COUNTY CONDUCTS SURVEILLANCE ON ZOONOTIC DISEASES

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STABILITY IN TURKANA SOUTH SHOULD STRENGTHEN FARMING RESILIENCE- DR. LOLELEA

County Chief Officer for Agriculture and Land Reclamation Dr. Jacob Lolelea has said that the current peace stability along the riverine belt in Turkana South Sub-County should motivate farming efforts in the region.

He stated that farmers should utilize the peaceful environment and government support to rejuvenate their efforts of crop production that he said had been hindered in the past because of insecurity.

The Chief Officer spoke at Simailele in Katilu Ward when he inspected the ongoing demarcation of indvidual farming plots in the farm  by surveyors from the National Government’s ministry of Agriculture.

Dr .Lolelea assured the  surveyors of County Government support towards realization of the DRSLP’s target at the  Simailele farming site, that is projected to indirectly benefit more than 2500 people.

He called on farmers present to support implementation of the programme and  urged Agriculture officers to help the County Government achieve it’s Food security agenda  by offering regular extension services to residents on food and livestock production.

The implementation of the 180 hectares of farming land project in Simailele is funded by African Development Bank through the State Department of Crop Development and Agricultural Research . Its being implemented in Turkana under the Drought Resilience And Sustainable Livelihoods Programme(DRSLP), that is domiciled in the County Department of Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries.

County Director of Veterinary Services Benson Longor expressed optimism that the Programme would be beneficial to locals because of its  Integrated approach that brings together the component of farming and livestock production in the farm.

20 hactres  of the farm has been hived off and fenced for establishment of a commercial pasture production while construction of a hay store which is part of the project  is half compl complete.

Apart from the equipped solar power and furnished office ,DRSLP has also identified and fenced a suitable site for construction of a grain store.

Also present were Irrigation Deputy Director Ken Wabwire ,Turkana County DRSLP Desk officer Paul Njuguna and a host of Agriculture officers from Turkana South Sub-County.

Tilling of Land kicks off in Turkana North

Land preparation in readiness for planting season has started in several parts of  Turkana. County government tractors have been dispatched to all the sub-counties to till the selected farming land .

County director of Agriculture and Irrigation Paul Lokone yesterday toured Nadunga village, Kaeris ward in Turkana North Sub-County to inspect the ongoing preparation of land and planting of  Sorghum, in the more than 200 acres of farming site that is expected to indirectly support 1200 people.

The  new farm ,director Lokone said,will  utilize flood waters for crop production.  Crops expected to be planted include Sorghum,Cowpeas and PH1 maize that are drought resistant.

Director Lokone said the department is opening more land for increased crop production as an effort to achieve County Government’s agenda on food security.

Other areas where land preparation is being done include Lokamarinyang(Kibish),Loyaal(Turkana West),Kaekuto(Loima) and Nakukulas in Turkana East Sub-County.  More than 1400 acres of land that would  utilize the flood based farming technique is being tilled.

Director Lokone directed agriculture officers to help farmers with modern skills and knowledge on crop production.

Thousands of livestock vaccinated in Turkana East Sub-County

County Directorate of Veterinary has so far treated more than 27,000 goats and sheep against Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) locally known as *Lomoo* in a two week long exercise that started last week.

At Kamuge and Ngilukia Vilages in Turkana East Sub-County, the County Veterinary officers vaccinated 3904 sheep and goats against PPR with another batch of livestock totalling 1562 receiving vaccination on Contagious caprine pleuropneumonia .

County Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Benson Longor has said that the exercise targets to prevent spread of diseases as well as increase livestock production in the County through regular treatment and monitoring.

Additionally, Dr. Longor has said that the mass treatment, deworming and vaccination exercise that is being conducted in all sub-counties is expected to cover more than 500,000 livestock.

He noted mobilization of pastoralists in for Kibish Sub-County has been completed with mass treatment starting at Ekicheles tommorow. More than 150 cattles have been treated at Meyan, Maisa and Napeikar in Turkana North Sub-County.

In Turkana South, more than 3000 goats sheep have been vaccinated against PPR with the Veterinary officers attached to the Sub-County ferrying Mobile Crushes to Juluk and Akou Ekile villages to enable treatment of kraals that are situated in the riverine areas.

