Honourable Deputy Speaker,
Honourable Leader of Majority,
Honourable Leader of Minority,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I wish to express my sincere appreciation to this Honourable House under your able leadership for the honor and the opportunity to present progress of implementation of development priorities by my Government since the last State of The County Address in November 29, 2018. This is the second address before this house in my second term as Governor and is made in accordance with the Constitution of Kenya 2010 Article 183 (3) and Section 30 (2) of the County Government Act No. 17 of 2012.
I acknowledge the cardinal role this Assembly has played in support of the realization of the County Government’s development objectives and programmes for the benefit of the Turkana County residents. The objective and forthright manner with which this assembly has processed and resolved government business is very encouraging.
This was evident in the amicable manner we resolved the differences that arose during discussions over the FY2019/2020 Budget estimates. The House and the Executive chose to find a common ground through consensus over a delicate subject that has been a cause of great strife in other County Governments.
I commend the house for passage of important pieces of legislation, particularly The Turkana County Village Administration Act 2019 and The Turkana County Water Act 2019 all aimed at enhancing efficient service delivery to the people.
Following the release of the 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census results on Monday November 4, 2019 by the Director General – Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the reported population for Turkana County is given as 926,976 persons against a population of 855,399 reported by the same agency in 2009. The breakdown per sub county is also reported as follows: Kibish 36,769; Turkana North 65,218; Turkana West 239,627; Loima 107,795; Turkana Central 185,305;Turkana East 138,526 and Turkana South 153,736.
However, our preliminary analysis of the report revealed material inconsistencies including unexplained negative population growth rates in three sub counties as follows; Turkana West by 2.3 %, from 245, 327 reported in 2009 to 239,627 in 2019, resulting to a population reduction of 5,700 persons. Turkana North by 38.6 %, from 166,200 reported in 2009 to 101,987 in 2019 resulting to a population reduction of 64,213 persons and Loima by 10 %, from 119,932 in 2009 to 107,795 reported in 2019 resulting to a population reduction of 12,137 persons.
This is against the possible Census results projections based on the 2009 figure, the fertility and growth rates for Turkana County given by the same agency as 6.9 % and 3.35% respectively. This is unacceptable by conventional best practice and the United Nations global population growth ideals. The true population for Turkana County should have been well over 1.2 million persons basing on justifiable factors of population growth including, fertility and growth rates, household size and others specific to Turkana County.
I have made an appeal to the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning and the Director General – Kenya National Bureau of Statistics to consider reviewing the Turkana County statistics. We are facing a situation similar to the one in 2009 and we shall be joining other counties with similar challenges to register a formal appeal in court if our concerns are not addressed.
Mr. Speaker, Honorable Members,
The State of the County can be described as a work in progress. We continue to strive to find solutions to challenges that face our people, and our commitment to push forward on this journey of socio-economic transformation of Turkana County remains strong.
The task for my second term is to build on the firm infrastructural foundation built in the first five years of devolution. Consequently, our development milestones shall be guided by the County Integrated Development Plan 2018-2022, The President’s Big Four Agenda and my Government’s Five Key Transformative Development Priorities of Water Development, Mineral Exploitation and Natural Resource Management; Food and Nutrition Security; Partnerships and Investment; Resource Mobilization and Utilization; and Peace Building and Borderlands Initiatives.
Allow me now to share with this honorable house, the strides made by my administration in each of the ministries/departments in the realization of these development priorities;
I envision a water secure County for the residents of Turkana. My Government continues to invest in sustainable exploitation of water resources and to improve safe and clean water access across the county.
In the last one year, we have drilled new boreholes in Naminatoi in Kanamkemer, Matankorio in Kaeris, Nakinyanga in Lorugum, Nangolekuruk in Kerio; Napus Junction, Kagiratuko and Napak Emejen in Kibish and Natokorae in Nakwamekwi. These boreholes will benefit estimated 20,000 households and 70,000 livestock units. The County intends to drill an additional 30 boreholes utilizing the County drilling equipment and another 100 boreholes in collaboration with development partners in this financial year.
My government has set aside 40 million shillings to equip new boreholes drilled across the county with solar systems and Hand pumps. This will benefit 15000 people and 30,000 livestock units. The Kakuma Water supply project was completed in May this year at a cost of 34 million shillings with 10,000 people benefiting in Kakuma town and its environs.
I am happy to report that the rehabilitation of Lopeduru water supply is complete with two 10,000-litre storage tanks to serve 3500 people. We have enhanced the Lorugum Water supply system with installation of an elevated 24,000-litre steel tank to serve the Administration Police offices and the surrounding neighborhoods.
The flashfloods experienced in Lodwar last month destroyed all the 12 boreholes that serve most parts of Lodwar municipality. Immediately after the floods, we were able to repair and rehabilitate all the collapsed boreholes at a cost of 7.5 million Shillings.
In collaboration with our development partners, 10 boreholes have been upgraded to solar power, three in Kanugunmeri, Lochor-angikalalio and Nachuro and another seven in Koono, Kekorakwan, Lokuyen, Lotilo, Sopel, Kenya oil and Kakemera benefiting 15,000 people and 30,000 livestock units. Through the Unicef-KOICA Water management resilience project, we expect another 76 boreholes to be equipped in the next 3 months.
To comprehensively address the rising water needs within the Lodwar Municipality, my government has invested 72 million shillings in the Napuu Water supply project. The National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority (NWHSA) is our contractor for this project.
The project entails a 300-cubic meter elevated steel tank to be erected at Lokitela area to supply water to Kisumu polytechnic, Turkana University College, Narewa, Ekaales, Mathewan, Kasarani, Juluk, Nabulon and Trans Africa. The project launched in September, should be complete in February 2020, and will benefit 10,000 people.
Additionally, projects to improve Lokichar, Kangirisae and Namoruakwan Water Supply systems are at various stages of implementation, and will be completed in this financial year.
In the first term of my administration, we invested in water pans for collection of surface water runoff. The challenge has been siltation that affects water retention. After technical feasibility assessment, the department of water services has begun the tendering process for the de-silting of 14 water pans across the county at a cost of 112 million shillings with 20,000 people and 70,000 livestock expected to benefit.
Under Kalobeyei Integrated Socio-Economic Development Programme (KISEDP), a 100,000-metre cubic earth dam has been set up at Kang’ura, in Turkana West for the benefit of the host community in Kalobeyei.
In addition, the construction of 30,000-meter cubic water pan to support irrigation activities targeting Kalobeyei host and refugee communities done in partnership with development partners is complete.
The road map for implementation of the Turkana Water Act 2018 is already underway with two stakeholders sensitization meetings so far done. The application for Registration of The Turkana Water Company to take care of urban water supplies is spearheaded by the County Attorney’s Office and shall be concluded on 9th December 2019.
The recruitment of Company Directors, creation of the County Water Fund, registration of Water Users and Water Operators and formation of County Stakeholders Forum shall be complete by January 2020. The publishing of Company rules and regulations will be done in April 2020 followed by full operationalization of the Act by June next year.
