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DISTRIBUTION OF SUPPLEMENTARY FEEDS KICKS OFF IN LOTUREREI

County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Ebei Aemun has today rolled out livestock feeds distribution programme targeting 750 households in Kanamkemer and Kangathota Wards of Turkana Central Sub-County.

The 37.5 Metric tonnes of range cubes was procured by Peace Winds Japan organization to cushion livestock from starvation due limited vegetation by bridging the gap before regeneration of pasture and browse after pouring of rains a few days ago.

One hundred and fifty households at Loturerei each received a 50Kg bag of range cubes while the remaining 600 bags will be distributed to Naipa, Naoros and Akatuman areas of Kangathota Ward as from tomorrow.

In his remarks, CECM Aemun said that launch of the program at Loturerei was a beginning of drought mitigation measures by the County Government and livestock partners that’s intended to protect breeding herds and lactating ones from starvation due to lack of key nutrients that support important body functions.

The County Executive revealed that other actors including those involved in desert control have been mobilized to cheap in and help in purchase of the supplementary feeds to support livestock farmers after devastating losses due to prolonged drought.

According to the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) early warning report, Turkana County had been classified at alarm phase of the drought cycle.

Acting County Director for Livestock Production Bobby Ekadon regretted that the drought had disrupted availability of pasture and water for livestock, warning that the current rains experienced might worsen livestock body conditions before regeneration of pasture.

Others who spoke included Peace Winds Japan Turkana Field Coordinator Daniel Ekal as well as Deputy Directors Geoffrey Apedor (Administration) and Ernest Anzenze (Livestock Marketing).

County Livestock Production Officers were also present.

GOVERNOR NANOK DEMANDS QUICK SOLUTION TO TULLOW OIL WASTE MANAGEMENT MALPRACTICE

Lodwar, 7th May 2021 (By Governor’s Press Service)- Governor Josphat Nanok has called for an immediate action on safe disposal of hazardous waste from oil and gas operations at the South Lokichar oil basin.

Warning of the harmful impact the toxic waste has on the environmental and the health dangers to communities living close to unsecured dumping sites, the Governor said if National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and Tullow Oil Plc fail to comply, the County Government will head to court. This is in a bid to protect the health of the people and the already fragile environment.

Speaking during a meeting with members of NEMA Board of Management, led by Augustine Neto, who paid him a visit at the County HQ, Governor Nanok decried lack of poor information flow on waste management, with the community and County Government in the dark over measures being taken.

“We have not done so well on waste management in the extractives sector, especially with oil and gas where there has been no feedback on disposal of hazardous material on a number of sites not approved by the County Government.”

” There is need for a solution on management of waste sites left problematic immediately and to lay groundwork for proper environmental care before we begin full oil production. If the situation stays longer as it is, I can guarantee that we well sue NEMA and Tullow,” he stated.

He called for a review of the law on public participation in relation to environmental impact assessment, to compel organisations to use alternative media to reach the public who have no access to newspapers or other traditional media.

To manage artisanal mining sector in the county, Governor Nanok urged for collaboration to develop regulations on environmental protection. He also asked for further partnership to develop the capacity of County Environmental officers and close working relations between the agency and the county.

On invasive prosopis, the Governor reiterated on need to issue commercial licenses for charcoal burning in areas the invasion was extensive, to rid arable land and pasture fields of the plant. The available land will then benefit from reforestation programmes.

He said the County Government and NEMA will partner to review and develop regulations to guide hospitality industry developing infrastructure along Lake Turkana, with rising levels of the lake threatening establishments.

Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro, who is serving as the County Executive for Water, Environment and Mineral Resources echoed the Governor’s concern on toxic waste from oil exploration dumping sites not approved by NEMA or the County Government, with a danger of contamination of water sources.

With rising need of environmental inspection, the DG urged the board to strengthen the capacity of NEMA office in Lodwar.

While NEMA’s Agostinho Neto assured the Governor that NEMA was addressing environmental concerns on oil exploration and had just concluded a visit to a number of waste disposal sites. He said further engagement of all stakeholders in the oil sector was needed to address the lack of coordination.

He also announced that the Authority was working on a policy and set of regulations to manage artisanal mining in Kenya, and was working with Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFFRI) for a solution to prosopis invasion.

Senior County officials present were Chief Officer for Water, Environment and Mineral Resources Moses Natome, Director of Environment Clement Nadio, Director of Mineral Resources Stella Opakas and Advisor on Extractives Iris Mariao.

Other NEMA Board Members present were Prof. Barnabas Mitaru, Teresiah Malokwe, Halima Ware, Juma Ngeiywa as well as NEMA County Director for Environment Jacob Ambasa.

COUNTY DISPENSES VETERINARY SUPPLIES WORTH SH36M TO SUB-COUNTIES

As part of ensuring adequate livestock vaccines and drugs for effective livestock disease control, County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Ebei today in Lodwar flagged off Veterinary supplies and equipment worth Ksh.36 million for prepositioning at the Sub-Counties cold chain stores.

CECM Ebei said decentralization of the essential drug supplies which includes cold chain facility will enhance early preparedness and timely response to emergency, and targeted disease control.

“A health animal population is a key block in ensuring that food security agenda is achieved, having in a mind that the livestock sector is the backbone and source of livelihood for the Turkana people,” he said.

The supplies shall be under the custody of decentralized animal health committee chaired by Sub County Administrators, with Sub County Veterinary Officer taking the role of the secretary to the committee and ensure accountability/documentation of the supplies.

While attributing success of livestock diseases surveillance to a supportive and robust community disease reporting system, the County Executive directed that veterinary officers coordinate with the CDRs to identify kraals that have never been reached as well as positioning the vaccines at key migratory routes to cover a larger number of livestock, when vaccination exercise begins.

