DG LOTETHIRO ASSURES OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT SUPPORT OF WORLD VISION PROGRAMME IN KALAPATA

The County Government will coordinate with World Vision in implementation of the organisation’s Area Development Programme (ADP) for Kalapata.

Speaking during the launch of the programme today in Kang’akipur, Kalapata Ward Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro insisted that better collaboration  between government, was the key for the success and ensuring programmes have the biggest impact on residents targeted.

He said the launch was a welcome boost to the County Government’s investment in the region in health, education, water services, which he said will contribute to solving challenges that still faced residents.

The DG insisted that Partnership and Investments which was a key pillar in Governor Nanok’s five transformative agenda for the second term, will be strengthened to fill resource deficit by the County Government in developing Turkana and getting services to residents.

He encouraged World Vision to further partner with the County Government and support peace and security efforts especially along troubled borders.

He assured residents of Kalapata that the County will soon rollout the first cycle of relief food to cushion residents in regions hard hit by drought, from its effects.

World Vision acting National Manager Jeremiah Nyaga said through the ADP, the organisation will undertake development projects in the ward for between 10 to 15 years.

He said Kalapata had been picked as the most deserving region with residents facing numerous challenges in education with poor infrastructure and shortage of teachers, in health and water shortage.

Nyaga promised that the organisation will work closely with the County Government and other development partners in the region. He encouraged residents to hold their officers accountable and ensure they lived up to the the aspirations of the organisation on transparency.

On his part, Turkana South MP James Lomenen called for coordinated approach to development from both governments and organisations to avoid duplication of projects.

Having previously worked in World Vision before and due to their track record, the MP said he was confident that residents of Kalapata would benefit from the organisation’s work.

He echoed the DG’s assurance of support of World Vision projects, by the leadership of Turkana.

Others who spoke at the event were Kalapata MCA Peter Edung’, World Vision Regional Coordinator Katherine Kibomoi, Turkana South subcounty Administrator Losikiria among others.

Heads of various departments in the World Vision national office and representatives from other regional offices in Kenya were present to witness the launch.

PUTTING THE COMMUNITY AT THE CENTRE OF FOREST PROTECTION AND CONSERVATION

The Kalokol Community Forest Association (CFA) was trained on sustainable utilisation of forest resources and the roles and responsibilities of the association under the devolved forestry functions.

The Department of Natural Resources – under the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources – is expected to support the associations to be on the forefront of forest management around their area of residence.

Speaking at the baraza in town before the training, Chief Officer of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources Pauline Lokuruka said that the county is working to empower forest associations with the necessary protection and conservation skills.

“We want to empower the associations so that the county can be buying seedlings from them during national tree planting days,” said Chief Lokuruka.

According to the Deputy Director of Natural Resources Pauline Ngoli Pusiye, forest management is under the county government; “The forests are our responsibility to manage, conserve and protect as stipulated under the forestry devolved.”

The department’s focus will be nature-based enterprises like harvesting gum arabica from trees to protect and conserve the forests. On the issue of charcoal, the department was also working a charcoal management plan to develop a sustainable charcoal industry that benefits the communities in county.

One of the benefits of forming a CFA is that the community can identify their specific threats and solutions. In Kalokol, the biggest threat has been to the palm trees which locals use for smoking fish.

With technical support from Kenya Forest Service (KFS), said Johnson Komu, the Assistant Eco-system Conservator – Turkana County, CFAs will be able develop a constitution that is inline with the National Government’s rules and regulations.

In partnership with KFS, which is still has the enforcement mandate, the Natural Resources department hopes to deter wanton destruction of forests for firewood and charcoal burning.

The department and KFS distributed 250 seedlings at the centre.

Governor Nanok calls for immediate security intervention to end Turkana South attacks

Governor Josphat Nanok has called on national security agencies to crackdown on perpetrators of banditry attacks witnessed in the past three days at border between Turkana, West Pokot counties.

Speaking during an interview with Standard Media Group reporters in his office today, the Governor insisted that security remained a core responsibility of the national government and demanded for action by police on intelligence that the attacks were politically instigated.