To ensure sustainable use and management of the environment, the Turkana County Environment Committee was gazetted in accordance with Article 179(2) (a) of the Constitution of Kenya and Section 18 of the Environment Coordination and Management (Amendment) Act, 2015. The County Environment Committee comprises of Government officials, Public benefit organization, farmers representatives, Pastoralist representatives, Youth representatives and Women group representative.
Furthermore, County Environment Inspectors have also been gazetted in line with Section 117 of the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA CAP 397). The County Government supported the training of 16 officers on Environmental Enforcement and Compliance through National Environment Management Authority. This training is a pre-requisite to the Gazettement of officers as County Environment Inspectors. The names of the 16 officers have been submitted to NEMA through Council of Governors for Gazettement. The Inspectors will have powers to arrest and prosecute any person, organization or premises that breach environmental laws and regulation.
My government with support of development partners is in the process of developing a Climate Change Legal framework including a Climate Change Fund Regulations and should be complete before the end of this financial year. This is in line with the Climate Change Act 2016, section 19, which empowers the County Governments to mainstream climate change actions into County Government programming.
This legal framework will encourage the government, community and public benefit organizations to implement climate proof programs, mitigation and adaptation strategies.
The Ministry of Water, Environment and Mineral Resources organized The Turkana Extractives Week Conference from 26th to 28th February 2019.The conference brought together different stakeholders in extractive industry. The conference discussed how minerals, oil and gas in the County could be extracted sustainably for the benefit of the County and the Country in general. The County government intends to have deeper interactions with the relevant stakeholders on the issues of land, water, policy formulation and local content development. The Turkana County Extractives Bill and Policy 2019 are at zero draft stage. The department will move this to public participation stage as soon as resources are available.
The State department of petroleum in the month of October this year carried out project disclosure plans engagement with members of the executive and the sub-county stakeholders with various speakers describing what the next phase of petroleum development will trend towards. The greatest concern brought forward in most of these engagements has been the local content issue.
My administration is fully aware that oil and gas activities in the County have a lot of risks which if not addressed properly and timely can affect the County negatively. In mitigation, we have took proactive measures and developed an oil and gas risk matrix in September this year in collaboration with state department for Petroleum and Tullow Oil BV. The risk matrix will be presented to the cabinet for ratification in January 2020. This will be a management tool to guide how the County Government will engage with the various oil and gas stakeholders in the industry while ensuring the interests of the host community and Turkana County in general are well secured.
The trucking of oil from Turkana under the Early Oil Pilot Scheme started in June 2018.The Country exported the first batch of 276,150 barrels of oil in August 2019. The Ministry monitors and records all crude oil leaving Turkana at Lokichar cess point. As at November 2019, a total of 438,150 barrels of oil had been moved out of Turkana County.
The Ministry is sensitizing the communities around the mining sites to venture into artisanal mining to diversify their economic activities. To achieve this, the Ministry has bought three gold detectors to be used by different mining groups in the County. The government is helping the miners to register formal mining groups to enable them access assistance from financial institutions. The department in partnership with UNDP carried out training for thirty-five artisanal miners engaged in gold, sand and quarrying activities from various parts of the County.
The County government shall safeguard Turkana land rights and natural resources while promoting sustainable development. Land is our identity and natural resource for present and future generations. The demand for land in Turkana has considerably increased in recent years. Demands for resettlement of growing populations and rapid urbanization alongside major development projects have consistently exerted pressure on land. My government is committed to protecting communities land and resources as their trustee. We will ensure land access, use and administration benefits the local people first.
Towards this end, the County Government has resisted any attempts by investors and national government entities to acquire land through illegal and unconstitutional means. The position of government is that anybody requiring community land for commercial or development purposes should follow the due process of law including community consultation and participation. We have employed many strategies to enforce our land rights including using courts of law.
The implication of the intended rollout of the Community Land Act is yet another challenge we should anticipate to deal with. I have raised many objections with the national government on the practical application of this law on pastoralists’ lands.
More specifically, the law downplays the critical role of County Governments on serious matters such as registration of land, access and management of ancestral lands and compensation for community land. Stemming from inherent weaknesses in the Community Land Act, I appeal to our national parliamentarians to push for amendments to this law and to entrench effective land use and management for pastoralist communities.
Following the conferment of municipality status to Lodwar town last December, recruitment of a municipal board is complete and the members are in office. We made a decision to post the Municipality Manager in an acting capacity to work together with the new board to manage affairs of the municipality. I want to register my appreciation for the great work done by this honorable house in vetting and finally approving the municipal board members.
As part of ongoing urban infrastructure development within the municipality, construction of car parks is ongoing and will ease congestion and boost revenue collection. Further works to reorganize the town include opening of access roads at Napetet and Lodwar town, with the second phase scheduled to begin soon.
Under the Kenya Urban Support Programme, we finalized installation of 100 solar powered streets lights along Kerio Junction to Ekaales centre, part of Kanamkemer, and installed six floodlights in Ekaales centre, California and Lodwar fresh produce market in a bid to improve security and increase business operating hours.
To enhance energy access in rural areas, six solar mini-grids have been set up in Naduat, Kalobeyei Settlement, Kalobeyei centre, Kataboi, Lolupe, and Longech. The projects are a result of successful Public-Private-Partnership with energy companies contracted by the GIZ. Mini-grids in Nakurio, Kangatotha and Katilia under the same project are currently under construction. The Ministry’s technical team are guiding the project design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation to ensure sustainability and greater public good is secured in these investments as we endeavor to connect our rural folk to green energy solutions and reactivate rural economies.
The County Government suffered great losses due to flash floods witnessed last month in Lodwar. The Ministry of Lands, Energy, Housing and Urban Areas Management offices, were completely submerged occasioning huge loses in equipment in the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) lab launched last July with support from Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) through funding from the European Union (EU). These comprises of 23 computers, Land Survey Equipment, Blueprint machine, workstations, three servers among other assets.
We have completed a joint assessment of the post-floods damage and will soon be engaging further with FAO on plans to re-equip the lab. This was an important facility meant to support digitization of land records and was key in better planning, management, implementation and monitoring of development projects in the County.
The potential of Turkana as an attractive tourist destination remains untapped. My Government has invested to promote the county’s popular attractions; the rich cultural heritage, Lake Turkana – The UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, Turkana County – as the Archeological and Paleontological origin of the human race together with other pristine tourist products.
The fifth edition of the Turkana Tourism and Cultural Festival, Tobong’u Lore 2019 held last August was a major success. The festival uses culture to build social cohesion, encourage integration and peaceful coexistence to create a sustainable enabling environment for investments and socio-economic development.
This year, the festival attracted over 10,000 local, regional and international participants with a marked corresponding increase in revenue injected into the local economy from out-of-pocket expenditures by the participants. As the festival grows, our focus is to make subsequent editions more self-sustainable and raise its standards to international levels.
The office of the County Attorney working together with the Ministry is currently finalizing a bill to establish and sustainably manage the Ekalees Center for Culture, Heritage and the Arts. This bill will be introduced to the Cabinet in February next year for endorsement and then forwarded to this House for debate and approval by March 2020.
