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EASTER MESSAGE TO RESIDENTS OF TURKANA COUNTY

 

I join fellow Christians in Turkana County and the rest of Kenya to celebrate Easter and send greetings to all during this joyful holiday.

As we remember the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and His victory over death, let us take a moment to reflect on the sacrifice He gave for the salvation of mankind.

May this Holy week serve as an inspiration for all of us facing tribulations that in the end hope and love triumphs even over death.

May the life and service of Christ on earth serve as an example to all of us, for those in positions of authority and even for all who are privileged, to serve, comfort to love and offer hope to those less privileged in our midst and our neighbours.

Our County is currently faced with a severe drought and majority of residents are in different levels of food stress.

My administration has in the last two weeks been engaged in procuring of relief food consignment for the second phase of relief food distribution, most of which has been received at our Lodwar stores.

This phase of relief food distribution which targets next three months as planned, will be rolled out on Saturday April 20th. Dispatch for Turkana West sub-county, which has been the most affected region will begin today Friday April 19th.

This April cycle of relief distribution is expected to go on for the next three weeks and as announced before, benefit a total of 609,167 residents- 243,667 who are in need of immediate food relief and 365,000 whose food security is deteriorating.

We have also approved procurement of fortified porridge for children under five, and breastfeeding mothers as a solution to rising malnutrition rates revealed through a mass nutrition survey by the County Department of Health.

Other forms of response including water trucking to remote areas of the county, provision of water tanks, repairs and maintenance of broken water systems and boreholes will continue to ensure residents have clean water for domestic use and for livestock.

The County Department of Health as part of drought response has increased nutritional support to the elderly, increased the number of Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) for better accessibility and accelerated Water Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) as well as community health services.

The Department will continue monitoring the situation and advise on best interventions to ensure the situation is well managed.

Mass treatment of camels against Haemorrhagic Septicaemia has so far treated 17332 camels of the 114487 targeted by end of June.

The countywide aerial tree locust spray which begun last month to end the infestation will be concluded this week, having achieved the targeted 837.37km squares of land.

With the dry season expected to continue due to failure of the March-April rains, the County Government will procure 4200 bags of livestock feeds for lactating and emaciated stock to prevent livestock deaths.

I wish to assure all residents of Turkana that the County Government is committed to ensure that the section of our population experiencing food stress will receive relief food relief and benefit from the drought emergency response for the next three months and until the end of the severe drought period.

I wish all Christian brothers and sisters celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, a blessed Good Friday and a Happy Easter.

Josphat Nanok EGH

Governor, Turkana County

 

DG Lotethiro flags off vehicles to support health services delivery

Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro today presided over the release of three vehicles to sub-counties to support provision of health services by the County Government.

He said the utility vehicles will aid health officers in Turkana North, Turkana West and Turkana South sub-counties in supervision of health services, monitoring and evaluation as well as facilitate in referrals of patients.

The DG also said that the vehicles will be used in emergency drought response and directed the Health Department to ensure that they are used for their intended purpose for benefit of residents in the respective sub-counties.

County Health Executive Jane Ajele explained that the three sub-counties had shortage of vehicles which necessitated the addition for better distribution of health commodities. Chief Officer Robert Abok said the vehicles will contribute to improve health indicators in the sub-counties.

The flagging off was witnessed by a host of staff from the County Health Department including Deputy Directors Sarah Akiru (Health Monitoring and Evaluation) and Joyce Ilikwel (Deputy Director Administration), Turkana West MOH and Dr. Ongaki Dominic among others.

Tullow oil hand over lokichar sub county hospital to the county

The county has acquired a multi-million health facility with a maternity, laboratory, outpatient department, mortuary and pharmacy from Tullow oil kenya at a ceremony attended by the public as well as national and county government leaders.

The facility which sits on a 30 acres piece of land in Lokichar ward of Turkana south sub county was handed over to the county government by Edward Mungatana on behalf of Tullow oil at a colorful ceremony at the hospital grounds on 13th April 2019 in the presence of Hon James Lomenen the area MP and Raphael Loperito the area MCA.

