PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS URGED TO BUILD BETTER COLLABORATION WITH LOCAL COMMUNITY

Stakeholders involved in development in Turkana West have been advised to build better collaboration to ensure smooth implementation of programmes.
Speaking when he chaired a meeting between representatives of World Food Programme (WFP) and Turkana West leaders today at the County Headquatres, Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro insisted that the County Government was keen to ensure there was improved relations between partner organisations working in Turkana, including all the UN Agencies, and the local community.

The meeting called to address emerging issues in WFP operations in the sub-county brought, together Turkana West leaders including Member of Parliament Daniel Epuyo, all Members of County Assembly from the region, WFP Country Director Annalisa Conte, and senior County Government Officials led by County Secretary Peter Eripete.

DG Lotethiro urged for a coordinated approach in solving conflicts that arise, involving all stakeholders, including the local community, humanitarian organisations and its partners, local leaders, the County and National governments.

The DG commended WFP for the 27 years it had worked in Turkana, implementing projects that had touched the lives of many people and assured of the County Government support to ensure the organisation’s programmes run without hindrance. He proposed a structured flow information to manage causes of conflict that arise from breakdown in communication channels.

To promote local companies’ access to contracts from development organisations, the DG said support was needed to grow the capacity of these companies to compete for contracts.

MP Epuyo asked WFP for opportunities for the local community, including jobs and tenders, adding that perceptions of lack of these opportunities was partly to blame for conflicts that arise. He The MP said the community of Turkana West had showed its readiness to support the work of humanitarian organisations due to the high number of such organisations based in the region.

CS Eripete said that all UN agencies had a critical role in the successful implementation of Kalobeyei Integrated Socio-Economic Development Program’ (KISDEP), a flagship project launched last December.

On her part, Ms. Conte agreed that WFP and Turkana had enjoyed long collaboration that the organization wished will continue. She revealed that Turkana County was a priority to WFP in the five-year plan presented before the Executive Board and promised for more engagements to solve issues that could impact on its implementation.

Others who spoke were County Executives Charles Lokiyoto (Public Service and Disaster Management), Emathe Namuar (Water Services), Chris Aletia (Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries), Patrick Losike (Education) and Esther Lokwei (Lands), Chief of Staff Ekuwam Nakiporo, Senior Advisor on Security and Borderlines Initiatives Cpt. (Rtd) Augustine Lokwang’ and Turkana West sub-county administrator Esther Kiyonga.

DG Lotethiro Leads Town Clean-up Exercise in Preparation for World Wetlands Day Celebrations

Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro today led a cleaning exercise by the County department of Environment to raise awareness on need for better management and conservation of wetlands; as part of preparation for tomorrow’s celebration to mark World Wetlands Day.

Speaking when he kicked off the cleaning drive at the banks of River Turkwel, the Deputy Governor called for responsible waste management around the town to prevent pollution of wetlands and contamination of water bodies and low-lying areas.

He directed the County Department of Lands, Energy, Housing and Urban Areas Management to ensure there were enough garbage bins in all major urban centres to support better management of waste.

World Wetlands Day is marked every year on February 2nd, which is the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands established in 1971, to raise awareness about the value of wetlands for humanity and the planet.

Addressing concern from the Livestock Market Association, the Deputy Governor assured that the County Government plans to set up solar lights in the market to allow traders do business at night; as well as improve water system in the facility.

He urged the departments of Trade and Livestock to set aside funds in the next financial year for improvement of market facilities in the county to support traders do business at ease.

He cautioned against open defecation and encouraged traders to use public toilet facilities at the market to avoid spread of waterborne diseases.

County Executive for Water Services, Environment and Mineral Resources Emathe Namuar invited the public to the World Wetlands celebrations tomorrow that will start with rehabilitation of River Turkwel banks through tree planting in Nakwamekwi and later a community sensitization on wetland protection.

The event was also attended by Lodwar township MCA Robert Lowoko and Water Services, Environment and Mineral Resources Chief Officer Moses Natome.

TCG AND UNOPS ON JOINT CAPACITY ASSESSMENT AND EVIDENCE BASED INFRASTRUCTURE

A joint capacity assessment workshop between Turkana County Government (TCG) and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) at UNICEF Offices in Lodwar ended today.
The workshop was aimed at analyzing data collected using the Capacity Assessment Tool for Infrastructure (CAT-I).

