NAKWAMEKWI AND KANAMKEMER NEXT ON ACCESS ROADS OPENING LIST, LANDS CEC CONFIRMS

The ongoing opening of access roads and back lanes currently underway in Napetet will be rolled over to Kanamkemer,  Nakwamekwi in the next one month and eventually to all areas designated as Municipalities in Turkana County, CEC Esther Lokwee has confirmed.

CEC Esther Lokwee in charge of Lands, Energy, Housing and Urban areas also revealed that the exercise had been successfully completed in Lodwar Central Business District in the 2018/2019 year as part of plan to open up and upgrade the designated seven kilometers radius Lodwar Municipality to the desired status.

“The program is a precursor activity which will pave way for proper land adjudication, issue of title deeds and upgrading of the land registry in line with the requirements of the National Ministry of Lands in Kenya” CEC Esther Lokwee remarked.

Noting that residents of Napetet had been fully engaged on the matter and sensitized on the need of the exercise, the CEC said that most residents had taken personal initiative to move away from the road reserves hence making the exercise much easier.

The CEC confirmed that the exercise was being conducted in consultation with the Lodwar Municipality Board in full compliance to the existing legal framework provided for in Urban and cities Act 2011 and other supportive legislations.

Esther Kiyonga the Municipality Manager welcomed the move and described it as long overdue for the purpose of undertaking land development and zoning duties in the Lodwar Municipality.

The manager added that lack of access roads was indeed a health hazard  undermining the capacity of the Lodwar Municipality in executing firefighting functions despite having a fire engine at their disposal.

The Municipality Manager reiterated that the exercise was being conducted professionally with a Multisectoral team consisting of surveyors, town planners, enforcement and machine operators with the ability to read and apply coordinates with expertise.

On his part, Kwaba Omwenga the Chief Public Health officer of the Municipality said that the opening of Napetet access roads and back lanes would significantly jolt the fight against rampant open defecation common in the area.

Mr. Kwaba noted that Napetet had remained an area of concern due to its bushy back lanes as other parts of the Municipality were quickly transitioning to Open Defecation Free zones.

Napetet residents who were reached for comments expressed hope that the exercise will not only improve security and access but also boost the areas’ potential for meat trade at Nakwalele.

OVER A THOUSAND BENEFIT FROM FREE MEDICAL AND EYE CAMP IN LORUGUM, LOIMA SUB COUNTY

County Health and Sanitation Department, supported by Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) and Kenya Society for the Blind (KSB), held a two-day free medical camp at the Lorugum Sub-county Hospital where patients with eye conditions received the necessary treatment and medications for free.

This is the first eye medical camp held in Lorugum, Loima Sub-county to address the high risk of trachoma prevalence in the region that stands at 11%. Thus, Department of Health and supporting partners made the camp a one-stop shop for treatment of eye and other conditions.

In his closing remarks, Chief Officer for Health and Sanitation Capt. (Rtd) Augustine Lokwang appreciated KSB, IRA and Loima MOH teams for pulling together to make the eye camp successful with desirable outcomes.

Referring to earlier engagements between the county government with Kenya Society for the Blind executive leadership, CCO Lokwang hinted on plans for formal framework for collaboration on eye Care health services.

He said that a broad-based MoU with KSB will enable the County department to plug into the extensive eye care network of partners, expertise to improve service delivery and expanded resource mobilisation.

“The turnout of the medical camp demonstrates that similar camps and outreaches were needed to cover the remote areas of the county as well as attend to the eye diseases which are treatable, avoidable and preventable,” he said.

He appealed to IRA and KSB to plan similar other eye camps to benefit other needy sub-counties.

The eye camp received more than 1,000 patients from which 70 were found to require cataract surgery. The chief officer tasked the county ophthalmic team to follow-up with the cataract patients and ensure surgeries are undertaken to restore sight.

Daniel Masese, the KSB team lead, said that his organisation would analyse the data collected from the over 1000 patients and provide findings to the county government for planning purposes. KSB was also providing white walking sticks to the blind and UV sun glasses to prevent eye conditions due to too much light.