In partnership with National Museums of Kenya and Turkana Basin Institute (TBI) the department of culture is pushing for the gazettement and protection of Namorutung’a in Kalokol, Namorutung’a in Lokori and Lothagam archaeological sites in Kerio. The recognition of these sites is key to their protection and further development.
For conservation of natural environments to be effective, the community has to take lead in conservation efforts. To this end, the government has registered 16 Community forest associations to empower them form community user groups for specific forestry programmes, including gum Arabic groups, aloe groups, seedlings production groups charcoal producers, among others.
We plan to hold this year’s Ata-nayece Cultural Festival from 19-21 December. This event held at the historic Moru-Anayece site fosters harmony and cohesion among Ateker communities for peaceful coexistence. The increased interaction between these communities, which have traditionally been stuck in conflict, has boosted cross-border trade especially along the Kenya-Uganda border.
My Government has achieved some notable milestones in the journey towards making Turkana County food secure. In the last one year, 7,826 acres of land was put under maize production yielding 109,564 bags of 90kg translating to 14 bags per acre, while 12,475 acres was put under sorghum production yielding 199,600 bags of 90kg translating to 16 bags per acre. A total of 309,164 people across the County directly benefited from this cereal harvest. More land was utilized for fruits and vegetable production providing additional food supplements to our people. This yield would have been greater but the effects of the drought experienced in the Country in the past year negatively affected farm outputs.
My vision is to help farmers transition from rudimentary subsistence farming practices deployed in most of the established irrigation schemes to commercial large-scale mechanized food production systems. To achieve this and with the support from International Centre for Research in Agro Forestry (ICRAF), we have already surveyed and mapped out all arable land for irrigation and with the potential for commercial farming along the riverine of Turkwel, Kerio and Tarach.
As part of innovative food production systems, the County Department of Agriculture has established floodwater-harvesting structures in Naipa, Nadunga, Loyaal, Nakukulas, Lokamarinyang and Nasinyono. Already a total of 1450 acres of land is under food production with 50 acres under sorghum production in Loyaal intercropped with cowpeas, while in Nasinyono 400 acres is under sorghum production.
My government has completed fencing of Elelea and Morulem irrigation schemes in Katilia and Lokori/Kochodin wards respectively. This will help in reducing farmers’ losses and conflicts. Rehabilitation works are ongoing in Morulem, Elelea, Juluk, Nawapeto, and Naagis irrigation schemes. We are also constructing new drip irrigation schemes in Lopeduru, Lorengelup, and Lotukumo. Additionally, a spate irrigation system is under construction in Lochor-Emeyan in Loima ward, targeting 40 acres of land.
The County Department of Agriculture has purchased and distributed 10.9 tones of assorted seeds and farm implements to farmers across the county in the last one year. This is to promote use of certified seeds to guarantee higher yield production per acre and increase our food basket.
We are establishing horticultural production farms in Kaputir, Kerio and Kibish. However, recent floods destroyed part of the infrastructure but rehabilitation efforts are currently underway. In Lokwar irrigation scheme in Kaputir Ward, fencing, water system installation, provision of seedlings and other works are ongoing. The objective for these projects is to support food security and nutrition, with possibility to expand the projects for commercial production.
In April this year, we experienced a devastating locust infestation, which threatened crops and vegetation cover that our livestock rely on for feeds. The County procured specialized insecticide at cost of 31.9Million shillings, which was used for locust control across the county.
Through an MoU signed with World Food Programme under WFP-Resilience Livelihood Project, 73,000 beneficiaries have been targeted and registered in 26 wards a cross the county. These groups will receive food relief support from WFP to improve food and nutrition security by strengthening community resilience to climate related shocks as well as cushion against shocks of hunger.
While our farmers continue to produce, market accessibility has been a major challenge. My government has redoubled efforts to ensure we have linked 4500 farmers to markets in urban centres across the county.
To promote agriculture extension research and technological innovations, we are setting up an Agricultural Training Centre in Naotin in Lodwar Township ward. So far, we have completed feasibility study, survey and mapping as well as an environmental and social impact assessment for this project.
As you are aware, Turkana County was one of the regions in Kenya affected by a severe drought this year. The County Executive Committee approved an emergency drought response programme through adjustments to our budget to provide for relief food assistance to residents in the affected households.
The County Government undertook three cycles of drought emergency relief food assistance to targeted population of 609,167 persons. The response was as follows: Phase one: 1,791 tonnes of maize, 358.2 tonnes of beans and 134.4 tonnes of vegetable oil while in Phase two: 2,818 tonnes maize, 553.6 tonnes of beans and 211 tonnes of vegetable oil were distributed.
I am pleased to inform the house that we begun phase three of the relief distribution cycle in the last two weeks and will go on through December where 2,559 tonnes of maize, 512 tonnes of beans and 192 tonnes of cooking oil will be distributed.
Over 60% of our people rely on pastoral economy as their main source of sustainable livelihood; my administration in the last one year has spent over 30 million shillings in purchasing veterinary drugs and vaccines for our livestock across the County.
The County Veterinary Department through an extensive exercise, vaccinated 1.4 million livestock against Peste des Petits Ruminante PPR (Lomoo in sheep and goats), 32,841 herds of cattle against Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia CBPP (Loukoi in cattle); 13,156 Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia CCPP (Loukoi in sheep and goats).
A further 1.7 million livestock was de-wormed and 713,312 Livestock treated against various diseases across the county. Vaccination, deworming and treatment of livestock are investments in improving productivity and quality of livestock to meet local, regional and international market demands.
The construction of a cold chain facility in Lokichar worth 9 million shillings is now complete. This is essential for storage of veterinary drugs and vaccines closer to the livestock farmers at the sub county level. A similar project has begun in Lokitaung this past week. We plan to set up another cold chain facility in Lokori at a cost of 7 million shillings in this financial year. The department has also delivered five sets of cattle crushes in Kakuma, Loima, Katilu, Lokitaung and Kibish, for ease in vaccination and treatment of livestock.
The construction of the 40 million shillings veterinary Laboratory in Lodwar town is currently over 50% complete while the renovation of slaughterhouses in Kanamkemer is complete. The renovations for slaughterhouses in Lodwar Township and Kakuma at a cost of 1.5 million shillings each will be carried out in the next three months. Plans are at an advanced stage to start and complete a drug store in Nanam, Turkana West at a cost of 5 million shillings. The choice of this region is due to the high concentration of livestock from the region.
To cater for livestock treatment and vaccination planned for this financial year, my government is in the process of procuring drugs worth 47 million Shillings to target 800,000 livestock units. To improve livestock productivity, 2,690 bags of 50kg livestock feeds was distributed across the county during the drought early this year.
Additionally, the distribution of 8,142 bags of animal feeds in collaboration with our partners in this sector is currently ongoing. With these efforts 2,100 bags and 1,400 bags of feeds have been distributed in Loima, Turkana Central and Kibish respectively.
My Government has been keen to improve livestock market linkages through development of livestock value chains, market access and exposure. The construction of a sale yard in Lokiriama in Loima Sub County is complete while the construction of sale-yards in Nanam and Nakalale are ongoing.