CAT-I is a tool developed by UNOPS and used to assess infrastructure in entities like governments in terms of Planning, delivery and management .

UNOPS and TCG began the assessment in February 2018 and have carried it forward through a series of meetings in Nairobi and Lodwar. The assessment has focused on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, and Public Works, with the Department of Finance and Economic Planning being involved through its planning input.

This assessment is the first of its kind in Africa and specifically Turkana County in Kenya.

The UNOPS team at the workshop included analysts from the UNOPS headquarters in Copenhagen, who have been supporting the analysis with technical input. This team was led by Engineer Steven Crosskey from Denmark and UNOPS Country Director Rainer Frauenfeld. County team included Chief officer Public Works Eng. Emmanuel Ekai Ekeno, Director Public Works Eng. Kennedy Obongo, Director Procurement Reuben Ekai Ebei, Director Economic Planning Richard Emoru, Deputy Director Economic planning, Victor Lekaram and architect David Mogikoyo.

Today, the UNOPS team was able to meet with Deputy Governor (DG) Peter Lotethiro, County Secretary (CS) Peter Eripete, Minister Robert Loteleng’o from the Department of Finance and Minister Benson Lokwang’ from the Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Public Works, at the County Headquarters where they
presented their key findings and recommendations from the assessment.

At the meeting, the DG expressed his support for the UNOPS initiative in supporting local expertise in matters of infrastructure, procurement and planning and underscoring the operations and maintenance of infrastructure.

The CS applauded the work done by UNOPS in the county and asked for more support in mentoring County local young engineers especially in hands on technical skills enhancement.

Minister Loteleng’o envisioned the use of the latest technology like Geographical Information System (GIS) to monitor projects on real time.

On the other hand, Minister Benson Lokwang assured UNOPS of the County support and emphasized on the need of observing infrastructure construction standards and stated that the county through the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Works is constructing an Infrastructure material testing lab for quality standards.

The assessment team also visited some of the TCG’s projects (New County headquarters building, Governor’s residence), courtesy of the Department of Infrastructure Transport and Public works.

Through the completion of this capacity assessment, UNOPS will be able to support TCG as it works to strengthen its operations and partnerships with development partners and deliver its development vision for Turkana County.

UNOPS has also supported the county in various projects like construction of Kangatotha, Lowarengak and Kerio health centres and the construction of the New maternity ward at Lodwar County referral hospital.

Trust Deed for establishment of Kapese Community Charitable Trust signed

Governor Josphat Nanok today joined other leaders to witness the signing of the Deed of Trust establishing a charitable trust for the local community in Turkana South and East Sub-Counties.

The deed signed before wananchi at the Baraza park in Lokichar town is based on an Agreement signed in 2014 between African Camp Solution (ACS) and Tullow on establishment of first operating base, that provided for a charitable trust to be set up on behalf of the Community.

Speaking at the ceremony, Governor Nanok commended ACS for being true to their word to implement the 2014 agreement to set up the trust on behalf of the local community.

The purpose of the Trust Deed signed include the promotion of education; capacity development; provide education bursaries, alleviation of poverty through improved amenities, social services, access to water solutions, provision of employment and establishment of community based enterprises; agriculture development; access to health services among others.

The Governor urged residents of Turkana East and Turkana South sub-counties to unite behind the trust and warned that divisions of could make region miss on benefits from land and revenue from the operational base.

He said the trust will form a basis for establishment of future camps and called on the community as principals of the trust to demand for accountability from the Board of Trustees.

He asked the Board to speed up the remaining process for community to begin enjoying the fruits of the trust.

The Governor pledged to be true to his pledge to protect the community’s interest from development of natural resources including land as one of the reasons for his reelection in the last general elections.

He reiterated the stand on bipartisan unity by elected leaders and revealed that joint community engagement on development matters will be held across Turkana from next month.

Director of ACS David Walker hailed the signing of the trust deed and said the company was proud of its contribution to the system that he described as transparent, accountable and in the best interest of the community.
Tullow’s General Manager External Affairs Eris Losike assured that funds to be transferred to the trust were available and urged all leaders to support the process to avoid delay of process that he said had so far been all inclusive.

Deputy Governor advised the Board of Trustees to recruit the trust’s Chief Executive Officer through a competitive process and ensure a qualified individual is chosen who will protect the trust from corruption.