The hand over was preceded by tree planting and, official opening of the facility to the public and a declaration of transfer of its ownership and management to the county ministry of Health.

The Governor of the county Hon. Josephat Nanok who was the guest of honor was represented by Dr Roberts Abok the county chief officer for health and sanitation.

While thanking Tullow oil for the facility, Hon Nanok reiterated the commitment of his government towards equipping the facility with the needed manpower and infrastructure for enhanced delivery of medical services to the locals of Lokichar ward and Turkana south in general.

He further divulged that the county ministry of health had participated in the design of the facility and had meticulous plans to expand the hospital by increasing staff, putting up a KMTC, staff quarters and essential social amenities.

Area MP Hon. James Lomenen on his part pledged moral and technical support to the hospital and collaboration with the county government in addressing challenges that may occur in the running of the facility. The views of Hon. Lomenen were fully supported by the area MCA. During the handover ceremony, the area DCC who was the representative of the national government used the occasion to encourage locals to register for huduma number.

The director for public health Alfred Emanman noted that with the acquisition of Lokichar hospital, Turkana south had two facilities with the status of level four hospitals in katilu and Lokichar. He encouraged the locals to take advantage of the first ever public health facility in the area and utilize its services.

The sub county health management team led by Dr Veronoca Ereng confirmed that the facility had sufficient space, manpower and equipment to operate on a 24 hours basis every day.

Three new vehicles acquired for health and drought response interventions

The Ministry of health has acquired three land cruiser units from Toyota Kenya. The vehicles are expected to be flagged off 12th April 2019 at the MoH headquarters by the senior management team led by the CECM Hon. Jane Ajele and the health chief officer Dr. Roberts Abok. County transport officer and the chief mechanical engineer joined ministry officials during inspection to ensure conformity of the units with the required specifications. The vehicles are expected to enhance service delivery at the sub county level and make a contribution towards improving the (Reproductive Maternal Neo-natal Child Adolescents Health) indicators in hard to reach areas. The vehicles will also help to fast track health, nutrition and sanitation response interventions during the current drought and help alleviate suffering.

COUNTY GOVERNMENT STEPPING UP RELIEF EFFORTS TO RESIDENTS FACING HUNGER-GOVERNOR NANOK

Governor Josphat Nanok has assured that the County Government is undertaking a humanitarian relief assistance programme to cushion residents from the effects of ongoing severe droughts.
Speaking when he addressed the media in his office today, the Governor said the ongoing exercise which was targeting 805,000 residents who are under food stress had already reached 70 percent of affected population.
“The County Government has intervened to provide humanitarian relief food supplies amounting to 2,500 metric tonnes equivalent of 36,000bags of 50kgs white maize, 10,000 bags of 50kgs beans and 10,000 jerricans of 20litre cooking oil. The distribution of these food supplies begun on 28th February and is expected to reach the targeted population in hard hit wards,” he said.
The wards are Kaeris, Kaaleng’/Kaikor, Lapur and Upper Lake Zone in Turkana North; Kibish; Naanam, Songot, Letea and Lopur in Turkana West; Kerio Delta and upper Kalokol in Turkana Central; Lobei/Kotaruk and Turkwel in Loima; Lobokat, Kalapata and Upper Lokichar in Turkana South and Kapedo, Lokori/Kochodin and Katilia in Turkana East.

He reported that 576,000 beneficiaries of the those targeted have already received the food and estimated that the rest will be reached in the course of next week. He said provision and delivery of food to an enrollment of 113, 718 pupils to 171 ECDs centers was ongoing.
The Governor urged for support from the National Government and humanitarian organisations to avert a humanitarian crisis.
On top of the relief food distribution, the Governor said the County Government was undertaking additional interventions including provision of supplementary food, screening cases, vaccination, treatment, drug provisions in all the health centres in the county. He added that investment in health sector will boost efforts to monitor and prevent cases of acute malnutrition among children.
Additionally, he said the county was supplying water through water trucks to drought hotspots in Loroo, Nalapatui, Namorkirionok in Turkana West; Naduat, Lokapelpus in Turkana North, Lopii in Turkana East and Nasiger and Kopoe in Loima sub-county.
To address the locust infestation that threatens to destroy vegetation in the county, Governor Nanok announced that the County Government had procured 3000 litres of locust chemicals with spraying to begin next week.
On long-term plans to achieve food security and water sufficiency, the county boss said the solution was investing in large water harvesting infrastructure such as dams and exploitation of underground water resources to support commercial irrigation agriculture.