Plans are underway to construct non-residential buildings in multiplication centre in Lomosogol in Kerio and the holding ground in Napeililim. These will include training halls, accommodation facilities for trainees, general and hay stores.
On fisheries development, we have invested in value chain, market access and linkages. This effort has borne fruit with Natirae BMU linked to CEER Processing Ltd in Nairobi with 10.6 tonnes of fish valued at 2.3 million shillings already sold. In developing fish handling infrastructure, we have purchased four fish drying racks in Lake Zone to reduce post-harvest losses. The construction of a dry fish store in Nachukui is complete while the one in Lowarengak is currently ongoing.
As part of my administration’s investment in fisheries livelihood support, we have begun a process to acquire 60 outboard engines for boats and four solar freezers. To improve sanitation at landing sites in Nachukui and Namukuse, the Fisheries department has established two toilet facilities meant to improve food safety and hygiene.
As part of my commitment to stabilize our borders with Uganda and South Sudan, my administration continues to partner with the National Government and other development partners to ensure success of the respective MoUs with Governments of Uganda and South Sudan.
On September 12th this year, we witnessed the historic signing of the Kenya-Uganda MoU for Cross-border Peace and Development presided over by Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Yoweri Museveni in Moroto, Uganda. The MOU targets long lasting peace and sustainable development of communities living across the Kenya-Uganda border and is a breakthrough especially for my government’s long-term investments in cross-border peace building efforts.
The immediate positive consequence of this Kenya-Uganda MoU is the commitment by the President of Kenya to invest in sustainable water infrastructure (medium size dams) in Turkana, West Pokot and Marsabit counties with each one costing 250 million Kenya shillings. As members are aware, Namoni-a-ng’ikaala in Loima sub-county is the site identified for the dam to benefit pastoralists in the area.
Already, a joint technical team met between November 10th to 16th in Entebbe Uganda to finalize the programme framework for Crossborder Peace and Socio-Economic Development for Turkana, West Pokot and Karamoja region. The deal empowers governments and partners to build resource-sharing mechanisms, joint infrastructure improvements, youth empowerment as well as supporting cultural activities.
Together with the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Devolution and ASALs, the Minister for Karamoja Affairs, we will be unveiling the programme framework to operationalize this MoU in Kapenguria, West Pokot County in the coming weeks.
Moreover, my officers were recently in Turkana West and Loima to work with local leaders and communities to address spiraling crossborder animal theft and to restore peace and normalcy along the Loima-Moroto, Turkana West-Kotido-Kaabong corridors in the spirit of the objects of the MoU.
In collaboration with Kenya International Boundary Office (KIBO), Kenyan political, executive and community leaders and South Sudan national and Kapoeta state leadership, we carried out the first set of joint community sensitization meeting in Lopiding (Kenya) and Narus (South Sudan) between November 22nd to 24th this year. The meetings marked the first of such efforts to disseminate the messages of the Kenya-South Sudan Memorandum of Understanding to border communities.
In different areas of our county, conflict caused by perennial insecurity forced communities out of their ancestral lands. My government developed a resettlement programme to restore these communities’ livelihoods and begun with hard hit areas Turkana East and Turkana South Sub Counties.
Six projects costing 60 million shillings are under implementation and so far Lomaro in Turkana East is complete while others in Kakiteitei, Kasarani in Kapedo/Napeitom Ward; Naakot in Lobokat; Lorokon in Kaputir, and Locher-Elim in Lobei/Kotaruk wards are at different stages of implementation.
This financial year, we have set aside 140 million shillings to undertake fourteen other resettlement sites across the seven sub counties in order to address problems of vulnerable communities. The sites are Liwan in Lapur, Loruth in Kaaleng’/Kaikor, Todonyang’ in Lake Zone, Natodomeri in Kibish; Loteteleit in Lokichoggio, Lokaabuk in Kalobeyei Ward; Moruongor in Lobei/Kotaruk, Loya in Lokiriama/Lorengkipi, Namambu in Lokobat, Kaloporor in Kalapata, Nadome in Kaputir, Nadome and Kapetakinei in Kapedo/Napeitom, and Kaakulit in Lokori/Kochodin Ward. Feasibility studies are complete awaiting for designs and work will soon begin.
Public Service, Decentralized Administration and Disaster Management
After signing into law the Turkana County Village Administration Act (2019), we have recently advertised for 156 Village Administrators positions. We expect that the recruitment process for the administrators and establishment of village councils will be complete by January 2020.
Honourable Members will agree with me that formation of the village councils as the lowest unit of administration, will bring into focus decision-making at the grassroots and empower residents to participate fully in the democratic processes and development agenda of the County Government.
Through the Kenya Devolution Support Programme 30 administrative officers were last March trained on management of public participation at the Kenya School of Government. The aim of the training was to ensure better citizen engagement and management.
My Administration has embarked on plans to formulate the Turkana County Public Participation Policy. The policy will help in addressing among other things, the inherent minimal citizen engagement in the county. The policy will institutionalize and strengthen the public participation process for effective citizen participation in governance.
Further, we are in the initial stages of developing the Turkana County Government Coordination Bill. The proposed law will provide an institutionalized framework that guides the organization and coordination of County Government functions at all levels.
Turkana County Government will in this financial year 2019/2020 construct Kibish Sub County office block. This will be a strategic office within the region for administration and government representation in Kibish but also an important facility to support cross-border peace initiatives.
On Friday, 18th October 2019, Turkana County experienced flash floods along the riparian areas of River Turkwel. Eight wards were most affected in the County, namely: Lodwar Township, Kerio, Kanamkemer, Lobei/Kotaruk, Kang’atotha, Letea and Song’ot. The County Government, National Government and development partners carried out a joint rapid assessment to estimate the losses and damages caused by flash floods and to inform appropriate humanitären emergency response.
Sadly, five people were confirmed to have died, with 6,413 shoats, 63 camel and 67 herds of cattle lost to the floods. Over 980 traders lost businesses and nearly 3,700 acres of irrigated land was destroyed. A total of 1,426 Households were confirmed affected. Some areas like Lokangkae and Nasinyono in Turkana west sub-county remained inaccessible.
The joint committee estimated the cost of damages at Ksh 1,199,750,000 in the entire county. The County Government and Partners involved in the flash floods emergency response immediately mobilized Ksh 420,847,250 and Ksh16,760,000 respectively towards the response. As a result, the deficit of Kshs 762,142,750 will be required to restore losses in both livelihoods and infrastructure across the county. The joint response action managed to distribute 3,940 bags of maize; 605 bags of beans, 532 Jerrycans (20 litre) of cooking oil as part of flash floods emergency relief assistance to the affected households.
I wish to laud partner organizations for their support in complementing government efforts in governance and during emergency interventions. I have directed the County Department of Disaster Management to engage continuously with the National Drought Management Authority (NEMA) and Lodwar Meteorological Department for up to date information on weather patterns for Turkana to better inform disaster prevention, preparedness and response mechanism to avert more loses of lives and property.