The IRA team lead, Rosemary Kaviri appreciated the county health team for the mobilisation and was impressed by the turnout considering vastness of the sub-county.

Other medical services offered included diabetic and hypertension screening, screening of (cervical, breast and prostate cancer), dental services, family planning and nutritional services, volunteer counselling and testing (VCT) by general practitioners.

Other county government health officers present were Samson Lokele (County Ophthalmic Services Coordinator), Peter Lomorukai (Sub- county Medical Health Officer – Loima) and Richard Lowoto (Sub-county Eye Care Coordinator – Loima).

TURKANA COUNTY HEALTH PARTNERS WITH SAPCONE TO CREATE SANITATION CHAMPIONS

The County Department of Health and Sanitation in partnership with SAPCONE has embarked on sensitization and mentorship exercise to empower girls on sanitation and Covid-19 measures.

The project implemented by SAPCONE, a local NGO, has integrated WASH and COVID 19 prevention components that targets 7500 girls in six wards namely; Kanamkemer and Kerio (Turkana Central), Songot and Lopur (Turkana West), Katilu (Turkana South) and Kaaleng/Kaikor (Turkana North). The project launch took place concurrently in Lodwar, Kakuma and Lokichar led by officials from the department of health.

Speaking during the launch in Lodwar, Deputy Director of Health Promotion and Disease Control Daniel Esimit said that the even though the county’s Covid-19 caseloads had remained low, there was need for communities continue playing their individual roles in improving hygiene and Sanitation conditions.

He further added that having community owned champions was an advantage for seeking to improve health seeking behaviour.

Joseph Imuton, the Head of Programs at Sapcone, said the role played by target beneficiaries will be complementing the role of community health workers and volunteers in carrying out daily home visitations and sensitization on Covid-19 and hygiene promotion.

As the chief guest, David Juma who is the Deputy County Commissioner, Turkana Central urged the residents of Turkana County to continue observing Covid-19 containment measures and get vaccinated.

The County Health Promotion Officer, Ruth Areman, called for partners to continue supporting the health department in implementing measures that will address demand for health services.

Present in the launch were National Government administration officers, public health officials, Ward and village administrators from Kanamkemer ward.

HUNDREDS OF LIVESTOCK BRANDED AT THE KENYA-UGANDA BORDER

Nakitong’o, 10th May 2021– A week-long exercise of livestock branding targeting Lokipoto and Nakitong’o areas of Turkana West Sub-County has been completed.

Over 1600 livestock which included cattle and donkeys were branded by a joint team of officers drawn from the County Veterinary Services directorate, National Government and Lotus Kenya Action for Development organization (LOKADO).

The branding stock Act of 2012 and Veterinary Services Guideline 2014, outline the County Government’s role on Livestock Identification and Traceability systems (LITs) that include conducting livestock identification using approved identification systems such as Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFIDs), branding and microchips.

Additional roles include data upload on livestock registration, veterinary interventions, test results and movement records to the central database. The National Government on its part is supposed to undertake registration and regulation of all livestock identification systems such as brands, RFIDs and radio tracking devices.

Veterinary Services Director Benson Longor thanked LOKADO for support and said the department plans to brand a larger number of livestock in future with unique Turkana mark that would ease identification. County Deputy Director for Veterinary Services Dr. Jane Akale said the process had been successful, and expressed optimism that it will set stage towards rollout of more livestock branding not only in Turkana West but also to other parts of the County.

During the branding exercise planning meeting in Lodwar few weeks ago, Lotus Kenya Action for Development organization (LOKADO) Chief Executive Officer Augustine Kai assured his organization support to implement the program just as it has done on peace initiatives along the Kenya-Uganda border.

FOUR MILLION LIVESTOCK AT RISK OF STARVATION DUE TO DROUGHT

Reports from the department of Livestock Production and stakeholders indicate that approximately 4,193,462 goats and sheep are at  risk of being affected by the prolonged drought being experienced in the county.