Turkana South MP James Lomenen said the trust will open doors for more benefits to the community. He echoed calls for unity between Turkana East and Turkana South Sub-Counties and insisted leaders will not allow politics to ruin the process.

Other leaders who spoke include Women Representative Joyce Emanikor, MCAs Raphael Loperito (Lokichar), David Erukudi (Lobokat) and Peter Lokutuni (Kalapata).

Governor Nanok was accompanied by Senior County Government officials led by County Secretary Peter Eripete.

Three-day rabies control campaign kicks off

Three-day rabies control campaign kicks off

The County Government’s department of Veterinary Services has today rolled-out a three-day mass dog vaccination and population control activity; as part of an anti-rabies campaign that aims to eliminate cases of human rabies.

Speaking today when he flagged off the event at Mifugo Complex, County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Chris Aletia lauded the partnership behind the initiative where resources were pooled to carry out a robust anti-rabies campaign.

The activity brings together veterinary officers from the County Government, experts from the Kenya Veterinary Board (KVB), Vet Treks- an international foundation that offers support on animal welfare, private practitioners and organisations including VEDAMAN Consultants, Kenya Small and Companion Animal Veterinary Association (KESCAVA), African Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) and Norbrook; in a public-private partnership model.

The CEC said the campaign to eliminate rabies infection as part of his Ministry’s animal health campaigns contributed to Governor Nanok’s priority of Food Security.

Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Benson Long’or said the County Government had embraced the spay and neuter technique of dog population control which was ‘a more humane way of controlling rabies which took care of animal welfare compared to dog baiting’.

He revealed that through capacity building training and with donation of surgical equipment, county veterinary officers now had the capacity to carry out continuous anti-rabies campaigns across Turkana. He said the department aims to strengthen the veterinary public health unit that he admitted was sometimes neglected.

According to Veterinary Services Deputy Director, Dr. Jane Akale, the team was targeting 300 dogs from Lodwar and its environs in the three days the activity will run.

KVB’s Senior Registration Officer Dr. Martin Muinde said the board supported the event as a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) requisite for the continuous registration of all veterinary surgeons and veterinary paraprofessionals in the country.

In the flag-off were Chief Officer Livestock, Veterinary Services and Fisheries Dr. Michael Eregae and Deputy Director-Administration Rachel Aroo among other staff in the Ministry.

TEAM TO DRIVE USHANGA KENYA INITIATIVE IN TURKANA LAUNCHED

A team to foster and manage beadwork production among women in Turkana through the Ushanga Kenya Initiative has been launched today.

The Ushanga County team will be chaired by the Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro and will include the County Executive Committee Member for Tourism, Chief Officers for Finance and Economic Planning, Gender and Social Services, Trade and Culture as well as two women representatives.

Speaking during a meeting with representatives from the Ushanga Kenya Steering Committee led by the Chairperson Hellen Nkaissery, Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro said Turkana as one of the communities in Kenya that practise beadwork, the expectations are expected to be huge among women.

Through the initiative launched last year, awareness of the exercise will be spread among women with creation of ownership and economic value of beadwork as a craft.

The Deputy Governor said that women will be trained on a diverse beadwork designs to ensure products from Turkana are unique. He said the initiative will be introduced at a small scale then gradually spread to the rest of the county.

“The women need to be trained to produce patterns that are accepted both in the Kenyan and international markets as beadwork is huge potential export industry. Also expand production from ornaments such as the bangles and bracelets to other items such as clothing items, baskets and others,” he said.

To protect women from losing ownership of unique designs, the DG called on mechanisms on ownership of designs through patents.

“The patents will limit conmen from taking advantage of the designs our women create and to ensure that if these designs are recreated elsewhere, a fee is paid to the owner of the design,” he added.

Mrs Nkaissery said the initiative will be implemented through women groups and cooperatives who will be trained on bead artistry, and receive raw materials with support on marketing and sales. She said the initiative had received strong backing from Governors led by Governor Josphat Nanok.

County Secretary Peter Eripete who is a member of the Ushanga Kenya National Steering Committee was present to witness the launch.

Finance and Economic Planning Executive Robert Ereng’ said that better mechanism had to be employed to ensure that County Governments tasked with implementation of the initiative are not overwhelmed with expectations.