The County Government, he said, was building partnerships to attract additional resources to implement development priorities geared towards attaining food security and highlighted implementation of Kalobeyei Socio-Economic Development Program (KISEDP) with UNHCR and expected intergovernmental cross-border peace initiatives as sources of expected additional resources.
He assured that the County Government was monitoring the situation and that budgetary reallocations to address the hunger if the drought persists was an option as it happened in the drought of 2017.

COUNTY GOVERNMENT AND WFP TO STRENGTHEN PARTNERSHIP TO DEVELOP ECD CAPACITY AND BUILD RESILIENCE OF IRRIGATION FARMING

The County Government and World Food Programme have agree to continue partnership that includes joint investment to improve the capacity of Early Childhood Development (ECDE) centres and support to build the resilience of irrigation farms in the county.

In a meeting with Governor Josphat Nanok today at the County HQ, WFP Kenya Head of Country Capacity Strengthening Mari Hassinen said the organization was working on a new MOU with the County Government that will broaden areas of cooperation.

The Governor said the county valued support for its disaster management and ECD feeding programme with Turkana grappling with myriad of challenges that required additional resources than the County Government could manage. He said the focus for his administration in ECD development was to improve transition to primary schools and seeking development partners to invest in grassroots infrastructure to meet the huge demand.

He added that WFP support for capacity development of ECD centres constructed by the County Government, which include computers and printers would boost the centres’ information systems and help to tabulate data in the ECDEs’ inspection and management of school feeding.

The Governor advised the County Department of Education to develop an ECD Feeding draft Bill that will be approved jointly by the County Assembly with the Feeding Policy already developed in partnership with WFP. He said this would cut on the legislative period and reduce the cost of formulation.

He invited WFP to join the County Government and other partners in carrying out a socio-economic survey of households in Turkana to collect data on specific needs and capabilities of each, that will advise packaging of government programmes including Universal Healthcare.
Ms. Hassinen said WFP aimed to further partnership with the County Government to strengthen the capacity and technical support that WFP continues to provide to the government after the formal handover of school feeding programme to the national government.

She said this shift in WFP operations entailed joint assess on existing needs and building joint plans. WFP Programme Policy Officer for School Meals Programme Charles Njeru commended the cooperation through which the policy for ECD feeding policy was drafted.

He said the Local and Regional Purchase initiative where farmer groups are contracted to supply sorghum and cowpeas to schools for the government-run home-grown school meals programme, was meant to stimulate agriculture production in line with the Count Government’s priority on food security.

Also in the meeting was the County Executive for Education, Sports and Social Protection Patrick Losike and Director of Early Childhood Development Samuel Eregae.