County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun has yesterday  in Lodwar chaired a stakeholders meeting that brought together officials from different County departments and their colleagues from Non-Governmental organizations.

The meeting was convened to discuss measures and strategies of resource mobilization to intervene on the ravaging drought effects that have a negative impact to source of livelihoods to the people in the County. “Drought effects have progressively worsened as the county experience delayed onset of March-April-May rains. Generally, the whole county is at alarm phase, except for some pockets in the agro pastoral livelihood zones that seem to exhibit the alert phase indicators though rapidly worsening,” the report says.

In his opening remarks, CECM Aemun described the drought situation as alarming,
said that the County Government is planning to have supplementary feeds and slaughter off-take that will help pastoralists cushion their animals against effects of drought. On the directorate of Livestock Production, Aemun said he intends to mobilize financial resources from its budget as well as source support from other willing partners to procure about 400 tonnes of supplementary feeds to target an approximately 4,000 households and 100,000 shoats countywide.

Acting Director for Livestock Production Bobby Ewoi said that other planned interventions include slaughter off-take or destocking of approximately, 5,000 shoats that each will cost Ksh. 4,000 to benefit 2,500 households.

While acknowledging past partners intervention support on mitigating disasters, CECM Aemun regretted that the prolonged drought had forced herders to migrate to new areas in search of water and pasture, making them vulnerable to both diseases, hunger and security risk.

County Chief Officer for Fisheries, Livestock and Veterinary Services Abdullahi Yusuf and Directors Dr. Benson Longor (Veterinary Services) and  Charles Ekai (Resource Mobilization) attended the brief meeting that was held in adherence to the Ministry of Health regulation on COVID-19.

Lakezone,Kaeris, Kaaleng/Kaikor and Lapur Wards in Turkana North as well as Kerio,Kalokol and Kangathota areas in Turkana Central have been identified by stakeholders as some of most affected.

The report also adds Kalapata and Lokichar in Turkana South and Katilia and Kochodin areas in Turkana East in the list of areas  that require urgent intervention. Loima and Lopur Wards have also been earmarked as drought hard-hit areas in Loima and Turkana West Sub-Counties respectively.

LET’S CONSERVE OUR LOCAL TREE SPECIES – CEC EMORU

County Executive Committee Member (CECM) of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources George Emoru called for the sensitisation of Turkana residents to conserve and preserve the local tree species during this year’s marking of the International Day of Forests (IDF) held in Lokichoggio, Turkana West Sub-county.

Speaking at Hannah Emuriakin Primary School, where a tree planting ceremony was held, CEC Emoru said that was also equally important to plant trees especially now that the world is ravaged by climate change.

“Turkana used to get rain at a certain month but now the pattern has changed. We have damaged our environment by cutting trees and burning charcoal which has contributed to the decrease of tree cover,” he said.

He added that in preserving the local tree species communities can utilise proposis for socio-development like burning it for charcoal, building homes, sale of firewood and making feeds.

One of the main stakeholders, Horn of Africa Environment Network working through South Rift Association of Land Owners (SORALO) led by its Director John Kamanga said that the only way to save the world from climate change is by the simple action of planting more trees. SORALO as part of the Environmental resilience project will in future be entering into an MoU with the County Government of Turkana to jointly implement conservation of wildlife and rangeland programs.

On her part of Deputy Director of Natural Resources, Pauline Ngoli Pusiye, said that county government is committed to increasing tree cover now that dryland forestry is fully devolved.

“It is the responsibility of each one of us, governments, churches to ensure that we participate to restore forests through campaigns and planting and conserving trees. Let’s us be ambassadors and take that message to our communities in order to increase our forest cover,” said the CEC.

Also presents and who spoke on the importance of planting trees and conserving the environment were Joshua Napoco Ekitela (Sub-county Admin. – Turkana West), Hellen Nakaru (Deputy Director Tourism), Dr. Edward Mengich (Assistant Director – Kefri, Lodwar), Dr Peter Edome (Dean – School of Science and Technology, Turkana University College) and Sheikh Yusuf Ali Aremons (Chair of Turkana Inter-religious Council).

