Lodwar, 26th November 2020 (Governor’s Press Service)—Governor Josphat Nanok has signed an agreement committing the County Government to efforts to protect the ecosystem of River Kerio.

The Governor signed the Inter County Climate Change Cooperation Agreement for the Protection of Kerio River Ecosystem, with Turkana joining Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot and Baringo counties in partnership to preserve this ecosystem.

Speaking at the event held at Cradle Tented Camp, the Governor said Turkana had bore the brunt of effects of climate change and it was critical to engage in efforts to maintain a balance in the ecosystem.

“Climate change is a real phenomena, in Turkana we have felt it’s effects with severe weather conditions, whether severe rainfall leading to raging floods, heat waves, locust invasion all have been severe,” he said.

The agreement, first signed by Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot and Baringo counties in 2019, is a commitment of member counties “to partner in joint and common actions to mitigate climate change in the Kerio River Ecosystem”

Its objectives include to support development of policies and programs to conserve Kerio River
Ecosystem and mitigate effects of Climate Change, allow counties synergize laws, policies and plans and develop tools to monitor implementation of climate change interventions.

The Governor lauded the partnership with other counties upstream River Kerio insisting on the importance of linking efforts from the source to Lake Turkana. He said the efforts will support a range of livelihoods dependent on the river.

He also urged the National Government to implement construction of dams meant to harvest flood water and protect irrigation schemes along the River.

The Governor stated the importance of partnership to develop North Rift Counties under the North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB). He said the bloc will strengthen partnership with development partners to realise the potential of the region and it’s 10 million residents.

He committed to appoint an Advisor on Climate Change as his administration mainstreams climate change action; and announced that similar commitment had been made by other Governors to allocate resources to these efforts.

On his part, Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro underlined the importance of Turkana joining the pact as the region was an epicentre of climate change. He reiterated the importance of River Kerio ecosystem an its support of thousands of livelihoods.

NOREB CEO Dr. Dominic Biwott called for counties to grow the initiative as effects of climate change could no longer be ignored. Baringo Deputy Governor Jacob Chepkwony assure of the counties support by streamlining the efforts into its CIDP.

Others who spoke were the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) General Secretary Canon Chris Kinyanjui, County Executives for Water, Environment and Mineral Resources Chris Aletia, County Chief Officer Moses Natome and Director for Environment Clement Nadio.