RELIEF FOR TRADERS AS COUNTY OKAYS RESUMPTION OF MARKET DAYS

Relief for traders as County Government okays resumption of market days

Loya, 24th August– Business people in Turkana can now 4breath a sigh of relief after the County Department of Trade acceded to pleas by traders to resume operations of open air markets, after months of closure due to the Corona Virus pandemic.

The decision to re-open markets follows last week’s resolution by Governors from North Rift Economic Block (NOREB) in a meeting in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.

NOREB Interim Chairperson H.E Governor Jackson Mandago in a statement while announcing resumption of the Livestock Market called upon respective Livestock Market Management Committees to work closely with County Departments of Livestock and that of Public Health, National and County Government Administration as well as the National Police Service to ensure traders in the markets embrace behavioural change as stipulated while engaging in all market processes. Markets which will fail to comply with these guidelines will be closed indefinitely.

Speaking today at Loya in Lokiriama/Lorengippi ward when she officiated re-opening of Loya border market, County Executive for Trade, Youth and Gender Affairs Ms Esther Lokwei called on youth and women-led businesses to register in groups to enable them benefit from the Kshs.133 million Youth and Women Empowerment Funds set to disbursed by the County Government in the next few months.

She added that gender and youth officers will soon move to the wards to sensitize wananchi on eligibility criteria, whilst distributing group loan application form to qualifying and registered groups.

While decrying the socio-economic impact of Corona Virus to the busssines Community in Turkana, CEC Lokwei urged residents to invest in livestock trade and other forms of business to generate income as alternative source of livelihood other than the traditional rearing of livestock for prestige and cultural purposes.

She promised to organize for a joint cross-border trade mission, in liaison with her counterpart in West Pokot County, to address concerns on imbalances in trade practices along the border point.

On the reported cases of illegal market and cross border border conflict between Turkana and West Pokot Counties, CEC Lokwei called for calm and patience among residents stating that the County Government officials together with National Administration will work together to address the issue to create harmony whilst deepening trade relations along the Loya and Nawoiyapong’ border areas.

County Chief Officer for Trade Dr. Michael Eregae assured traders that the department had budgeted Kshs. 10 million that will be used for renovation of the border market to create a conducive business environment for traders.

Dr. Eregae called for strict adherence to the Ministry of Health guidelines and protocols on Corona Virus adding that the County Government will improve infrastructure in all markets in Turkana to enable traders transact business with minimal challenges.

Trade Director James Lokwale said that the expansion works to be undertaken in Loya market will comprise a perimeter fence, open shed, ablution block, store, resting shed and a raised water tank in order to give a face-lift to the market.

The Loya integrated fresh produce and livestock market host traders from Turkana and West Pokot Counties as well as Tepeth community from the neighboring country of Uganda.

Others who spoke included Turkana County Chamber of Commerce Director and Committee Chair on Livestock and Agri-business Ms Elizabeth Lokolio, County Livestock Market Council Chairperson Joseph Losuru and Lorengippi location area Chief, Nathan Loong’orio.

PARTNERSHIP WITH LIVESTOCK STAKEHOLDERS A BOOST TO CROSS-BORDER TIES

County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun has said that livestock production partnership between the County Government and Livestock Market Systems(LMS) organisation has boosted cross-border trade ties.

He noted that launch of market days in Lokichar, Kakuma ,Lodwar and Lokiriama has enhanced cross-border trade linkages thus providing ready market for traders who now have an opportunity to sell their products during the established market days.

CEC Aemun spoke when he chaired a quarterly review meeting between LMS officials and representatives from County Government departments of Livestock production and Veterinary Services that play role on implementation of LMS activities.

LMS officers from Nairobi attended the meeting held in Lodwar, through zoom.

In his remarks, the County Executive said that the partnership on poultry and fish value chains has proven to be transformative after establishment of an ice plant and poultry feed processing in Loropio village in Kalokol Ward.

CEC Aemun stated that completion of Napeililim holding ground and Lomosogol breeding centre would reduce losses leading to an increase on livestock assets productivity and income to the owners.

The Kenya Livestock Market Systems activities funded by USAID seeks to strengthen community resilience in Northern Kenya and reduce poverty, hunger, and chronic malnutrition by expanding and diversifying viable economic activities.