The other participating stakeholders included Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forestry Research Institute, Kenya Forestry Service and Mercy Corps. Approximately 1500 tree seedlings were distributed and planted to mark the day; celebrated every year on the 21st March.

GOVERNMENT TO SOURCE PARTNERS SUPPORT ON CLEARENCE OF PROSOPIS

The County Government will engage different development partners to seek support to tame increased farm invasion by Prosopis juliflora which has frustrated Government’s efforts to spur food production ,County Executive for Agriculture Philip Ebei Aemun has said.

He said that similar partnership with World Food Programme has paid off in several irrigation schemes in Loima Sub-County.

CEC Aemun decried that the invasion of irrigation schemes by Prosopis had negatively affected farming activities in Turkana making it hard for farmers to engage in large scale farming especially for farms situated along the river,with good soil for crop production.

The County Executive was speaking today at Morulem when he separately met and interacted with farmers of Morulem and Lotubae irrigation schemes in Lokori-Kochodin ward,Turkana East Sub-County.

He assured farmers of Government commitment to improve farm infrastructure including the river protection work along R.Kerio,provision of seeds ,and tractors to help in ploughing farm land ahead of the planting season.

County Engineers will soon visit the site to assess the situation of the dykes, and draw a new design for River protection works ,now that the river seems to have changed the course.

CEC Aemun who is in a working tour of Turkana East following Governor Nanok’ last year stakeholders meeting direction for a follow up of development projects by Senior Government Officers,called for prioritization of sorghum and groundnuts growing,because of its ready market availability.

County Director for Agriculture Paul Lokone said that his docket through the Agri-business directorate would connect farmers to potential buyers to enable them sell their produce to generate income.

He added that they will provide technical guidance on best seeds varieties that fits the Turkana soil.

The team also met enumerators who were recently recruited to register farmers who will benefit from e-voucher program that’s being supported by the National Government’s Ministry of Agriculture.

The e-vochoure system ,which is being done in 25 counties including Turkana is intended to support farmers with inputs through the agro-vets . The Government will cater for 40% of the cost ,and rest will be shouldered by the registered farmers.

It will be undertaken in Kaputir and Lokori-Kochodin wards of Turkana South and Turkana East Sub-counties respectively.

CEC Aemun emphasized on the need by the team from the National Government to do more sensitization to farmers on farm inputs cost-sharing plan ,to manage expectations of the project as well as its sustainability.

He noted that priorities of selected counties are different hence the need to strengthen engagement with benefiting farmers.

Morulem irrigation scheme chairman Philip Esinyen called for mechanical and farm inputs support from the County Government towards their planned planting of sorghum on more than 400 acres of farm as well as milling of the sorghum crop, before its release to the market this year.

Also present were staff from Turkana East led by Sub-County Administrator Reuben Eleo.

TURKANA COMMEMORATES INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR ELIMNATION VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Lodwar, 25th November 2020— County Chief Officer for Gender and Youth Affairs Michael Eregae today presided over commemoration of International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women and launch of 16 days of activism against Gender-based violence at California Market grounds, Turkana Central Sub-County.

The United Nations General Assembly has designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.It is celebrated annually   to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence.

In a speech read on her behalf, County executive committee member for the Ministry of Trade, Gender and youth affairs Esther Lokwei said that the 16 days of activism campaign wasn’t onky aimed at raising awareness around the rights of women and girls, but also at changing the cultural attitude of placing women as inferior to the male gender.

She noted that the department will work closely with gender stakeholders and civil societies to roll out campaigns on prevention emphasized that this education campaign and awareness on gender-based violence in Turkana.

She noted of progress made towards eliminating the vice but acknowledged of existing violence like sexual ones that had a negative health impact to girls in learning institutions.

Kanamkemer MCA James Ikeny said that violence had greatly increased since the onset of COVID-19 in march and called for scaling of awareness on the vice while his Township counterpart regretted thats many cases of abuse against women and girls in the society have widely remain unreported.