61 households at Nanam in Turkana West have benefited from the exercise that has seen vaccination of more than 10,000 goats.

COMMUNITY ENGAGED ON THE OUTCOMES OF SONGOT RANGES AND LOTIKIPI GAME RESERVE GAZETTEMENT

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources in partnership with with Mercy Corps, held a community public participation on gazettement of Songot Ranges and Lotikipi Game Reserve, in Turkana West Sub-county.

While giving his opening remarks, CEC Charles Lokioto said that the county government would like to gazette the two areas for protection and conservation.
“Our forefathers had their own systems of conservation and had established boundaries to this effect,” he said, “the county government would like to continue in this tradition and assist the community reinforce these important natural resources.”
He further added that the gazettement would ensure that there is grazing pasture during droughts and enhancing livelihoods through nature-based activities like bee-keeping and eco-tourism.

He was accompanied by Chief Officers Rosemary Nchinyei (Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources) and Pauline Lokuruka (Education, Sports and Social Protection).

The over 50 participants, from the community drawn from different kraals, National Government administration officials and representatives of the area Member of Parliament and Member of County Assembly (MCA), met in Lokichoggio to deliberate on the way forward in gazetting these important resources.

MCAs Cosmas Longor (Nanam) and Bethwel Kobong’in (Songot and Majority Leader) called for the gazettement to be expedited as it would provide the community with employment opportunities.

They also raised concerns about wildlife poaching in the area and called upon the concerned authorities to investigate and prosecute the offenders.

The community appealed for a benchmarking exercise so they can learn from other successful community conservations and also more public barazas to educate the kraals near the ranges.

Other government institutions involved in this exercise were Kenya Wildlife Service represented by the Warden and Kenya Forest Service.

NINE MORE ROAD MAINTENANCE PROJECTS TO BE IMPLEMENTED IN THE COUNTY

Following the award of tenders to 9 successful bidders, the County Government of Turkana is set to implement a section of the 3rd phase of road maintenance works funded by Roads Maintenance Levy Fund (RMLF), which is a grant from Kenya Roads Board (KRB).

In a site handover meeting held at the ministry of infrastructure, Transport and Public Works, CEC Benson Logiel Lokwang asked contractors for the road projects to work closely with project engineers from the ministry to ensure they are implemented as per the instructions and specification on the projects work plans.

CEC Benson asked the contractors to engage community leaders and residents through project sensitization meetings before the commencement of work to make them understand what the project entails and how they will benefit from it. He added that sensitization meetings are important since they familiarize the community with the project and prevent resistance and interference once the projects begin.

On project implementation, the CEC emphasized that quality standard work is expected from the projects and that the county government will not make payments for substandard work. He therefore asked the contractors to always contact ministry engineers whenever they fail to understand project instructions instead of assuming and proceeding only to be instructed to redo work.

To add on to this, Chief Officer Infrastructure and Transport Ariko John Namoit indicated that the ministry will be watchful to record the performance of works for the projects and that contractors who do shoddy work might be locked out from future opportunities. He advised the contractors to assemble all project materials on-site before beginning project implementation since it is expensive to purchase and transport materials in bits, a challenge he said was experienced in some previously implemented projects which were delayed due to inability of contractors to deliver materials on time to the workers on site.

Namoit challenged the contractors to consider an element of Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) apart from the projects they have been contracted to do.  “Tell us what you have done in CSR, provide evidence and this will give you high chances in future’’, said Namoit. Ag. Director Roads Amos Lokaale also informed the contractors that KRB expects all projects implemented by RMLF to be accompanied by an element of CSR. This he said ranges from employing locals to work on the projects, to drilling water for the community or even building a toilet among others.

“A good student Listens keenly, asks relevant questions and then delivers. You are now our students, please be that good student”. This was a message to the contractors from Engineer Simon Nakucho who explained that it was important for the contractors to be attentive and adhere to project instructions already given to them and that will be given throughout the project implementation period.

The site handover meeting was attended by Ministry roads engineers and successful bidders contracted for the road maintenance works at; Kalokol-Nabwell Ekorot road (Turkana Central), Napak hill road (Turkana North), Locher Ekaal river protection (Turkana West), Todonyang- Kokuro road (Turkana North), Lodwar Township Streets II road (Turkana Central), Lorugum- Loreng’esinyen road (Loima), Proposed construction of Kaakalel drift (Turkana South), Lokangae- Nsinyono road ( Turkana West) and Lokichogio- Lochor Aikope road (Turkana West). The total number of advertised projects for this 3rd phase was 15, out of which the 9 were successful and the remaining 6 set to be re-advertised since there was no successful bidder for the projects.

