.

The County Departments of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources and Public Service, Decentralized Administration and Disaster Management demonstrated huge budget performance of 104% and 98% respectively. Infrastructure, Transport and Public Works recorded the least budget absorption at 52%.

Hon. Speaker,

On COVID-19 Pandemic, my Government had devised measures to cushion the vulnerable business community against the Pandemic. We introduced tax exemptions on market fees, as one of the fiscal measures to cushion residents against the adverse impacts of COVID-19 and to increase liquidity.

This costed the exchequer a total of Ksh. 40.7 million, in terms of revenue foregone. The fiscal measures targeted both traders and household water users from the loss arising from COVID-19 pandemic.

Hon. Speaker,

The annual budget for the last financial year, adhered to the provisions set out in Public Finance Management Act, 2012. The development expenditure budget as a percentage of the total revenue basket stood at 31%, which was above the 30% legal threshold. The share for the county wages and salaries stood at 27%, which was way below the legal ceiling of 35%.

As a result of overlaps in project implementation and delayed disbursements of funds last year, we accumulated a total of Ksh 3.8 billion in the form of unsettled pending bills. To fast track and expedite payment of contractors and other suppliers as duly contracted, I appointed an 8-member County Pending Bills Committee in December 2019. The Committee was tasked to re-examine, authenticate and make recommendations on the eligibility of all pending bills. We have made tremendous progress in paying these bills. Meanwhile, only Ksh. 41 million remains outstanding at June 2020. We are sure to clear this balance by December 2020.

Hon. Speaker,

I recently launched a high speed 144-core Fibre Optic Cable Network together with the National Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs at Nadapal border town with South Sudan. The network by National Government will further accelerate development expected from the construction of a Ksh. 54 billion funding by World Bank of a 481.2-kilometer A1 Road from Kainuk bridge to Nakodok at the border of South Sudan and Kenya.

The ICT Infrastructure will provide reliable Internet link for the counties, hence facilitate cross-border trade between Kenya and South Sudan. Towns along the road such as Eldoret, Kapenguria, Kitale, Lokichar, Lodwar, Kakuma, Lokichoggio and parts of Kakamega will greatly benefit from the new Fibre Optic cable in stimulating economic transformation.

Hon. Speaker,

As a priority, my Government is committed to the five point agenda to finalize carry over projects and ensure continuity to service delivery without hindrance. Therefore, public participation will remain key in delivering my Administration’s agenda.

Recently, we subjected the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report twice to the forum of leaders from all our 30 wards. Such fora at the County and Sub-County levels should be encouraged as fora for disseminating public policies and receiving feedback from citizens. I urge this House to enforce this noble initiative.

Finally, I would like to caution the general public, that Covid 19 is real and continues to claim the lives of people across the world. Everyone must observe the containment measures and public health protocols by the National ministry of health and World Health Organization to save lives.

God Bless Turkana County!

God Bless the sovereign people of Turkana!

Thank you all.  ‘Ejok Noi.’