COUNTY GOVERNMENT TO REVIVE STALLED IRRIGATION SCHEMES

County Chief Officer for Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Dr. Jacob Lolelea, has said that the Agriculture department will put focus on reviving and sustaining all stalled irrigation schemes along the riverine areas as part of its efforts to increase crop production and achieve food security agenda.

He said utilisation of the arable land and rehabilitation of farm infrastructure in the stalled irrigation schemes would aid self-reliance on farm produce and end dependence on relief food.

Dr. Lolelea spoke today at Nakwamoru, Kaputir ward when he chaired a meeting with farmers, area leaders and the contractor on resumption of rehabilitation works of Nakwamoru irrigation scheme.

The scope of the work include rehabilitation of the intake structure deck and gates, construction of upstream and downstream river bank gabion protection as well as fencing of the farm .

In his remarks, CO Lolelea assured the farmers of the County Government’s commitment to work closely with the community and the contractor to ensure that the rehabilitation works are completed soon for its operationalisation.

He said that completion of the works will enhance farm productivity through realignment of infrastructure to re-direct adequate water flow into the intake structure even during low peaks.

On disputes between the contractor and the community, the Chief Officer urged farmers to use the necessary administrative channels to ease and speed completion of the rehabilitation works.  He noted that the department will station an additional tractor in Turkana South Sub-County to help tilling and other farm works.

CO Lolelea challenged the contractor to consult the community on local design that were used traditionally to control flow of water to the farmers and warned against shoddy jobs as there will close monitoring by the irrigation department.

The contractor will also do desilting of lined main canal, on-farm bush clearing, compaction of trapezoidal earth sections and feeder canals in the 180 hectares farm.

County Director for Irrigation and Land Reclamation Lotome Chammah said that the contractor had committed to complete the work before September this year. He added that construction of an aqueduct across the main canal will protect the structure against flash floods that have in past destroyed crops.

Kaputir Ward Member of County Assembly Shadrack Lodonga, who was also present, said that insecurity had in the past affected farming in the area.

He stated that farmers were ready to go back to the farms once rehabilitation works are complete.

RIPARIAN REHABILITATION SENSITISATION AT KAITESE, TURKWEL

County Executive for Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources, George Emoru Emojong graced a riparian rehabilitation sensitisation exercise to encourage the community participation in rehabilitation of areas surrounding River Turkwel.

The exercise held in Kaitese, Turkwel Ward in Loima Sub-county organized by the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) which has partnered with the County Government in environmental conservation.

“The Ministry works closely with partners to ensure that our mandate to protect and conserve forests is achieved. One of efforts we collaborate is to enhance tree cover by distribution of trees seedlings communities for free from the county tree nurseries,” CEC Emoru said.

The community was trained on rehabilitation methods, conservation of threatened indigenous species and management by utilization of prosopis.

The CEC said that the community could use prosopis in the production of charcoal and poles for building their homes. The ministry’s was working on procuring kilns to promote value addition.

Residents also received trained on nature based enterprises such as bee keeping, aloe value addition and pasture production.

On his part, the Head of KEFRI Lodwar Dr. Edward Mengich said that for rehabilitation and other forestry technologies to be implemented successfully the community, County Government, learning institutions, National Administration and Agencies, and NGOs should work together in partnership.

The community later planted indigenous trees to mark the occasion.

COUNTY GOVERNMENT TO ESTABLISH  POLICY ON  LIVESTOCK DISEASE REPORTING

County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun has said that the goverment will develop a County Livestock Community Reporting Policy to support and guide operations of disease reporting in Turkana .

Speaking at Kaikor when he officially opened a workshop training for community disease reporters from Kibish Sub-County, CEC Aemun said that anchoring diseases reporting on law would help address issues of zoonotic and transboundary  diseases as well as strengthening of e-surveillance system .

The policy will help address protocol of livestock diseases reporting, early detection and also create strong market linkages for livestock traders .

Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) are  epidemic diseases which are highly contagious or transmissible and have the potential for very rapid spread, irrespective of national borders, causing serious socio-economic and possibly public health consequences.

He noted that the veterinary directorate would henceforth preposition essential livestock drugs and crushes near kraals and watering points for ease access by herders .