The new Directorate of Inspectorate became operational in January this year after recruitment of key officers. Jointly working with the department of revenue collection, the Directorate has been instrumental in enforcing regulations and laws and especially regulations meant to expand our revenue base and protection of government installations, offices and property. Focus has been on management of the boda boda businesses as a new revenue stream, to ensure payment of rates and bring sanity to the industry through adherence to safety regulations.
To improve operations, the inspectorate department has set aside a standby team that undertakes night patrols for enforcement and compliance purposes particularly on royalties. Two other units have also been established; one that specializes on parades and drills during national and county celebrations, and another team of 15 is undergoing induction on intelligence gathering and investigations.
The inspectorate office will support in development of the Lodwar Municipality through enforcement of regulations and decisions including urban areas and waste management, business standardization, land use and control and regulation of public transport among others.
In the current financial year, my Government has set aside 15 million shillings to establish and equip Turkana County Inspectorate Institute in Shabaa, Lapur Ward in Turkana North. The institute will sit on a 40-acre piece of land and the location is ideal due to its proximity to social amenities and we are glad that the community has given its approval.
The institute will inculcate necessary skills to enforcement officers and will be modeled on established national government police training standards.
We are currently drafting the Turkana County Compliance and Enforcement Bill 2019, which will provide a framework for institutionalization of the directorate and compliance to county legislation and regulations for effective and efficient service delivery. The bill will seek to build capacity and strengthen the directorate to fully achieve its intended objectives.
My office is engaging with the office of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to second a magistrate to be in charge of a county court in Lodwar. This will be instrumental in administering justice for offences against County Government legislations and regulations. Five officers from the Inspectorate will undergo a course on prosecution skills to support operations of this court.
The County Government has institutionalized the Government Human Resource Information System (GHRIS) to manage staff performance. The system will facilitate staff evaluation at the end of performance period taking cognizance of the achievement of the set targets. The government acknowledges the contribution by the casual staff since the inception of the county government.
In an effort to resolve the long-standing issue of casual labour engagement and in cognizance of the existing labor regulations, the government formed a task force to address the issue of casual labour. The task force ascertained the number of casuals, their period of engagement and their suitability to the positions they hold. The task force assessment revealed that there were 799 casuals most of whom were irregularly engaged. Most of the services provided by this cadre of staff were mainly cleaning and guarding services.
Following the recommendations by the taskforce, the executive resolved that all the casuals who met the basic recruitment criteria would be retained for a maximum of six months with effect from 1st July, 2019. Thereafter, the departments affected would outsource these services from the private sector.
The County Public Service Board during the last Financial Year achieved the recruitment, selection, and recommendation for appointment of 394 staff into the public service. Among these, 47 were female and 347 male.
However, a number of recruitments had to be frozen early this year when the government was forced to reallocate resources to carry out an emergency drought response.
Among these were key technical positions for directors and deputy directors, which the new board will complete in due course as we strive to continue building a qualified and dedicated workforce to implement our development objectives and deliver services to residents of Turkana.
In the same period, the number of intern trainees increased from 60 to 70. The internship program provides an opportunity for graduates to acquire practical hands on experience in their specific professions as they build their career paths. Due to the limited number of opportunities in the County Government, other interns have been seconded to partners with whom the board has an agreement with, including Livestock Marketing Systems, Save the Children and County Pension Fund.
Following the end of contract of the first Turkana County Public Service Board, the government competitively recruited new board members and a CEO/Secretary. They are settling down well and continue to receive requisite amount of induction to better prepare them for civil service. I urged the new board to deliver their mandate with utmost objectivity and impartiality.
Partnerships and Investments being one of my Key pillars in delivering my governments commitments to the people of Turkana, we recognize the need to create a conducive operating environment for all partners. We have opened doors to a cross section of organizations and people of good will to invest and work in Turkana.
In this regard, my government continues to attract private investors, development partners, International organizations, and the UN System to Turkana to initiate area-based programs or pilot programming approaches specific to the Turkana Context. I am glad to mention that Turkana county became a focus county for the UN global management reforms undertaking; which will see it become the first beneficiary of the global transformational Fund – The Turkana Multi Partner Trust Fund.
To this end, my government, has provided enabling environment for many programming approaches to be initiated in Turkana; the Kalobeyei Integrated Socio Economic Development Programme (KISEDP) geared towards inclusive programming to benefit both refugees and the host community around the refugee camp; The crossborder programs on the Uganda/Karamoja corridor, the Support for Effective Cooperation and Coordination of Crossborder Initiatives (SECCI) project on Turkana/South Omo corridor and the UN-Turkana County Joint Delivering-as-One (DaO) Area Based Development Programme.
My government has signed working agreements with many of these partners to deliver on CIDP priorities across sectors like; Health; Food Security; Water provision; Environment; Child protection to mention but a few. The ultimate results of these partnerships however is the socio-economic development of the people of Turkana as well as advancement of resource optimization through enhanced coordination and collaboration; hence improved efficiency and accountability by various organizations working in Turkana.
The already working initiatives are shaping the engagements of interested partners wishing to operate in Turkana; all organizations are now keen to coordinate their programs with government in a better way. My government will continue to facilitate and provide favourable environment for all these initiatives to work and attain the intended sectoral results for the benefits of the Turkana people.
I admit that we need to strengthen our resource mobilization strategies and nurture an enabling environment for partnerships and investments in order to raise resources to fill resource gaps required to fully implement the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) 2018-2022.
To give a highlight to a number of partnerships signed recently; the Improved Approach to Community-based Nutrition (IMPACT) Programme is a 500 million shilling partnership with Africare. The project funded by German Multinational Company Bayer Fund will benefit households in Katilu and Turkwel Wards, by addressing causes of malnutrition through improved access to quality health services and better food security.
In 2017, my administration signed a partnership with Borlange Municipality in Sweden for development cooperation and exchange of knowledge and experiences with Lodwar Municipality. The same agreement was renewed in March this year for another 3 years to focus on sustainable integration of refugees into host society, local democracy and good governance, sustainable energy and environmental cooperation on waste management, technical and vocational training.
The County Government also signed an agreement with the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation – Kenya Competitiveness Enhancement Program (KCEP) on the design and implementation of business regulation reforms, which seeks to improve the ease and efficiency of doing businesses in Turkana County.
KCEP will support us, design and implement an online licensing system that automates the processes and procedures of obtaining a single business permit. This is part of my administration’s reform agenda meant to improve the business environment, to promote investments with better accountability and transparency of the licensing regime.
My government is an active member of the Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC), which brings together 10 counties in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands of Kenya. To cement the gains made under FCDC since its formation three years ago, member counties are drafting an FCDC Bill that will establish the Council as a legal entity and guide its operations. As pioneer Governors, we acknowledge the power of this bloc to provide a forum to engage with development partners and mobilize for resources to support economic growth and development in the region.
A similar process is underway for the North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB) with the drafting of a NOREB Cooperation Bill. Once finalized, the bill will be introduced in the County Assemblies of Member Counties for discussion and passage. The Bill and Policy is being developed with support from UKAID’s Agile Harmonized Assistance for Devolved Institutions (AHADI) programme.
Honorable Speaker, Honorable Members.
In an effort to promote trade and investment, my government has conducted six trade promotion events to enhance trade, cottage industries and market linkages and export promotion.
