Lokichar, 4th September 2021 (Governor’s Press Service)- Governor Josphat Nanok has raised alarm on improper disposal of hazardous waste from oil operations at the South Lokichar oil basin.

He said effects of the toxic waste dumped at the Etiir well site had become visible having affected vegetation around the site.

Speaking today in Lokichar at burial ceremony of the late James Namuya, the Governor promised that the county and local leaders will carry out investigations to get those responsible to act and avert an environmental catastrophe.

“The National Government has an obligation including its contractors, to make sure that hazardous waste does not destroy our environment, harm our livestock, does not affect lives of local pastoralists,” he said decrying the lack of transparency in oil operations in the county.

He questioned why the Ministry of Petroleum and Tullow had remained silent with a danger that the chemicals will seep into the soil, water and harm residents and livestock.

The late Namuya was eulogized as a wise and industrious person who endured all hardships to study to Diploma level despite being an adult.

Governor Nanok asked community to be weary of deception in the acquisition attempts of land, by failing to involve the County Government which is the lawful custodian of community land. He promised that discussion over land use was set to begin in major urban centres promised will be a transparent and consultative.

On politics, the Governor restated his decision to leave ODM party following disappointment from the party’s leadership with no benefits received by Turkana despite popularizing the party in Turkana from 2007. He said Turkana leaders, formerly in ODM and Jubilee were joining hands to form UDA with confidence that a William Ruto-led government will address the regions development needs including runaway insecurity, protect benefit from oil and water challenges.

Governor Nanok assured residents of Turkana that choice of the aspirant to vie for gubernatorial position under UDA will be through consensus, with the four leaders who have declared interest in the seat promising to support the eventual choice. They are MPs James Lomenen (Turkana South) and John Lodepe (Turkana Central), Senator Malachy Ekal and Speaker Erastus Lokaale.

The Governor advised aspirants for MP seats to elevate the political discourse during the campaigns by adding their voices to national debates affecting the county including distribution of resources from the national government, rather than dwell on local politics.

On development the county boss assured that development programme of his administration will continue unhampered in the final year of his tenure to complete his legacy as an elected leader in the county. He insisted that his development track record as Governor was undisputed with major progress made compared to the advent of devolution, on improving residents access to basic services in health, education, food security and infrastructure.

The Governor revealed that the county human resource audit was being concluded and will identify gaps in human resource distribution, address a ballooning wage bill and improper recruitment by officers he mandated with the responsibility. He said that village admins recruited will undergo training before posting to ensure professionalism when executing their duties.

The Governor urged communities in areas previously affected by insecurity to take advantage of current peace in Turkana South and return to their homes promising support and continuation of the County Government’s resettlement programme to ensure they were supported to rebuild their livelihoods.

CEC Philip Aemin (Agriculture, Fisheries and Pastoral Economy said that Napusimoru Livestock Sale Yard that boasts to be one of the best is complete and ready for use. While Kalemngorok Sale Yard in Katilu ward is under construction. Aemun also listed irrigation schemes that are nearly complete as Lokwar, Juluk and Nawapeto in Kaputir ward. Others are Kanaodon and Koputiro irrigation schemes.

Others who spoke and attended the burial are MP for Turkana South James Lomenen, Chairperson Women Caucus Dorcas Epusiye, MCA Raphael Loperito  (Katilu), MCA Jackson Lowoi ( Loima), MCA Ebenyo Naur (Lobei-Kotaruk), MCA Nakawa Alice ( Nominated), MCA James Abei (Katilu), MCA Lokutuni (Kalapata), MCA David Erukudi (Lobokat), TSPSB Chairman John Ngasike among others.

The Governor was also accompanied by top County staff including CCO Abraham Losinyen (Finance), CCO Pauline Lokuruka (Education, Sports and Vocational training), Advisor Rebecca Lowoiya (Politics and Inter-Governmental Relations), a host of directors and Sub-County Administrators.