“It is sad the situation is getting out of hand and Interior CS Matiangi has to take action and have to begin by going after the perpetrators of these attacks and stop those causing this impunity because if left to go scot-free then they are bound to repeat this impunity”

“The national government whose responsibility it is to provide security are aware of what is happening and have the intelligence to stop the attacks,” he said.

Governor Nanok added that the situation had escalated beyond possible intervention by the political leadership, after separate attacks on Kainuk and Kakong’u police posts as well as vehicles plying the Lodwar- Kitale highway.

He maintained that it was in the interest of the national government to maintain stability in the area with planned development of national assets including oil production and other related infrastructural developments. He warned that the conflict could halt the exploitation of natural resources and prevent Kenyans from benefitting.

He cited the insecurity situation in Tiaty constituency to be the cause of conflicts in regions neighboring the area, including Turkana East, Turkana South, Marakwet South, Samburu West and North, Baringo North and South and Laikipia West constituencies.

The Governor further blamed lack of security enforcement by the national government and poor infrastructure as hindrance to efforts to maintain security along the border areas.

On underlying issues of the conflict, the county chief mentioned the upcoming census, encroachment of Turkana land and cattle rustling attacks and retaliatory attacks to be key causes of the attacks.

He urged the media to be balanced in their reporting of the conflict and gave an example of the one-sided coverage of claims that the convoy of West Pokot Governor was attacked by police; where the claims were not corroborated by the County Commandant of Police and the County Commissioner despite being present in the press briefing.

LORUGUM SUB COUNTY HOSPITAL FIRST SURGICAL OPERATION

It’s impossible until it’s done”—Nelson Mandela

This is the story of improved and reinvigorated health services in Turkana driven by a vision of equity affordability and accessibility of health care to all.

Lorugum sub county hospital was established in 2015 as a health center to deliver MNCH (Integrated Maternal Neonatal Child Health) services to the rural pastoral nomadic Turkana herdsmen and marginalized minority groups in Loima namely Nkebootok and Ichakun, and IDP’s. With the advent of devolution and reorganization of health services in Turkana, the facility was upgraded to a Sub County Hospital to serve as a referral CEMONC (comprehensive emergency obstetric and neonatal care) Centre for other 35 health centers and dispensaries within Loima region. It is serving a population of about 250, 000 people in one of the poorest and remotest parts of North Western Kenya.

Turkana County since independence has had a plethora of health related challenges. This narrative is steadily and consistently changing for the better when the County Government with the help of its partners managed to reverse some of these worrying trends. Since accessing specialized health care was a big challenge, operating theatres and CeMONC centers have been constructed in Lorugum, Katilu, one is coming up in Lokitaung in the far North and before the year ends, one will be put in Elelea to serve Turkana East. This effectively is calculated to decongest Lodwar County Referral Hospital and take services closer to the people. Maternal mortality rate has come down from 1594/100,000 live births six years ago to the current 500/100,000 live births. Under 5 mortality rate has also reduced from 117/100 live births within the same period to 74/1000 live births and infant mortality rate has come down from 72/1000 live births to 52/1000 live births.

In 2016,DFID and its other agencies CICF,CHDP,UKAID,IRC in collaboration with the Turkana county government partnered to renovate maternity ward building to create a theatre and neonatal unit to provide specialized CEMONC services. This was part and parcel of the wider UK Government bid to improve maternal and new born health through County Innovation Challenge Fund that led to 5 counties benefitting Turkana being one of them. They equipped the theatre with surgical hardware and neonatal unit with baby incubators,phototherapy machines,continuous positive airway machines,and oxygen concentrators.Solar panels and a backup generator were installed to provide power in case of power outages.The anaesthetic machine came in with an inbuilt battery,ventilator ,oxygen concentrator and  patient monitor capable of sustaining an operation for upto 6 hours without use of power.This centre was commissioned by Turkana CEC Health Hon.Jane Ajele on 21.1.2019.From then on it was all systems go.

The climax of this narrative occurred when the hospital successfully carried out its first caesarian section on 8th February 2019 and delivered twin baby girls weighing 3,5kgs and 2.3kgs respectively. This heralded opening up of Loima Sub County at large to surgical operations not only for maternal related complications but also for other general surgical procedures. It’s intended as well to serve Eastern Uganda residents who drop by to access specialized services.