LMS has conducted a feasibility study and development of operations framework awaiting discussion with the County Attorney on operationalization of the Lomosogol breeding centre in Kerio Delta ward through a public-private partnership agreement.

CEC Aemun assured LMS of County Government commitment to partner with livestock production stakeholders to achieve County Government agenda on food security, through investing on different value chains that would enhance livelihood diversification.

CEC Aemun said diversification is meant to provide alternative source through value chain addition on different producer groups in the Turkana that would be mapped by the sectoral county departments and LMS.

He added that identification and strengthening of the livestock value chains would open up business opportunities in Turkana to neighbouring regions and increase sales for producer groups. He emphasized on the need to invest on honey production, processing and branding before its release to the market.

LMS Technical Coordination Director Erastus Kyalo stated that they will support livelihoods diversification by strengthening established cooperative groups through livestock market policies.

KAIKOR SALEYARD TO BOOST LIVESTOCK MARKET ACCESS IN TURKANA NORTH-CEC AEMUN

County Executive for Agriculture,Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun has said that completion of the ongoing construction of Kaikor livestock saleyard will  improve livestock market access and trade for pastoralists ,and other market players for increased livestock productivity & profitability.

Speaking when he inspected the project  in Kibish Sub-County, CEC Aemun
expressed optimism that the saleyard which is strategically situated on the livestock routes targeting livestock in Turkana North & Kibish areas would open up the region to livestock traders and herders who initially travelled miles away to look for markets .

He noted that the establishment of market days would catalyse bussiness activities in the region that he said had quality herds of livestock that would sale for good prizes in the market.

The department of livestock production in collaboration with other Livestock production partners has plans to operationalize all existing livestock markets through established market days & structured livestock market information system.

The County executive is accompanied by Fisheries, Livestock production and Veterinary Services Chief Officer Abdullahi Yussuf and Veterinary  Director Benson Longor .

The team separately met with the Kibish Sub-County and Kaikor ward administrator where discussion on ministry projects were extensively discussed.

Chief Officer Abdullahi Yussuf said that the department would coordinate with the administrators offices to ease service delivery to the pastoralist community

FRONTIER COUNTIES MEET TO REVIEW BILL TO ESTABLISH THE BLOC AS LEGAL ENTITY

Lodwar, September 10th, 2019 – Member Counties of the Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) are meeting in Lodwar to review a bill which once passed by County Assemblies will make the regional bloc a legal entity.

FCDC Chairman and Mandera Governor Ali Roba who opened the sensitization workshop of Speakers, Members of County Assemblies, Executive and other stakeholders on the proposed law, said the bill will anchor the bloc in law to guide its operations.

“The FCDC is the only remaining forum where the affairs of true counties in the ASALs are addressed and our aim is to have an act that will protect and anchor the entity in law even after the exit of pioneer Governors and the current crop of leaders,” he said adding that there was a lot of interest from the donor community to support the council on development.

He said due to the economic potential of ASALs counties because of its vast lands and abundance of minerals and other natural resources, Frontier counties had to strategically position themselves to ensure profits of investments in oil, renewable energy and other minerals benefited the region.

On his part, host Governor Josphat Nanok urged County Assemblies to prioritise the passage of the bill before end of this calendar year to ensure the formation of FCDC is entrenched in law.

He underlined the importance of County Assemblies in the running of the Council and encouraged better relationship between the Executive and Legislative arms to support development. He assured that he will ensure Turkana led by example and highlighted how disagreements over budgetary allocations were resolved through consensus.

Governor Nanok called on the Assemblies to develop legislation which will protect communities’ right to land and other natural resources, which he insisted will ensure counties in the ASALs were not overlooked in investments on resources found on their land. He said the priority should be a law on Community Land that will protect ownership of land utilised in the extractives sector.

The workshop held at the Camp Cradle brings together Speakers, Majority and Minority members of the County Assemblies as well as representatives from the Executive wings of member counties.

The plenary sessions were led by the Speaker of Turkana County Assembly Erastus Lokaale.

Senior County Government officers in attendance included County Attorney Erastus Ethekon, CEC for Public Service and Disaster Management Esther Lokwei Chief of Staff Ekuwom Nakiporo, Legal Advisor Nobert Okumu among others.