DEVOLUTION CONFERENCE DAY ONE

Water development key in Big Four Agenda implementation- Governor Nanok

National and County Governments have to jointly invest in development to improve water supply in the country in order to achieve the Big Four Agenda, Governor Josphat Nanok has said.
In his remarks at the Devolution Conference that kicked off today in Kirinyaga County, the Governor said attaining water sufficiency was critical due to the huge impact it would have on attaining the pillars of food security, affordable housing, manufacturing, and affordable healthcare.
He mentioned Turkana County where despite presence of huge underground water resources there has been little attention from the national government to develop the resource to boost irrigation agriculture and livestock production.
The Governor insisted that ASAL counties had the potential to contribute to attainment of food security in Kenya.
On fisheries, he decried the minimal attention that Lake Turkana received despite being the largest desert Lake in Kenya. He said the Lake as a blue economy could be harnessed for benefit of Turkana, Marsabit County and the country.
The Governor said Kenya would not have to import fish from China if water sources in the country are utilised through joint investment in fish farming.
He mentioned some of investment by the County Government to support the Turkana fisherfolk which include capacity building to reduce post-harvest losses and improvement fishing equipment.
The Governor urged the national government to boost physical security especially in Northern Kenya which have witnessed heightened insecurity that threatens development, and called for better support of counties and partners efforts in cross-border peace engagements.
To achieve affordable healthcare in Turkana, the Governor said the County Government’s strategy to improve community access to health services by supporting community health volunteers, had earned the county recognition as the best performing county in routine immunisation.
He further called for early spatial planning of urban centers along the LAPSSET corridor project to ensure there was value addition to the project.
The Governor was speaking as one of the panelists in the morning session that discussed and assessed the progress of the implementation of the Big Four Agenda of Universal Healthcare and Food Security; and highlighted best practices adopted by the County and national government.
Others in the panel were Governors Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu), Mutahi Kahiga (Nyeri), Mohammed Kuti (Isiolo), Dr. Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua), Health CS Cisily Kariuki and moderated by Senator Margaret Kamar.
The conference was officially opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta who was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto.

‘LINKING OUR LIVESTOCK SECTOR TO EXTERNAL MARKETS IS THE WAY TO GO’- GOVERNOR NANOK

Turkana County Government will partner with the Australian Government on livestock sector by creating    linkages to the external markets as a huge capital investment.

The partnership will extend to other sectors like Mining, Agriculture and Tourism with the aim of boosting the local economy and improving the livelihoods of the people.

Speaking when he met Australian High Commissioner Alison Chartres today in his office, Governor Josphat Nanok said the County has the largest number of livestock but little linkages to the outside markets have been a key challenge.
He said a lot is needed to be done to improve our livestock through benchmarking in Countries like Australia to know how they have commercialized their industry, done water harvesting and make it a huge capital investment in the county.
If proper planning on the external marketing component is well done, livestock will be a big economic booster and will measure up with thriving Livestock sectors like at Perth in Australia.
The Governor told the High Commissioner that his strategic objective is to make Oil economy be relevant to other sectors and will significantly be linked to the local economy by giving meaning to areas like Tourism, Irrigated Agriculture, Archaeological discoveries among others.

He singled out the mining sector which he said required proper coordination between National and County government especially on minerals and other devolved units. There is also need to do capacity building on extractives through scholarships for training.
To avoid of conflict with the community, proper legislation that will address the usual contentious issues like local content and revenue sharing should be put in place consultatively.

On her part, High Commissioner Alison said she was committed to promoting Turkana County  by exploring more on livestock linkages, potential programming on livestock, training and external markets.
Her government will also partner in other key sectors like Tourism, mining, Agriculture which will propel the local economy to improve livelihoods.
She said there is a common similarity between Kenya and Australia especially in the livestock sector which needs to be harnessed well.
Through her office, the Australian government will give some grants to fund cultural activities in the county to build up tourism through culture and festivals like Tobong Lore.

The grant will also help in setting up a recording studio for artists, equip them through purchase of equipment, put structures and bring on board the local community to showcase their artistry.
Also present were the County Secretary Peter Eripete, Deputy County Secretary Robert Loyelei, Ministers Chris Aletia, Jeniffer Nawoi, Charles Lokiyoto.   Chief Officers Dr Michael Eregae, Gladys Arika and Abraham Losinyen.

TURKANA AND BORLÄNGE MUNICIPALITY IN PARTNERSHIP ON INTEGRATION PROGRAM FOR LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND REFUGEES

A delegation from Borlänge Municipality, Sweden is in Turkana County as part of a partnership between Lodwar and Borlänge municipalities over development of a sustainable integration program for refugees and the local community.

Governor Josphat Nanok received the delegation led by Deputy Mayor Mari Jonsson in his office today, and held discussions on the municipality partnership whose letter of intent was signed by the Governor and Borlänge Municipality Mayor Jan Bohman in October 2017. The Governor said the partnership was a unique opportunity to share experiences, ideas, successes and failures in the implementation of innovative socio-economic integration plan.