Hospital Vision is to be the CEMONC and referral hospital of choice for Loima Sub County and the region. The mission is to build a sustainable client centered health care system for attainment of the highest standard of health care at a cost which the community can afford in the spirit of self-reliance and self-determination. The core obligation of Lorugum sub county is to implement Universal health coverage in line with the Kenya health policy  framework of 2014-20130 which has  two targets: One is to ensure access to quality health care as a fundamental human right to  a larger section of the population especially  the aged,the disabled,vulnerable and the poorest of the poor and secondly is to attain economic growth as contained in Kenya vision 2030.

Ejok noi kingarakinite namerikanyer.

Major rtd Dr.Ekiru James Kidalio

Medical superintendent Lorugum subcounty hospital.

COUNTY-PARTNER IMPLEMENTATION AGREEMENT TO BE SIGNED SOON

The county departments and partners met, yesterday, to polish the finer details of an agreement for implementation of activities supported by the development partner, GiZ. Led by the Ministry of Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries

Led by the County Executive Committee member (CEC) Chris Aletia – Ministry of Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries, it was agreed there was need to harmonise the activities with partners to improve service delivery to the people of Turkana County.
“We are here to find the best methods of implementation by the various county departments and our development partner to ensure that these activities are well coordinated and successful,” he said.
The Department of Natural Resources, under the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources, was one of the departments that would soon benefit from the partner support in its tree planting exercises and proposis management.
The partner’s 2019 activities were mapped with assistance from the various county departments, who had met earlier in Nairobi, involved with reference to the 2018 – 2022 County Integrated Development Plan.
Chief Officer of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources Pauline Lokuruka emphasised on clear communication channel to the various county ministries/departments involved especially when it came to staff engagement.
In attendance were Chief Officers Dr. Michael Eregae (Pastoral Economy and Fisheries) Joshua Lemuya (Agriculture and Land Reclamation).
Other ministries include Lands, Energy, Housing & Urban Management; Trade, Gender & Youth Affairs; and Water Services, Environment & Mineral Resources. Other development partners to be engaged under an agreement are Agency for Pastoralists Development (APAD), Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) and Caritas Lodwar (Diocese of Lodwar).

DG Lotethiro launches KOICA-Unicef water management partnership project

Residents of Turkana Central and Loima sub counties are set to benefit from a water management project funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and implemented by Unicef in collaboration with the County Government.

The four year KOICA project: “Strengthening community resilience in Turkana County through improved water management” launched by the Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro, KOICA Country Director Hyeyoung Shin and Unicef WASH Chief Andrew Trevett today in Naipa, Kang’atotha Ward, aims to improve water availability for domestic and livestock use, increase of water points and improved sanitation.

Speaking during the launch that doubled up as the official opening of the Naipa Water Supply facility, DG Lotethiro commended KOICA for its support of Turkana since 2008 on improved water services and hygiene.

He said the KOICA-Unicef project will be a major boost in the County Government investment to end the challenge of water shortage through development of Turkana’s immense underground water resources.

The DG maintained that despite the County Government’s effort to provide water to majority of residents, the region’s water needs were greater than budgetary allocations available which called for more support from development partners.

He expressed appreciation for the project which targets 250,000 people in rural areas to be water secure and 775 villages to have improved hygiene and sanitation practices through elimination of open defecation using community led total sanitation (CLTS) model.

Ms. Shin, who is exiting as KOICA Country Director, said she was satisfied in what the agency had achieved under her tenure through the successful partnership with Unicef. She said the agency was eager to invest in counties that in their view had greatest water needs.

Newly appointed Country Director Soyeon Shin said she was impressed by the joint effort by the County Government, KOICA and Unicef to ensure the implementation of the project was successful. She expressed her commitment to ensure the project was completed.

WASH Chief Trevett said the project was an investment in people through improving resilience of communities in facing natural disasters and climate change.

County Executive for Water Services Emathe Namuar in commending the project said it will benefit a quarter of the county’s population and assured of his Ministry’s support to ensure the project achieves its expected impacted. He added that with the availability of water, the community will be supported to set up small irrigation schemes for subsistence farming, as part of effort to achieve food security.

