Lodwar, 22nd April 2022 (Governor’s Press Service)– The County Government and the Ministry of Defence have today signed a Framework Agreement for the allocation of land for military use in Turkana County.
In the ceremony today at Ekaales Centre, Lodwar, presided over by Governor Josphat Nanok and Defence Principal Secretary Ibrahim Mohamed, the Kenya military has been allocated 9,000 ha of land to set up military bases across Turkana.
These include 2,000Ha in Kanamkemer, 1,000Ha each in Kaputir, Kapedo/Napeitom, Lapur, Kibish, Lokichoggio, Nanam, and Letea Wards; and an additional 50,000Ha reserved by community for access by military for training purposes when need arise in Kapedo/Napeitom Ward.
Governor Nanok said the agreement will help the county address the challenge of perennial insecurity that has affected development.
“I am glad that today I am able to witness that we have given you land to enable you come and take care of defence especially of our international borders where brave men from our community have been securing the border,” he said.
The Governor said he was proud that the agreement has been signed before he leaves power to boost security within Kenya’s borders to allow pastoralists live without fear.
He commended KDF for adhering to the Community Land Act and seeking consent of the community through the County Government which holds the land in trust and stated that community approval was critical to avoid future conflicts.
“This is the right path to acquire community land for whatever need and I am glad the Kenya military took this path. You will not encounter any roadblocks going forward because what you have received today is social license which is critical when engaging with local communities,” he added.
The Governor announced that the County will soon sign a similar agreement with Geothermal Development Corporation (GDC) on development of Silale geothermal power, in presence of the local community in Kapedo.
He also revealed that public participation process on land management across the county had begun, with adjudication process of land documents in Lodwar Municipality ongoing in a bid to develop title deeds for land owned by residents.
PS Mohamed thanked Governor Nanok and residents of Turkana for the support to enable signing of the agreement. He said the partnership will enable the Ministry of Defence strengthen security as one of President Uhuru’s agenda.
“The allocation of land to the Ministry of Defence will now provide the much needed security, enhance development, boost investor confidence and in return create job opportunities for residents of Turkana County,” he said.
He added that through the consultative process, which involved the County Government, elected Members of Parliament and County Assembly was a sign of respect for the rule of law. He noted that the agreement is a rich and historical legacy that Governor Nanok will leave behind for the future generation.
The PS assured of the Ministry’s commitment to implementation of the agreement and fulfilling of promises on social investment projects including schools, water projects including dams, health centres and infrastructure projects.
On his part, Vice Chief of Defence Forces F. O. Ogolla echoed the military’s commitment to adhere to the agreement and assured that the military presence was aimed at securing Kenya’s territorial integrity.
Others who spoke include Turkana Central MP John Lodepe, Leader of Minority Benedict Lokamar, Chairmen of the County Assembly committees Cosmas Longor (Lands Energy Housing and Urban Areas Management) and Willy Nalimo
(County Security Administration and Disaster Management) County Secretary Peter Eripete and County Attorney Erastus Ethekon.
Present at the signing were a host of nominated MCA’s including leader of Women Caucus Dorcas Epusie. Others were senior County officials including County Executives, a host of Chief Officers, military officers, senior officials from the Turkana County Commissioner’s office, representatives of Turkana Professional Association, KNCCI among others.