The second edition of the Turkana Business Exchange Forum held in September this year was a great success. The forum attracted 250 Stakeholders and a number of Macro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) who got an opportunity to enhance competitiveness and develop business linkages. We appreciate support from our partners for the valuable contribution to this event. Additionally, 306 small and medium enterprises have benefited from business development training services.
The department of Trade, Gender and Youth Affairs has developed a five-year strategic plan for management of Biashara Centre aimed at positioning the centre as one stop shop for business development services. Our aim is to devolve the Biashara Centre model to the sub counties with Kakuma town targeted first.
We have conducted inspection and verification of 1900 calibrated standards and weighting scales to protect consumers from unethical business practices in the Turkana market place.
The process to modernize the Lodwar Fresh Produce Market is in top gear including the completion of a perimeter wall, extension of stalls and additional canopy to enhance security and improve hygiene and sanitation for a better and cleaner business environment.
Similar modernization works in Lokichar and Kakuma markets have been completed with modern ablution blocks and improved sanitation, fencing and installation of floodlights. The tender advertisement for renovation of Loya market in Lokiriama is already out, this market is expected boost trade along the border.
I wish to commend the House for passage of amendments to laws to unlock the Turkana County Biashara Fund, Youth and Women Fund, and the County Co-operative Enterprise Development Fund to finally enable the County Government to disburse funds to the target groups.
Our cooperative awareness and education campaigns continue to register results with the number of registered cooperative societies increasing to from 60 down from 54 in the last one-year. Working hand in hand with our development partners, some of our cooperative societies can now access development financing. Turkana West Integrated Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (TWISACCO) has so far received 2.3 million shillings from Action Africa Help International (AHI). Morulem Cooperative Society will soon receive 15 million shillings from National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP).
My administration’s strategic investments in health infrastructure, human resource for health, modern equipment and a steady supply of medical commodities has greatly improved access to health services from the inter-facility distance of 60km in 2013 to the current distance of 20km.
We intend to further reduce this distance to achieve the World Health Organization recommended distance of 5 Km in the next 2 years. To this end, we are currently undertaking construction of new dispensaries in Loyoro, Naukotlem, Ngimuriae, Ng’ilukia and Kodopa. These projects should be complete by April 2020.
The County Department of Health has invested in integrated outreach campaigns to benefit communities in hard-to-reach areas in order to bridge this healthcare access gap.
In the last three months alone, 6035 pregnant women of the targeted 7,000 managed to successfully attend their fourth Ante Natal visit. This has contributed to the current 64% fourth Ante Natal visit achievement compared to the previous 38%. This is the highest ever fourth ANC visit the county has ever achieved.
Moreover, skilled health personnel in our county health facilities in the last three months conducted 7,068 deliveries. This has taken our deliveries by skilled personnel to a remarkable 65%, which is higher than the national performance target of 62%. We also immunized 9,002 children less than one year old during this period. All vaccines against preventable diseases are currently available in all our health facilities.
Leveraging on Beyond Zero truck and other available utility vehicles to take services closer to the people, my government is proud to report that the outcome of these fixed post service delivery points and mobile outreaches have yielded impressive health targets.
Considerable investments made in this important sector have earned Turkana County her rightful place in driving health care indicators in the Country making Turkana County a benchmark on health care delivery. We recently hosted Samburu County for a benchmarking mission. We will invest in community health units at level one, to ensure that healthcare is available at the household level.
Investment in preventive health interventions and programmes has been my government’s top priority. Through the enactment of the Community Health Services Act, 2018, 167 Community units, in the whole county are operational. The units have extended crucial health services to the households, beyond the 228 health facilities.
Turkana County is just the third county in Kenya to have incentivized Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) by paying a monthly stipend to 1,814 Community Health Volunteers in our County.
Some areas of Turkana are prone to disease outbreaks. Example is the recent cholera outbreak in Kakuma, which we were able to control within 21 days with zero mortalities reported.
The Ministry of Health also managed to contain the recent malaria outbreak, by successfully treating 120,190 malaria patients with no reported deaths. We continue to strengthen capacity of our disease surveillance system to ensure early warning mechanism, for timely and appropriate response.
The Ministry of Health and Sanitation has just dispatched a consignment of essential drugs and medical supplies worth more than 135 million shillings to rural health facilities in the last two weeks.
Our challenge has been the new Kenya Essential Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) ACT, which restricts counties from purchasing drugs and medical supplies from other entities other than KEMSA. The restriction affected the supply of injectable anti-malarial drugs and laboratory reagents in the last two months.
However, we have negotiated with the Agency and have secured a second authorization to source for these commodities from other accredited sources as an alternative. We now have all anti-malaria medicine including the injectable drugs in all health facilities.
The ministry has rolled out procurement of major laboratory equipment and supplies worth 12 million shillings to help in operationalization of more laboratories and theatres at the Sub-county level. The labs will improve diagnostics and proper patient care. I am also happy to announce addition of two more health facilities that have become blood transfusion units; Lorugum and Lopiding Sub-county hospitals.
The County Health Department has completed the equipping of the Elelea Sub County Hospital Theatre and is awaiting official opening soon. This follows after the successful unveiling of similar theatres in Lorugum and Katilu health centres with Lokitaung theatre coming up soon. These theatres will help reduce referrals to Lodwar County and Referral Hospital for patients needing life saving procedures such as caesarean surgeries.
In order to improve staffing of our health facilities, my Government in collaboration with partners has recruited 28 family health nurses to ensure quality and accessible healthcare services within Turkana North, South and Loima Sub counties. In the current financial year, we intend to recruit more health staff to bridge the Human Resource for Health (HRH) gap within the sector considering that the County Public Service Board is now in fully constituted.
We have opened up Kala Azar diagnostic and treatment sites in Kalokol and Kerio besides the site at the Lodwar County Referral Hospital to reduce incidents and improve treatment outcomes of this deadly disease. The County Health Department now has a new yellow fever vaccine introduced into routine immunization to protect our children against yellow fever. Turkana County has been identified as one of the high-risk counties for the fever and we are doing everything we can to mitigate the situation.
While staying true to our promise to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer in Turkana, the department of health begun vaccination against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) targeting girls aged 10 years. So far, 760 have received the vaccination and the exercise will resume when schools open.
Additionally, we have developed the capacity of 20 health facilities in the county to offer cancer screening to enable early detection, prevention and management of the disease.
Through the community led total sanitation approach (CLTS), 172 health villages have been declared open defecation free (ODF). The county has changed the approach to target community units en masse to fast-tracking the achievement of ODF status in all units within the next two years. The ultimate goal of the county is to achieve 100% open defecation free status by 2022.
To enhance healthcare service delivery in the rural areas, my administration continues to support rural health facilities with Health Sector Service Fund to help meet their operating overheads.
The Kenya Roads Board (KRB) has disbursed a total of about 1 Billion shillings of Roads Maintenance Levy Fund for Financial Years 2015/16 to 18/19. Out of these funds over 837.1 Million shillings funded Phase I and Phase II of the Roads Maintenance Levy Fund projects. We have attained 1,808 Kilometers of graded roads and about 93 kilometers of graveled roads including 25 drifts.