Members of County Assembly who spoke at the launch were Chairman of the Water, Environment and Natural Committee James Abei, area MCA John Lokwatuba and Nominated MCA Philip Alany.

Also present were County Ministry of Health officers, KOICA and Unicef staff

County Government and Oxfam to partner to strengthen governance and accountability

The County Government and global charitable organization Oxfam will partner to improve governance and accountability to boost the government’s transparency to the public.

In a meeting with Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro at the County Government Headquarters, Oxfam Country Director Sumananjali Mohanty said though the organization had changed its strategy on humanitarian support, their vision of transforming communities through fighting inequality and poverty remained.

She explained that Oxfam program in Turkana was aimed at supporting active participation of citizens in governance, promoting gender justice through pushing for behavior and attitude changes, humanitarian work which had shifted to supporting the County Government improve its capacity.

On exploitation of natural resources, Ms Mohanty said that Oxfam was working to ensure local communities “secure rights to access, control and own their land and are empowered to make decisions.”

She committed to support the County Government in policymaking and formulation of transparent laws, policies and regulations.

DG Lotethiro proposed a structured engagement with Oxfam through formalising partner by signing of MoU. The agreement he said will address resource gaps that existed towards achieving transparency and accountability.

He insisted that the County Government required more support to meet its mandate on public participation especially in formulation of bills and policies, as required by law. He cited the vastness of Turkana and poor technology as some of challenges to conclusive public participation.

On the extractive sector, the DG said the county was in a critical point with heightened debate on acquisition and use of land as well as revenue sharing, which called for better support to improve community awareness and participation.

Present in the meeting were County Executive Emathe Namuar (Water Services,Environment and Mineral Resources), Chris Aletia (Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries), Charles Lokiyoto (Public Service and Disaster Management) who echoed calls for further support on policy formulation and legislation.

Others were County Attorney Erastus Ethekon, Chief Officer for Water Services Moses Natome and Deputy Director Water Services Tito Ochieng.

Accompanying the Country Director were Liason Officer John Lokopu, Meal Advisor Blandina Bobson and Regional Advisor on Extractives Gilbert Makore.

CS BALALA AND GOVERNOR NANOK MEET TURKANA COUNTY TOURISM STAKEHOLDERS

The cabinet secretary of Tourism and Wildlife, Najib Balala, and Governor Josphat Nanok met the tourism stakeholders today to chart a way forward on how to package and promote tourism products to make Turkana one of the leading tourism destinations in Kenya.
Speaking at the meeting, the CS Balala emphasised the need to develop tourism products that give experience. “Focus on cultural tourism and connect it with the beach and package it well then Lake Turkana can rival even Diani [South Coast].”
He revealed that with the recent launch of the “National Tourism Blueprint 2030” it contains the plan to open up the Northern frontier. The CS said that they would be working on a masterplan that encompasses the Turkana, Samburu and Marsabit eco-system in order to develop tourism products that are interconnected.
On his part, Governor Nanok said that the county government would like to collaborate with the national Tourism Ministry on three key areas; the promotion of Tobong’ulore as a national cultural event, the development of the Science Park and developing Lake Turkana for game fishing, cage fishing, water sports
“We also need to move with speed to protect Lake Lokipi as it is a flamingo breeding site. There will soon be human encroachment especially now with the geothermal exploration being carried out in the area,” said the Governor.
He added that Turkana is known across the globe because the archaeological discoveries and culture. When the full potential of these two products are realised, said Governor Nanok, it will not only benefit the county but the country as a whole.
In her presentation, County Committee Executive member (CEC) Jennifer Nawoi stated that the improvement of access to some of the tourism products would greatly benefit the county; a ring road round the lake connecting the western and eastern part of Lake Turkana and good connectivity with international borders for example from a Kidepo National Park (Uganda) loop through Turkana to Omorate (Ethiopia). This will also require the creation of immigration offices the border towns of Loima, Nadapal, Kibish and Todonyang.
In his closing remarks, CS Balala assured the stakeholders that Kenya Tourism Board was ready to assist in the promotion of the county’s tourism and have Utalii College to carry out refresher courses with the local hoteliers.

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.