CEC AEMUN FLAGS OFF SUPPLEMENTARY LIVESTOCK FEEDS FOR TURKANA NORTH

Lodwar, 25 November 2020—County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun today at Mifugo Complex flagged off vehicles carrying the supplementary Livestock feeds  that had been donated by World Relief Organization.

The intervention is  meant to protect the young ones, lactating nannies and pregnant ones from starvation and lack of key nutrients to support important body functions.

Tens of  household in Lapur and Lake zone wards will benefit from distribution of 27.5 metric tonnes of range cubes and targeted vaccination of  livestock vaccination that targets 550 households in Turkana North sub-county.

Areas selected for feeds distribution include Riokomor,Nachukui and Loarengak in Lakezone while Kaaleng,Kachoda and Karebur are the considered sites for Lapur ward.

In his remarks,CEC Aemun said that the distribution and prepositioning  of feeds to strategic areas was meant to cushion the breeding herd against death due to starvation resulted by inadequate feeds availability.

He thanked the World Relief Organization for the support that includes budgeted consultancy for drafting of Turkana County Livestock disease control policy and bill that will guide operation of diseases surveillance and response within the county.

Once it becomes law,it will entrech the roles and responsibilities of community disease reporters in livestock disease surveillance in Turkana.

On looming second wave of desert locust invasion,CEC Aemun called for vigilance and activation of surveillance tools from both the Government and development partners to avert negative socio-economic impact similar to the one experienced this year.

County Chief Officer for Fisheries,Livestock Production and Veterinary services Abdullahi Yussuf said distribution is being done at the right time  with consideration being given on drought had-hit areas and said that   additional feeds would be provided by the County Government and livestock partners.

County Director for World Relief Elias Kamau said that they will continue partnering with the County Government on enhancing pastoralist livelihoods programs on areas of economic and social importance.

This programs will include cross-breeding that targets improve increase productivity through introduction of gala goats.

County Director for Livestock Production Bobby Ekadon said other places had not benefited  factored in the next distribution plan while his veterinary services counterpart Dr. Benson Longor stated that the program will cover vaccination and deworming of more than 12000 goats and sheep.

Also present were County Director for Fisheries Robert Kibunja,Administration Deputy Director Geoffrey Apedor and several staff from the Pastoral Economy department and Fisheries.

FARMERS TO BENEFIT FROM A SH7.9MILLION COUNTY, WFP PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM

Lodwar, 23rd November 2020— Farmers from seven irrigation scheme are set to benefit from a Sh7.9 million shillings support program thats meant to revive farms that had stalled in several parts of Loima sub-county.

County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun together with officials from World Food Programme today met with farmers, and inspected ongoing rehabilitation and bush clearing of Kolioro irrigation scheme that had been affected by prosopis.

In his remarks, CEC Aemun said that the partnership program which will benefit 3500 farmers, was meant to create resilience and get them back to their farms after destruction by flood waters and growth of mathenge that had prevented them from engaging in any farming.

The County Government and WFP under the Sustainable Food System Program have embarked on a flood-proofing of farms that were affected by flood waters in 2019 and early this year.

The County Executive, while assuring of support through distribution of certified seeds for planting and a tractor for ploughing once, insisted on the need by farmers to own development projects initiated to for realization of target and avoid wastage of funds.

He emphasized on need to grow of drought resistant crops such as sorghum that he said can withstand harsh weather condition but acknowledged of its market demand that can be sourced within and outside Turkana.

The scope of the work includes desilting of canals, bush clearing, construction of insitu rainwater harvesting structures,ploughing of farms as well as repair of canal intakes and primary canals,among others.

WFP’s food systems engineer Stephen Maingi stated quality job will be done and that implementation of the program will be done within the stipulated time-line

The first phase of the program that will include ploughing of 500 acres of farm will cover Nadapal, Kolioro, Nanyee, Kalemunyang/Kotela, Kangalita, Moruese and Napeikar in Loima Sub-Counties.

The second phase will begin next year and targets eight small irrigation schemes in Turkana South as well as six from Turkana Central Sub-County.