The weeklong training is sponsored by Turkana Pastrolist Development Organization(TUPADO)under the auspices of Omo Delta project.

He revealed  that the government had already trained 513 community disease reporters and further thanked partners for continued support on diseases surveillance and control.

On his part ,Fisheries,Livestock production and veterinary services Chief Officer Abdullahi Yussuf revealed that Community disease reporters had strengthened  surveillance through e-surveillance reporting.  He assured the CDRs that the department will continue working with them to control livestock diseases in the County.

The team had earlier own witnessed delivery of veterinary drugs and equipment to Kaikor veterinary store. The drugs will be used for  livestock treatment in Kibish Sub-County.

Additionally, CEC Aemun stated that the County Government through the Agriculture officers would offer extension services at Kangitulae and Lokamarinyang  farming lands, among  other areas in Turkana North, to increase crop production and address the issue of food insecurity.

County Veterinary Services Director Benson Longor said that the the directorate had procured uniform for the CDRs and it will be distributed after the training on Friday.

Kibish Sub-County administrator Reuben Eleo and Kaaleng/Kaikor ward  administrator Peter Katiko.

PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP WOULD ENHANCE EFFECTIVE E-SURVEILLANCE ON LIVESTOCK DISEASES- CECM AEMUN

County executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun has said that a collaboration between the County Government and partners on electronic livestock diseases reporting would support early detection and timely response on outbreaks thus cushioning pastrolist from adverse socio-economic risk posed by the diseases.

Noting of human resource challenges to track diseases due to vastness of the region ,CEC Aemun said that the concept of innovative approach to conventional animal diseases surveillance was conceived, initiated and set up by the Government in collaboration with Accelerated Value Chain Development for Livestock(AVCD) implemented by International Livestock Research Institute and thereafter by GFA-GIZ.

Speaking today during the launch of a  Ksh.10 million backup server for the e-surveillance system and donation of 15 smart  phones to Community Disease Reporters said that the technology based diseases reporting would aid risk informed and evidence based decision making on conducting active surveillance. GIZ has additionally donated seven laptops for veterinary staff.

GFA  will   provide 63,000 kenya shillings worth airtime for Community Disease Reporters(CDRs) who were recently trained on e-surveillance reporting.

While noting of the need to strengthen grassroots structures for disease reporting, the County executive revealed that the veterinary directorate was gearing up to recruit an additional 300 community disease reporters with focus on kraals members .

The e-surveillance system for livestock diseases reporting is a mobile phone based syndromic surveillance system that is being used by the County veterinary directorate to collect and process data from ; Livestock diseases at the community level,meat inspection records as well as types and volume of drugs sold at agro veterinary shops.

County  Chief Officer for Fisheries and Veterinary services Abdullahi  Yussuf thanked the organisation for support and  the beneficiaries to utilize the gadgets well for effective reporting.

GFA/GIZ Program Coordinator  Frank Njogu said launch  of the server and distribution of the equipment was a progress  towards strengthening e-surveillance system and livestock diseases control.

County Director for Veterinary Services Dr. Benson Longor acknowledged the role played by agro-vets facilities in supporting disease treatment and livestock production in Turkana.

Staff drawn from the department Pastoral Economy were present during the brief  event at Mifugo Complex.

VETERINARY DIRECTORATE READY TO CURB SPREAD OF LIVESTOCK DISEASES-CEC AEMUN

The veterinary services directorate is on high alert to curb spread and control of livestock diseases following of  migration of large herds of livestock from  Uganda, County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun has said .

The huge influx of livestock, CECM Aemun said would lead to increased interaction and cross-contamination between treated and untreated herds of livestock that poses high risk of flaring up of diseases.

He regretted that past cases of outbreaks of livestock diseases  led to huge socio-economic loss to the pastrolist community.

The County executive spoke today when he launched the Emergency Livestock-based livelihoods assistance for flood affected Households in Turkana County. He said that the Pastoral Economy department was committed to see that the Program is fully materialized to assist the targeted beneficiaries.

To safeguard human and animal health, the County executive revealed that the Pastoral Economy department would strengthen the E-surveillance system that have in used in tracking of livestock diseases in the region.  He said that the surveillance will inform response, vaccination, supportive treatment and vector control.