WORLD BANK GROUP TO SUPPORT TURKANA COUNTY TO AUTOMATE KEY GOVERNMENT TO BUSINESS SERVICES

Turkana Lodwar, Kenya August, 25 2019 – Turkana County Government has signed an advisory agreement with the World Bank Group’s Kenya Competitiveness Enhancement Program (KCEP) to design and implement business regulation reforms that make it simpler, faster, more efficient and convenient for businesses to start, operate and thrive.  

As part of the Agreement signed yesterday, KCEP will support the Turkana County Government to design and implement an online licensing system that automates the processes and procedures of obtaining a single business permit (SBP). The Agreement also includes support towards the design and development of an investment promotion portal for the Turkana County Government, the review of relevant legal and regulatory framework, capacity building, as well as communication and public awareness, all of which are essential to sustainably deliver on the reforms.

His Excellency Josphat Nanok, Turkana County Governor said: “The advisory signed is a major boost to the County Government’s reform agenda that is geared towards improving the business environment across the county to promote investments. The Electronic Development Applications Management System (E-DAMS) which we aim to develop through this partnership will guide development and quicken application process for business permits and further improve accountability and transparency of the process.”

Sarah Ochieng, World Bank Group’s Kenya Competitiveness Enhancement Program Manager said: “In a competitive business landscape, it has become imperative for counties to innovate and leverage on Information Technology in order to be responsive to the needs of businesses and investors in an efficient and timely manner. Automating Government to Business (G2B) services is one sure way of attracting and retaining businesses by reducing the compliance time and costs and making the processes more transparent.”

KCEP is a four-year program financed by UK Aid, which aims to improve Kenya’s business environment through enhanced efficiency and transparency. KCEP also supports the development of markets in key sectors leading to increased private investment through targeted legal and regulatory improvements at national and sub-national levels. KCEP is being implemented by the World Bank Group’s Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice.

In addition to Turkana County, KCEP has signed Advisory Agreements with other identified counties in Kenya including Mombasa, Kilifi, Narok and Kajiado.

CALL FOR EXHIBITORS

Turkana County will be hosting the 5th Tourism & Cultural Festival
from 14th-17th August 2019 at Ekalees Centre, Lodwar.

The festival will showcase Turkana’s tourism attractions, cultural heritage and diversity. We invite interested exhibitors to participate in the
event subject to satisfying the set criteria.

Expressions of interest should be submitted to the Tobong’u Lore Secretariat (Biashara Centre) by 7th August 2019.

Youth, Women, People with disabilities and other marginalized groups
are encouraged to apply. Priority will be given to exhibitors showcasing
cultural products.

WORKSHOP FOR MASTER BEADERS TO ENHANCE DESIGN DEVELOPMENT

Chief Officer Pauline Lokuruka of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources yesterday opened a ten-day Ushanga Initiative workshop for Master Beaders (trainers of trainers) at Napak Tented Campy in Eliye Springs.

The workshop is expected to equip 20 women trainers of trainers (ToTs) from Loima, Turkana Central and South Sub-counties with more beading skills using machines, to spur their inspiration for their own designs and use the said machines to actualise them and for value addition.

Speaking at the workshop, the chief officer challenged the women to own the initiative. “This initiative is for women and it gives you [women] the opportunity to make a business out of ushanga. And you are also promoting culture.”

The initiative is meant to train women in Turkana County on beadwork in order to empower them by changing the perception that the only use for beads is adornment. It can be used as an economic asset to improve their lives.

Hon. Alice Nang’iro – Nominated Member of County Assembly and Vice Chair of the Tourism, Culture and Social Services Committee – said the initiative is truly for the women in Turkana to improve their lives. She then advised the trainees to own the Ushanga Initiative and to fast track their potential in the ushanga industry.

She emphasised the need for them to show dedication and commitment so as to make it easier for her to lobby for funds to support more women beaders in the County Assembly.

Deputy Director of Culture, Philip Lokaala, reminded the group of their previous 14-day training – held last August in Lokichar – which focused on product finishing. He added that his department is working on reaching the rest of the sub-counties; Turkana East, Turkana West and Turkana North and Kibish.

The training of the Master Beaders is expected to give them the necessary skills to eventually develop their own designs that can be replicated by their future students.