In his closing remarks, the CEC emphasized that the 9 projects have to be implemented within three months which is the project implementation period and that contractors experiencing challenges should notify the engineer in charge of advice.

REGULAR TREATMENT OF LIVESTOCK WILL BOOST ANIMAL HEALTH- DR. MICHAEL EREGAE

County chief officer for Fisheries, Livestock production, and veterinary services Michael Eregae has said regular vaccination and treatment of livestock would avert deaths and boost animals’ health.
Referring to the ongoing vaccination and deworming of goats in Turkana North, Dr. Eregae said that the County government had put enough plans to treat pastoralist livestock to increase production and cushion them against economic losses that would be incurred through massive death of herds.
Pastoralism, Dr.Eregae said, was the main source of livelihood in Turkana and hence the need to invest heavily in its treatment against diseases. He affirmed department commitment to work with livestock production partners to help cover every part of the County including the nearby countries where herders usually migrate to, during the dry season in search of water and pasture.
Further, Chief officer Eregae revealed that the department has budgeted for the procurement of more vaccines in addition to what it bought in the last financial year.
A joint vaccination and deworming exercise in Turkana North Sub-County involving County department of veterinary services, Food Agriculture Organisation and World relief international targets to cover more 25,000 goats and sheep.
Areas to be covered in the week-long activity includes; Kaaleng, Kaalem, Kachoda, Karebur, sesame, and Kokuro.
The County government and United Nations Food Agriculture Organisation(UNFAO) procured vaccines while World Relief International Organisation facilitated staff allowances.

Turkana North  Sub-County Veterinary officer Ezekiel Makori said that identified cases of Peste des Petits Ruminants(PPR) locally known as *Lomoo*

would be treated to prevent its spread in the area.

World Relief International organization is based in Turkana North Sub-County and is involved in several programs that include livestock production, food security, and nutrition.
Yesterday, Turkana Central Sub-County Veterinary officer Job Rono visited Karebur and Sasame villages to Supervise the exercise on behalf of County Veterinary director Benson Longor.

GOVERNOR NANOK CALLS FOR STAKEHOLDERS FORUM TO ADDRESS DISMAL PERFORMANCE IN NATIONAL EXAMS

Stakeholders have been called to a forum to discuss poor performance of Turkana schools in national examinations.

Governor Josphat Nanok has raised concern over alarming mass failure students in the county and warned that the trend was worrying. He has convened a forum before next month to find solutions to causes of the poor results recorded in last year national exams.

“You can imagine out 8000 students who sat for KCSE (last year), we are only sending 227 to the university. That is not the numbers for Turkana, but worse is the performance of our two national schools Turkana Girls and Lodwar High-which rakes cream of our child; but performed so bad that it competed with smaller schools such as Katilu,” he said.

The Governor maintained that the problem was too deep as evident in the failing of students who performed well in primary schools. He urged for a reflection by stakeholders to find what was ailing the education-

“Is it the insufficient number of teachers, or is it that parents are not doing their part or is it is leaders who are not enforcing and making noise to parents and schools. We must build the manpower needed to develop this County,” he added.

The County boss was speaking today after he opened the Missions of Hope International Turkana High School.

He described investment of the County Government in the first term as a “mission of hope” to a region denied investment in education by successive governments before the advent of devolution.

He said the County Government had spent Sh1 billion on bursaries in the last seven years to students in secondary schools, colleges and universities. With support in the sector contributing to growth of schools from 250 to 422 in primary, and development of ECDES from less than 300 to 891 ECDES in seven years of devolution.

He commended Faith based organisations such as Missions of Hope for investing in the education sector and admitted that majority of schools in Turkana owed their existence to the church and other faith organisation.

The County establishment of basic infrastructure development had contributed to further development, with Governor Nanok giving the example of area along the Kerio junction- Ekaales Centre road where institutions of learning have been established.