The objective of the three months programme that will cover Turkana North, Loima and Turkana South sub-Counties is to increase resilience of livelihoods to threats and crisis on the affected households in the County.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation(FAO) funded program  will be implemented by VSF-Germany with technical support from County departments of Veterinary Services and Public Health.

CECM Aemun said that the recent heavy rains experienced has neccesitated vigilance on Rift Valley Fever diseases which is zoonotic.  He assured that the ministry was on high alert and will focus on creating awareness to kraals regarding the disease.

He assured partners of the ministry readiness to coordinate with them to strengthen human and livestock health through the One Health program that is jointly conducted by the County departments of Pastoral Economy and Health.

The targeted mass treatment of livestock will cover 85,000 sheep & goats and 6,628(camels, donkeys and cattles) benefiting 4,650 households.  386 households will receive mosquito nets.

County Chief Officer for Fisheries, Livestock production and Veterinary Abdullahi Yusuf said that his department will continue partner with  stakeholders to enhance maximum livestock production and productivity in the region.

County Director of veterinary services Benson Longor said that the directorate through the Program would create Public awareness to herders on prevention,control and management of Rift Valley Fever through access to Emergency Livestock Inputs like veterinary drugs,equipment and mosquito nets.

Disaster Management Deputy  Director Moses Nawoton said  that flash floods are a threat to livelihoods,noting that the recent effects of heavy rains in the region were devastating.

Also present were County Deputy Directors; Dr.Jane Akale(Veterinary Services), Bobby Ekadon(Livestock production), and Dr. Job Rono from the veterinary services department .

Representatives from National Drought Management Authority(NDMA), Food and Agriculture Organisation(FAO) and VSF-Germany also attended the launch of the Program in Lodwar.

NALAPATUI COMMUNITY PRODUCES ALOE GEL SOAP AND SHAMPOO

The cottage industry of making and selling of soap, liquid or/and solid, has been a favourite for social groups as income generating activity. For the Nalapatui Community Based Natural Resource Management Committee (CBNRMC) in Kalobeyei Ward – Turkana West Sub-county, their activity has incorporated a nature-based enterprise element; aloe.
Based twenty kilometres off the Lokichoggio – Kakuma Road, 30 members of the Nalapatui Village formed a group to establish a plantation of two species of aloe (aloe turkanensis and aloe vera), then harvest to extract the sap to make liquid and solid soap and shampoo.
“We [community] have always known that aloe has medicinal properties,” said Edward Etot Samal, the group’s Secretary. “By adding aloe to our products makes them better and the group can make money out of this plant that grows in the wild.”
With the assistance from the Turkana County’s Directorate of Natural Resources, the members were able to transplant the two varieties propagated at Kakuma Tree Nursery to a plantation adjust to the village.
“Aloe is easy to manage unlike other horticultural crops like tomatoes,” said Boaz Ekiru, Sub-County Natural Resource Officer of Turkana West. “The plant also offers bonus benefits such as improvement of the aesthetic of the land, acts as a cover crop therefore protecting the soil and has medicinal and cosmetic properties.”
He added that other group in Loima Sub-county’s Locher Angikalalio had done their own plantation and already begun making products. This is sustainable utilisation of non-wood forest products is environmentally friendly. This also promotes food security and a secure means of livelihood which takes into consideration conservation of the environment.
With an easy-to-follow pictorial manual, Samal explained how each product was made; the process from harvest, measurement of the different ingredients and methods of preparation such as how to stir and for how long. It also included important reminders like storing the solid soap for six weeks for the harshness of caustic soda used to dissipate.
“We perfume our soaps so as to be different from the rest and so is the use of aloe as one of the ingredients,” he said.
Another selling point is their soaps last longer and cheaper than the commercial ones; the solid soap goes for Sh50, half a litre of soap and shampoo at Sh100 while a litre is Sh200. This has made their products popular in the village and the nearest centre, Kalobeyei. The group also sells at barazas and to some customers in Lokichoggio and Kakuma.
Since the group began the project, the members have used the profits made to improve their lives. Samal says that some members have managed to open kiokis while others have bought animals to increase their herd numbers.
As the business grow, they hope to increase production and reach more markets like Lodwar.
The project was implemented in collaboration with GIZ TCF Project, and Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI).

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.