In the meeting were County Executives, Charles Lokiyoto (Public Service and Disaster Management), Jennifer Nawoi (Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources), Anthony Apalia (Trade, Youth and Gender Affairs), Director of Tourism Shemmy Ekuwom and host of officers from the Ministry.

Mrs Nkaissery was accompanied by other officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife under which the initiative is based and will target seven counties: Baringo, Kajiado, Marsabit, Narok, Samburu, Turkana and West Pokot.

SITUATION BRIEF-MINISTRY OF HEALTH SERVICES AND SANITATION

The first case of acute watery diarhoea was reported on 11th January 2018 from Narengelup village of katilu ward. More similar cases from nearby villages were later admitted to Katilu sub county hospital which prompted the clinical team to query possibility of cholera. Initial investigations did not show evidence of cholera in the samples collected. All cases were managed and discharged.

The second round of samples collected in early February indicated presence of cholera organisms hence confirmation of cholera outbreak.

So far, a total of 5 cases have been confirmed by laboratory tests. All the 5 confirmed cases were from katilu area.

Note that cholera is a notifiable disease, a single confirmed case qualifies for declaration of an outbreak situation. This is where we are now as a county. The major peak of the outbreak was on 27th January 2018.

So far,a total of 147 cases have been managed and discharged in our county health facilities; 139 in Katilu sub county hospital, 5 in Lokichar and 3 at the Lodwar County and referral hospital.

Cases remained relatively low as from 9th February 2018 to 25th February 2018.This was attributed to the multi sectoral high impact response by the county team. New cases erupted in the last week of February from Angarabat village.

As at today, only 7 patients are admitted (4 in Katilu,1-angarabat and 2 at LCRH) and all of them are in stable condition with possibility of discharge.

No death has been reported during this outbreak period.

 

What has been done;

  • The county activated a multisectoral rapid response team under the leadership of the county director of Health to respond, coordinate and monitor emergency response.
  • 3 Cholera treatment centers were established to manage cases in Katilu, Angarabat and LCRH.There is an elaborate strategy to establish more treatment centers in case of further spread.
  • All sub county health management teams, health facilities and community health units have been put on alert mode.
  • Active case search and surveillance activities have been strengthened
  • Health education campaign spearheaded by field staffs and community health volunteers
  • Clean up and village sanitation campaigns are ongoing in all the 67 hotspot areas
  • Public health interventions that include ban on preparation of food in open air markets, closure of all food premises in affected areas, and examination of food handlers have been put in place
  • WASH commodities including jerry cans, aqua tabs, purr and soap have been distributed to affected and at risk population
  • Pharmaceuticals and non-pharms have been mobilized and prepositioned in all the 7 sub counties
  • Continuous sensitization of health care workers is ongoing in all our health facilities
  • The public have been asked to be on high alert and observe proper excreta management, water and food safety.
  • All government departments and stakeholders are involved in the intervention

Challenges

The current rain situation and reported outbreaks in other counties like Trans-Nzoia and west Pokot where we get our supplies

Sincerely

Dr.Stephen Namoru Ekitela

County Director of Health, Turkana County

 

Lokichoggio School Attack Victims Laid To Rest As Leaders Demand Action On Police Heads For Laxity

By Governor’s Press Service
Turkana leaders have demanded for action on heads of police in Lokichoggio for laxity in their response to last week’s gun attack at Lokichoggio Secondary School, as victims of the attack were laid to rest today.
Led by Governor Josphat Nanok the leaders called for a review of the security situation in the region and called on UNHCR and the police to investigate the refugee camp in Kakuma for illicit arms and undocumented refugees.
Debate over devolving security function at county level was reignited with Governor Nanok promising to push for this in his capacity as CoG Chairman.
“In my first time as Governor we saw the gap in the security sector and allocated money to pay the NPRs for three consecutive financial years but were never allowed to carry on. I hope this incident revives this issue,” he said.
The victims being laid to rest were students Joseph Epas Emoni, Emmanuel Ekai Lokwakai, Ipua Halloran Emuron and Peter Lojiem a security guard shot dead in the school.
Another victim Paterson Naweet was buried in Letea.
Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro said the County Government had deployed four ambulances to help ferry those injured during the attack to hospital and thanked Red Cross and IRC for coming to the aid of the injured students.
Senator Malachy Ekal demanded that UNHCR compensates families of those killed in the attack and called for better management of refugees.
On his part Turkana West MP Epuyo Nanok said that corruption within the police force allowed illicit arms to be shipped across the county and wondered how the lead gunman in the school attack travelled from Lokichoggio to Kakuma with a gun without detection by police in several roadblocks on the way.
His counterpart from Turkana Central John Lodepe called on counties where insecurity was rife to jointly push for devolution of security function.
Turkana South MP James Lomenen also spoke and discouraged the admission of refugees into local schools and said they should be limited to schools within refugee camps.
Governor Nanok promised said he agreed on calls by the MPs for unity among elected leaders and promised to call for a meeting to discuss important county issues.