He encouraged parents not to abandon their parental responsibilities even for children who get sponsorships or support from leaders; and called on the students to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them in the school, to work hard and build their futures.

Founders and Directors of MOHI Rev. Wallace and Mary Kamau thanked the Governor for the support from the County Government and assured that the efforts to invest in education will bear fruit. Mrs. Kamau said Turkana children had the ability to excel in Education but only lacked the opportunity.

The secondary schools targets a student population of over 800.
Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro termed investment in education as developing a treasure for the economic transformation of the region where climatic conditions made it difficult to engage in other economic activities such as agriculture.

On his part Turkana Central MP John Lodepe urged the community to support the school as it benefited children the county. Kanamkemer MCA James Ikeny faulted the Teachers Service Commission for the inadequate number of teachers, which he said will make objectives of 100 percent transition rates a mirage.

Others who spoke include Deputy County Commissioner Alex Mativo, the County Chief Officer for Education, Sports and Social Protection Dr. Lolelea Natade.

GOVERNOR JOSPHAT NANOK JOINS FAITHFULS OF ST. AUGUSTINE CATHEDRAL LODWAR TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS MASS.

The Governor said though the year had challenges God has guided the County through them and asked Christians to continue praying for the country’s leadership.

He encouraged people to ignore politics from different sections of leaders and read the Building Bridges Initiative report as wananchi will have the last word on proposed changes to the constitution.

The Governor assured the business community that the County Government was conducting a verification of remaining pending bills and promised that all will be cleared in January.

On peace and security within Turkana, he committed to support efforts by national security agencies to improve security at the border with West Pokot and Baringo counties.

He said the County Government will work with the church and other stakeholders in the education sector to address the cause of poor performance by schools in the county in national examinations.

The Governor has wished all Kenyans a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

VACCINATION AND TREATMENT OF LIVESTOCK IN KIBISH

County Government of Turkana is devoted to reducing the death rate among livestock in Turkana, which is the major source of livelihood for the pastoral community. This the county does by conducting frequent treatment and vaccination of livestock and also training the pastoralists on Best Management Practices.
In partnership with Save the Children, the County Veterinary Department is conducting mass treatment, deworming and vaccination of shoats in Kibish sub-county. This exercise began on 12th December, 2019 and is to be concluded on the 22nd of this month. This is an integrated emergency response and drought recovery programme under agriculture and food security sector, livestock sub-sector. A total of 40,000 shoats are targeted for deworming and Peste des Petits “Ruminants (PPR) vaccination, alongside treatment of sick animals. Prior to this exercise, Save the Children successful conducted training of 30 Community Disease Reporters (CDR’s) in the region.
Save the children has catered for the logistics while the county government provided the veterinary vaccines, drugs and technical staff to conduct the exercise
This exercise is being supervised by county veterinary team led by Chief Officer Fisheries, Livestock Production and Veterinary Services Dr. Michael Ekidor Eregae, and was accompanied by Director veterinary services Dr. Benson Long’or and Dr. Jane Akal and Dr Job Rono.
So far, major issues encountered in the exercise include high cases of foot root disease, pneumonia, abscesses, abortions, worms, ticks, Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP) and high cases of suspected bluetongue diseases.
According to Dr. Rono, the County Veterinary Department is planning to collect and analyse samples from livestock suspected to have bluetongue disease. This, he added, will enable quick interventions to be conducted to prevent more death of animals as a result of the suspected disease.
Some of the challenges encountered in conducting the exercise include; resistance from the community- especially in Loruth area, frequent migrations that have interfered with targets and muddy impassable roads due to ongoing rains that have resulted to inaccessibility of some targeted areas like Nayanae Amoni.
Although, the recent rains have made water easily accessible and households no longer take their livestock to water pans where these are target places for the exercise. In addition, network in the region is poor with some areas having no network at all and this is a challenge in mobilising households.
Despite the challenges, the organisers acknowledge the positive response from the Kibish community which has high acceptability for livestock treatment and vaccination.
Apart from this programme, another vaccination and treatment exercise targeting 72,000 livestock is being concluded today in Lake Zone, Kalokol and Kang’akipur areas. This programme is funded by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) through VSF- Germany and implemented by Turkana County Veterinary department.
Vaccination and treatment of animals is a routine programme by the county veterinary department that aims at safeguarding animal health to improve livelihood in the region.