Through the department of infrastructure, transport and public works, we have maintained the 54KM Letea-Junction-Elim-Loreng-Ngamorkirionok-Nakitong’o-Kalae National boarder road. Additionally, grading of the 75km Lorugum-Namoruputh-Lokiriama National boarder road and gravelling of the same road is ongoing.
In the first quarter of this financial year, we embarked on completion of 40Km Kakuma Junction-Lomil-Nakitoekirion-Kangataruk Road, the 67Km Lokori junction-Kapedo Road, the 70Km Kamuge-Lomelo-Kapedo Road and 32Km Lomelo-Nadome Road. These roads are now complete. The 2.7Km Lobolo-Longelech Road and the 20Km Kerio-Ngimuriae-Nakurio roads projects are nearing completion.
The implementation of the Roads Maintenance Levy Fund projects is a source of employment to residents of the county. In the first phase 1,535 residents were employed at a total labour cost of 66.4 million shillings and in the second phase 4,471 people got employed with labour accounting for 31.3 million Shillings. The third phase of the RMLF projects will soon be rolled out with relevant implementation plans already approved.
The Lokichar river protection works (lot II) funded by county development budget currently stands at 70%, the work was delayed by recent flash floods and will be resuming soon. The Locher-Ekaal River Protection works have been advertised and will commence soon. We acknowledge the risks that are posed by Kawalase and Turkwel rivers whenever they overflow. We are approaching development partners including the National Government for necessary support to finding lasting solutions to these recurring phenomena.
Honorable Speaker, Honorable Members,
The ministry is currently formulating the Mechanical Transport Fund Policy to help better manage our growing fleet of vehicles. We have constituted a taskforce from the sector to spearhead the drafting of this policy, which will also guide management of an ISO Certified Fleet Management System. The system manages and monitors tracking devices to be installed on all county vehicles for efficient and effective use of county vehicles.
A road safety campaign to sensitize road users on the importance of following safety regulations and behavioral change is planned for this December.
The Public Works Department is engaged in management and supervision of infrastructural development projects, and committed to ensuring structures in the county meet the required standards. This financial year 70 Bill of Quantities (BQ’s) have been developed including 30 Interim Payment Certificates (IPC’s) for various county departments. Some the structural projects include the Turkana County Government HQ complex and Biashara Centre complex at Ekaales Centre. The department is also developing a technical design for a sports stadium in Lodwar.
I am happy to report that due to immense investment in the Early Childhood Development Education sector, pupil enrollment has risen from 75,635 in 2013 to 116,428 this year. The transition rates have also improved and now stand at 82% for Pre-Primary 2 (16055 boys and 14208 girls) translating to 30,263 pupils to grade one.
This improvement is attributed to the County’s School Feeding Programme, quality control by the sub-county education officers and continuous teacher training.
My government in partnership with Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB) branded ECDE Skill grow series book readers and purchased them along with Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) designs worth over 7.3 Million shillings last August. Also purchased were tablets at a cost of 15 million shillings to complement the digital learning element of the new curriculum.
We also launched the implementation of the Competency Based Curriculum through distribution of instructional materials to all ECDE centers. In partnership with KLB 400 teachers and teacher trainees received training from the ECDE College in September this year.
My government procured three lorries that cost government 32 million shillings. The trucks serve the greater Turkana South, Central and North and support transportation of ECDE food supplies to centers across the County including supporting relief food distribution during emergencies.
We have also recruited 300 ECDE teachers this year to supplement the existing 288. We are glad that the Turkana County Public Service Board has approved their appointment and they will be reporting to their duty stations by January 2020.
To better coordinate development programmes by all the ECDE sector players, there is now established a working ECDE stakeholders’ forum. This forum steers implementation of all ECDE Projects, mobilizes, and pools resources from stakeholders for successful achievement of all the ECDE project objectives for the benefit of the learners.
In the last one year, my government utilized 183.5 million shillings to construct 26 new ECDE centres, to bring the number of centres in the county 266. I must commend the support of partners in co-funding the development of our County ECDE Feeding Policy Framework as customized from National ECDE Policy. The framework will soon be brought to the floor of the house for consideration and approval.
In last financial year (2018/2019), we spent 135.4 million shillings to procure 303 metric tonnes of fortified porridge, 450 metric tonnes white maize, 200 metric tonnes of beans, 26 metric tonnes of vegetable oil, and 16 tonnes of salt for our ECDE feeding programme.
The Turkana County Skill Development Fund continues to be a success story putting smiles to the faces of students and parents alike. My administration acknowledges the progressive success of this fund from the previous years. The fund has granted the needy and bright students across Turkana County an opportunity to pursue their dreams.
The last financial year 2018/2019 saw my administration disburse 344 million shillings to 35,580 needy students. To break it down further, we transferred 201.309 million shillings to secondary schools, 37.7 million shillings to colleges, 58.98 million to universities, 6.9 million to medical colleges, 16.5 million to teacher training colleges, 3.4 million to vocational/polytechnic institutions and 3.9 million to driving schools and adult education centres. The difference accounts for administrative costs.
We have set aside 250 million shillings for bursaries for this financial year. A call for applications for bursaries has been sent to the public with the deadline for application set for 5th December this year. 145 million shillings shall be distributed across 30 wards before schools open in January 2020.
I have advised the County Executive Committee Member for Education to instruct the County Bursary Secretariat to set aside one million shillings from each ward to cater for the form one students joining secondary schools in January 2020.
As members will recall, there was a sharp drop in the amount allocated and approved for bursaries in this financial year compared to the previous year, from 344 million shillings to 250 million shillings this year. I plead with this second assembly to consider supporting our strategic development efforts to invest in education and training of our human capital to build adequate human resource that is versatile and competitive in the modern world. I implore the honorable members to consider maintaining a steady increase in the bursary kitty to meet the ever rising needs of our students.
Our vocational training centers continue to attract many artisans with the enrollment of trainees increasing from 194 in 2016 to 528 in 2019 in the six operational centers across the County. The increase is due to additional number of instructors employed, expansion of training facilities, improved accommodation services and awareness campaign carried out in schools and villages.
The Directorate of Vocational Education is introducing new courses this year. The new courses include refrigeration and air conditioning, Solar Photovoltaic engineering, Leather technology, Secretarial studies and driving courses. Other support subjects offered include entrepreneurship, life skills, communication skills and technical drawing.
Renovations are ongoing for Kataboi, Lokichar, Kaaleng, Lokichogio and Kalokol vocational training centres with intention to operationalize these institutions fully.
My Government continues to champion for the democratic participation and inclusion of Persons-living with Disabilities in governance. Though the Turkana County Persons with Disabilities Act, 2017 was signed two years ago, its implementation has been delayed after the Controller of Budget found some of its sections to be in conflict with the Public Finance Management (County Government) Regulations 2015. Under Article 209 (1) (a) of the regulations, imposition of income tax is the exclusive mandate of the National Government and therefore the Act under Section 10 (3) and 12 (1) cannot purport to grant exemptions on income tax.