Commissioning of Turkana Sub-County and Ward Administrators

Following the successful completion of a six weeks experiential leadership and command course training, Turkana County government sub-county administrators and a section of ward administrators were commissioned to service in a colorful event that was held at the county headquarters. The administrators obtained this course at The Administration Police Training College in Meru.

Hon. Governor Josphat Nanok presided over the event which also involved the launch of the administrators’ official uniform. The governor praised the administrators for undertaking their duties well from the period they were hired to serve despite having little training on administration.

“Feedback from the public on your work has been encouraging, your performance has exceeded the expectations we had of you. The remaining administrators who have not yet undergone training will get the training but in a way that service delivery to the public will not be interrupted,” said the Governor.

The County Secretary, Peter Eripete, raised that the training was necessary to induct the officers into administration because most of them had been recruited from different professions. Adding to this the County Executive Ministry of Public Service, Decentralized Administration and Deserter Management (PSDADM), Charles Lokioto said the training the administrators had undergone and the official attire was to bring uniformity and discipline among the administrators while discharging their duties.

The county government has built 30 ward offices, equipped them with solar power and is in the process of establishing the ward offices as centres of devolution at the ward levels. The ministry of PS, DA & DM will carry out an assessment and inspection of Kibish ward office and site visit of proposed construction of Kibish Sub-county office which is the first of its kind to be built in the county.

In his closing remarks, Governor Nanok asked County government employees to be faithful in their duties and not to be derailed by politics in discharging their duties as the country enters the electioneering period. He congratulated doctors and nurses working in Turkana and the Turkana County Ministry of Health and Sanitation for an agreement that kept the health workers at work throughout the three months doctors strike in the country. Had the doctors downed their tools, Turkana residents who are among those most hit by the ongoing drought in the country would have suffered.

The function was graced by Turkana County Commissioner Stephen Ikua, who told the administrators that the new attire and the training had given them additional responsibility as well as public scrutiny on their actions and asked them to remember that they are ambassadors of the county government.

Also present at the function were CEC Education Margaret Kuchal, CEC Health Jane Ajele, CEC Roads Augustin Logiron, Chief Officers and other county government officers.

 

Over half of Turkana residents have access to clean water

The County Government has increased access to clean water for domestic use in Turkana, despite water shortage being the biggest challenge in the region.

This was announced by Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok when he led the marking of the World Water Day at Kakimera, Kanamkemer Ward. He added that in the four years of his administration, the percentage of residents with access to clean water had risen from 34 to 56 percent.

“Water shortage remains our biggest challenge with over half a million residents of our county with no source of clean water for use. Pastoralists are the hardest-hit with this shortage,” he said.

The Governor added that this showed that there was need to pool funds from the national and county governments to solve the shortage.

The County Government, he said, had recruited an additional 80 officers to the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Agriculture and had procured state of the art equipment such as rigs for exploration and drilling of boreholes.

Governor Nanok used the occasion to open a fully equipped borehole at Kakemera which will serve several regions of Kanamkemer ward.

The water from the borehole, he said, was enough for domestic use and for irrigation and directed the ministry concerned to look into setting up of an irrigation scheme near the borehole.

The Governor told residents of Kanamkemer that his government had set up several projects that will benefit the ward, such as Ekalees Tobong’u Lore Centre that will also house a park and the County’s Biashara Centre, a medical store and several financial institutions, which he said will improve business.

Governor Nanok told leaders who were thinking of causing violence during the electioneering period that he will not allow such politics in Turkana. He asked politicians to ask for votes peacefully and let the people make the decision to either elect or reject them.