“The role for designers will be training the rest of the women in entire Turkana county. Therefore, I encourage you to grow the others by your own example,” said Patricia Mbela, expert beader and trainer.

In her closing remarks, the Chief Lokuruka challenged the women to work hard on honing their beading skills and to improve the design so they can market their beaded products both locally and internationally.

COUNTY GOVERNMENT IN AN INSPECTION DRIVE OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES

The County Government is conducting a countywide inspection exercise to verify electronic weighing and measuring equipment, including fuel pumps.
The drive by County Weights and Measures officers which targets over 3,000 traders across the seven sub counties, began in January and will go on for three months.

It’s objective is to enforce standards of weights and measures in order to promote fair trade practices and protect both sellers & consumers from exploitation.

County Director of Trade James Lokwale has urged traders to embrace and support the exercise which he said will create a conducive business environment for traders.

“I am calling upon traders in Turkana to support us inculcate the culture of Fair Trade and Consumer Protection in our business operations.
We will soon be rolling out a consumers awareness program on the importance of business fraternity using internationally accepted weights and measurements standards,” he said.

Leading the exercise is Deputy Director of Internal Trade Wilson Ejiye. The inspection usually Carrie out on quarterly basis by the Department of Weights & Measures under the Directorate of Trade, Industrialization and Enterprise Development.

This is in line with Section 27 of Weight and Measures Act Cap. 513 of the Constitution, the exercise is done for purposes of assizing and stamping traders weights,weighing and measure and measuring instruments.

CALL FOR EXHIBITORS TOBONG’U LORE 2018

Turkana County will be hosting the 4th Tourism & Cultural Festival from 19th-21st April 2018 at Ekalees Centre, Lodwar.The festival will showcase Turkana’s cultural heritage and diversity.
We invite interested exhibitors to participate in the event subject to satisfying the set criteria. Youth, Women, People with disabilities and other marginalized groups are encouraged to apply.
Expressions of interest should be submitted to the Tobong’u Lore Secretariat (Biashara Centre) by 12th April 2018.
For exhibition applications and further information call Purity on 0701264042 or email: trade@turkana.go.ke

Tullow Allays Fears of Emergence of Crude Oil Black Market

By Governor’s Press Service

Tullow oil has moved to assure of security of oil exploration sites in Turkana after shocking reports of alleged developing black market of crude oil in Lokichar.

In a meeting with Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok and other senior county government officials today at the County Headquarters, Tullow Country Manager Martin Mbogo said that all Tullow installations where crude oil mined was stored was secure and expressed confidence that substance at the centre of alleged black market did not originate from any of the company’s sites.

“We have followed up on these reports and even sought to find and analyse samples of the material but have found none, but what we are sure of is that the substance did not come from any Tullow site where crude oil is produced. We are cooperating with the police and have also ensured that all our sites are under tight security,” Mr Mbogo said.

He informed the Governor that the social investment projects by the company that include health centres in Lokichar and Kasuroi will now be handed over to the County Government to benefit residents after conclusion of court cases that had stalled the handing over.

Governor Nanok said that there was need for better engagement among the parties including the National and County Government, Tullow and the community with the next phase of oil production expected to commence. He raised concern of uncertainty rising from standoff between the Natioanl and County Government over the share of oil revenue.

“The public and the County feels ignored on issues raised over oil exploration and there is the feeling that we have no control of the process after production. This standoff affected the early oil project. The four parties in this process need better consultation,” he said.

The Governor announced of plans to push for legislation on land ownership and documentation that will guide in compensation, a matter he said was as contentious as the impasse over oil revenue sharing formula.

Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro reiterated the importance of dialogue and community participation in programmes, a situation he said would lessen roadblocks and allow the contractor operate with ease.

The County Government has urged for fairness in staff layoff expected with suspension of drilling process, with Governor Nanok terming the matter delicate that needed to follow the law.

On waste management Tullow have informed the county that a team of environmental officers had addressed concern over waste disposal and had put mechanism to manage waste currently produced.

In the meeting were CECMs Jane Ajele (Health) and Esther Lokwei (Lands), Chief Officer for Energy Stella Opakas, Chief of Staff Abraham Losinyen, Advisors to the Governor Norbert Okumu (Legal) and Joseph Ekalale (Political).