Additionally, section 28 and 29 of the same Act, provides for annual appropriation of funds to the Persons with Disabilities Fund. The Controller of Budget observed that this is contrary to the Article 197 of the Public Finance Management (County Governments) Regulations, 2015, which provides that public funds should not rely on annual appropriations.
I want to appreciate the efforts by the House Committee for Labour, Gender and Social Services, County Assembly’s legal team and my technical officers for spearheading the review of this law and giving recommendations in line with the proposed amendments by the Controller of Budget.
Earlier last month, Turkana County became the first County to launch a Child Protection Strategy for 2019-2022 in collaboration with development partners. The strategy will guide efforts to protect children from abuse, neglect and exploitation. It is my expectation that the joint effort that went into drafting the strategy will go into its implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
My administration intends to establish a modern stadium inspired by the shape of our traditional turkana bowl (Atubwa) next to Ekalees Cultural Centre. The 20,000-seater stadium is a flagship projects that will require considerable investment of resources and time.
Furthermore, we have also committed 10 million shillings to renovate the Lodwar town show grounds to set aside a space for recreation and sporting activities for the youth. For the first time, we held successful inaugural inter-vocational ball games across all vocational training centres in June this year at Lodwar.
My administration has heavily invested to diversify sports disciplines in the county by offering support to sportsmen and women in efforts to nurture and grow their talents. The Tobong’u Lore marathon as part of the Tourism and Cultural Festival will be supported as it gives an opportunity for our youth to display their talent and compete as well as promote sports tourism.
Athletes who represented Turkana at the Annual Desert Wheel Chair Race held in Isiolo County in October this year performed exceptionally well by winning the first two positions. In readiness to the Kenya Youth Inter-County Sports Association (KYISA) Championship to be held in Busia County from 14th to 22nd December, 53 youth aged between 18 to 25 years are currently in various training camps.
In recognition of our potential in athletics, I am happy to report that Turkana County has been granted the opportunity to host National cross-country Championships slated for February 2020. It is our commitments to ensure our young people continue participating in these championships to expose, promote and develop their talents.
Mr. Speaker, Honorable Members,
In the last financial year 2018/2019, the County Treasury received 10.8 billion shillings from the Exchequer; 588.4 million shillings as conditional grants; 175 million shillings as Own Source Revenue and 36.4 million shillings returned from the County Revenue Fund bringing the total revenue receipts to a total of 11.6 billion shillings.
The performance on the budget absorption rate places the County Department of Public Service, Decentralized Administration and Disaster Management ahead with 105% absorption rate attributed to payment of wages and salaries of county public servants. The County Department Finance and Planning recorded 101% while Trade, Gender and Youth Affairs Department recorded the lowest budget absorption of 38%. The county mean budget absorption for county executive for FY 2018/19 was 76 %.
The total planned development expenditure was 5.3 billion shillings with 2.1 billion shillings absorbed in the same period translating to 39.6% of the planned development budget. This underperformance was occasioned by revenue shortfall, delayed approval of supplementary budgets, delayed release of funds from the exchequer, partial non-remittance of some conditional grants and the drought that negatively affected businesses.
Low absorption of development budget is an issue of utmost concern for my government arising from lack of technical capacity in the design of projects and documentation. Consequently, I direct the County Executive Member for Finance and Economic Planning to immediately institute measures to improve capital expenditure absorption by all government entities as we implement the budget for 2019/2020 financial year. However, I am happy to report that the development budget for last financial year stood at 35.68%, of total budget, which is above the legally required threshold of 30%.
In our effort to ensure transparency and accountability in management of public funds through use of Integrated Financial Management and Information System (IFMIS), the County Treasury achieved 95% use of the electronic and online payment solution during the last financial year. There is an improved working environment at the County Treasury including access control and feedback mechanisms to the public.
The state of our eligible pending bills stood at 1.8 billion shillings as per Auditor General report and the amount paid by the end of first quarter for Financial Year 2019/2020 was 1.3 billion shillings. The outstanding balance as at 18th July 2019 stood at 520.7 million translating to 70% performance.
The County Treasury is committed to clearing all the pending bills and commitments in the next few months now that the National Treasury has set payment of the pending bills as a pre-condition for disbursement of funds to counties. We are in the process of setting-up a pending bills committee which will review the ineligible bills contained in the auditor general’s report with a view to have them eligible. Our request to the house is to support the pending bills clearance process to ensure small business are not affected as well as ensure compliance with the National Treasury new requirement.
The total Own Source Revenue raised in 2018/2019 Financial Year was 175 million shillings representing 70% performance against an annual target of 250 million shillings. There was a notable 21% growth in the Own Source Revenue collection in 2018/2019 Financial Year compared to 144 million shillings collected in 2017/18 Financial Year.
In the first quarter of 2019/2020 the total Own Source Revenue raised was 54 Million. By our projections, the Own Source Revenue for this financial year 2019/2020 is projected to grow by 10% compared to the last financial year, translating to a projected total of 192.5 million from the 175 million received last year. These projections are based on assumptions that fiscal strategies including reforms in revenue administration and continued capacity building as well as enforcement of the Finance Act 2019, which will activate new revenue streams including land rates and boda boda and parking fees.
The capacity for planning and budgeting for Economic Planning department has increased through the employment of economists and statisticians by the County Public Service Board.
The second County Integrated Development Plan has been approved and currently being implemented, Annual Development Plans and the County Budget Review and outlook Paper have been prepared and submitted to the County Assembly as per the law.
The planning department is in the process of development policies for consideration by the cabinet and approval by the assembly among them; The Monitoring and Evaluation bill and policy, The County Statistical abstract and the County Indicator Handbook for 2018-2022. We want to thank UNFPA for supporting the development and review of these documents.
The County Budget Economic Forum has supported the Economic Planning department to conduct annual community participation and consultative forums on planning and budgeting. The existence of the County Budget and Economic Forum will strengthen operational capacity of the county planning unit to deliver on their mandate of project coordination.
The establishment of seven Citizen Resource Centres (CRCs) throughout the county is now complete and in the process of being operationalized.
The Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Department is working to establish ICT platforms in the seven sub-counties which will result in timely reporting, reduced costs of transmitting information, efficient service delivery, and timely response to technical issues raised as well as security of government data and facilitate easy access to information.
We are fully in support of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) process whose report was released to the public on Wednesday last week. Kenya is a republic majorly because of her citizen; land mass and natural resources and thus policies and strategies for development and resource sharing must seek to unleash the entire potential of Kenya’s resources for the benefit of all Kenyans without leaving any section of this Country behind.
In conclusion, Turkana County is in the right development trajectory and on course towards a more prosperous and just county with equal opportunities for all. I would like to rally the membership of this honourable assembly and the entire political, religious and business leadership in Turkana County to partner with us in the journey of true transformation of our County. Everyone and every idea counts in the process of nation building as we all aspire to achieve the development aspirations of our people as contained in the County Integrated Development Plan CIDP 2018-2022.
Thank you for the opportunity to address this honourable House.
May God bless you all.
May God bless our development partners.
May God bless Turkana County.
May God bless Kenya.