He said that a second municipality will be developed in Kakuma/Kalobeyei to take advantage of economic growth potential that was revealed through a study by the World Bank’s International Financial Corporation.

He revealed that the next focus in the development of the Lodwar municipality was building the capacity of a board to manage the municipality.

On the integration program, the Governor said the Kalobeyei Integrated Socio-Economic Development Program launched last December was an implementation of an innovative idea on refugee support by the Turkana County leadership aimed at ensuring the local community benefitted from the presence of refugees. He said more partners were needed in developing infrastructure to support the implementation, especially on water services.

On her part, Deputy Mayor Jonsson revealed that Borlänge hosted a large number of Somali immigrants who make up 8percent of the population in Borlänge town. She said the need for the partnership arose from the shared situation between Turkana and her municipality due to the presence of refugees and the aim to find common solutions to the common challenges.

The visit comes after delegation from Turkana led by the Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro had visited Borlänge Municipality in last December. In the meeting the DG lauded the partnership as a great opportunity and maintained that the county should tap into the great planning capacity by the Swedish town in the development of Lodwar and Kakuma/Kalobeyei municipalities.

UNHCR Head of Kakuma sub office Tayyar Sukru Cansizoglu who was in attendance termed the partnership as wonderful, and said that Turkana had presented the world with a unique model for refugee integration that took advantage of the economic potential presented by their presence.

Other senior government officials in the meeting were County Secretary Peter Eripete, County Attorney Erastus Ethekon, County Executives Esther Lokwei (Lands, Energy, Housings and Urban Areas Management), Chris Aletia (Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries), Emathe Namuar (Water Services, Environment and Mineral Resources), Chief of Staff Ekuwam Nakiporo and Chief Officer for Lands Mark Ewesit.

REGIONAL STAKEHOLDERS ON HEALTH MEET TO DEVELOP JOINT STRATEGY ON CROSS-BORDER HEALTH

Governor Josphat Nanok today officially opened the first cross-border health conference that brought together stakeholders in the health sector from Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia as well as development partners, to develop a single health strategy in the region.

In his address, the Governor expressed his confidence that the conference will adopt a joint strategy and work plan to accelerate service delivery on health to Ateker communities.

“This conference is an opportunity for the Ateker region to realign itself regarding the health sector. It is important that we renew our commitment toward enhancing health sector investments, strengthen health systems and attainment of Universal Health Coverage in the region.”

The conference key agenda was developing a join plan to integrate human and animal health with focus on immunization services, develop joint plan for cross-border collaboration, strengthen diseases surveillance for both human and animals and streamline information sharing among partners working in the region.

Governor Nanok said regional integration will be boosted by the expected signing of MOU, first between Kenya and Uganda and later with Ethiopia through which development partners, the United Nations, IGAD, European Union and the World Bank will be approached to support borderland development programmes to ‘accelerate socio-economic development in the region’.

He said the County Government had invested greatly in integration of the Ateker communities through immunization services, mass drug administration, strengthening diseases surveillance, treatment of animal diseases and sharing of information across the region. He urged partners to continue mobilizing for resources from government and partners to support joint programmes.

IGAD Senior Regional Coordinator Fatuma Ibrahim Adan said communities living across the border already shared resources and way of living and it was up to government and partners to realign health systems to eradicate border diseases. He called on Governor Nanok to advocate for one health strategy under the Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC).

County Secretary said the One Health programme was a dividend of peace that the County had invested in since the inception of the County Government.

County Executive for Health Jane Ajele said the county had played its role to improve access to health for communities living along the border with Uganda through integrated cross-border outreach programs. He said Turkana was the first county to pass the Community Health Services Act, that recognizes the important role of community health volunteers in strengthening access to healthcare for rural communities.
Other CECs present include Charles Lokiyoto (Public Service and Disaster Management), Emathe Namuar (Water Services, Environment and Mineral Resources) and Chris Aletia (Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries).

In the meeting were representatives from the national Ministry of Health Disease Surveillance and Response Unit (DSRU), World Health Organization (WHO), UNHCR, KEMRI, USAID among others.