County Chief Officer for Fisheries, Livestock and Veterinary Services Abdulahi Yusuf assured that the distribution plan for vaccines was ready and lauded partner’s support on implementation the livestock programs.

County Director for Veterinary Services Benson Longor assured of his directorate readiness to embark on a targeted vaccination exercise that’s informed by data collected on the e-surveillance system.

Others who spoke at the brief event attended by officers drawn from the Pastoral Economy and Fisheries were Directors; Bobby Ekadon (Livestock Production) and Robert Kibunja (Fisheries).

GROUP TO CONDUCT LABOUR MARKET ASSESSMENT OF KEY SECTORS IN TURKANA

Lodwar, 4th May, 2021 (By Governor’s Press Service)– An international development organization is conducting a study of the regional labour market to identify opportunities that exist for women and youth within the Big Four Agenda sectors.

Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) has partnered with the Colleges and Institutes-Canada (CICan) and the Mastercard Foundation to implement a five-year programme aimed at developing capacity of 26 centres of excellence as model TVET institutions, by determining gaps in the labour market to develop market-relevant skills training programme.

In a meeting with the Deputy County Secretary Robert Loyelei, representatives of MEDA said the rapid scans will help establish areas where demand for specific skills were high, to inform employment opportunities for youth and women.

DCS Loyelei said the County Government was committed to supporting private sector development to create employment opportunities for the youth in a bid to tackle the high rate of youth unemployment. He advised the group to focus on three sectors with huge economic potential in Turkana- livestock, fisheries and irrigation agriculture.

Additionally, he said the tourism sector of the county possessed a great potential and required skilled workforce to develop it. He added that establishment of infrastructure was the key to sustainable tourism.

The DCS proposed development of a TVET programme with incentives for the youth, to increase enrolment into the centres. He encouraged the team to partner with other organisations working in the sector, such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Lincoln Mbogo of MEDA revealed that the group was to focus on construction and tourism and hospitality sectors in their study, but agreed to widen its scope to include livestock production, fisheries and agriculture.

He informed the DCS that the partner organisations were implementing the ‘Young Africa Works-Kenya: Youth Employability through TVET Programme in Kenya’ aimed at increasing enrollment of youth and women in relevant skills training programmes.

County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun emphasized on need for a mindset change among the youth about agriculture to build the next generation of entrepreneurs in the sector in Turkana.

Education, Sports and Social Protection Chief Officer Pauline Lokuruka said her department was working with MCAs to increase bursary allocation to trainees in TVETs within Turkana, in a bid to support further growth of the institutions. She insisted on need to break cultural barriers which prevented more youth from enrolling in courses within the hospitality industry.

Chief of Staff Ekuwam Nakiporo agreed that the study will build data which will be used to communicate with the youth on the opportunities existing within particular sectors, to encourage private sector involvement where employment opportunities still exist.

VICTIMS OF BANDITRY ATTACKS BENEFIT FROM RESTOCKING PROGRAMME

Kainuk, May 1, 2021 (Governor’s Press Service)– More than 100 households in Lobokat ward have today benefited from launch of a restocking program that was officiated by Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro.

The restocking exercise program which targets 516 households with 2700 Sheep/Goats in Lobokat and Kaputir Wards is aimed at rebuilding pastoralist economic assets and livelihoods after loosing their livestock to bandits a few years ago.

116 households in Lobokat ward drawn from Kainuk, Kakong and Loyapat villages have received the program while the remaining 400 will be distributed to selected areas of Kaputir Ward.

While assuring of Government commitment towards cementing the existing peace in the Turkana-West Pokot border, DG Lotethiro outlined Government development plans which included implementation of sustainable food security projects in Turkana, and resilient livestock programs that are beneficial to wananchi.

He underscored the importance of peaceful coexistence among communities living along the border that he said would aid initiation of development projects and regretted that few elements who fueled conflict had denied the region socio-economic investment.

Targeted households received six sheep/goats in Lobokat ward while beneficiaries in Kaputir ward, whose distribution is expected to commence tomorrow, will receive five sheep/goats per house hold.

County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun said that family vulnerability and extent of loss was considered in selection of beneficiaries for the restocking program that was meant to take place in FY 2018/2019 but delayed because of unavoidable circumstances.

He assured herders present that his ministry had procured enough livestock vaccines and veterinary drugs that would soon be prepositioned to Sub-Counties cold chain stores to help in targeted treatment and disease control.

County Chief Officer for Fisheries, Livestock and Veterinary Services Abdulahi Yusuf noted that his department plans to upscale pasture conservation, livestock marketing and bee keeping in near future. While Lobokat Ward MCA David Erukudi lauded the initiative that he said would create resilience among families that had socio-economically been grounded by raids.

Others who spoke included Directors Bobby Ewoi (Livestock Production) and Benson Longor(Veterinary Services) in the brief event that was also attended by Deputy Directors Geoffrey Apedor (Administration), John Eipa (Range Management) and Ernest Anzenze(Livestock Marketing).

Turkana South’s County Government staff were led by Sub-County Administrator Alexander Losikiria.

ASSESSING VIABILITY OF CONSTRUCTING MODERN MARKET IN KATILIA

The County Ministry of Trade has finalized plans of putting up a modern market at Katilia ward in Turkana East sub county to boost economic income of the locals.

CEC for Trade Charles Lokiyoto has said complete renovation and operationalization of the market was long overdue and therefore required urgent commitment to make it move.

Speaking at Lokori when he met the market management committee, CEC Lokiyoto said concerted effort is needed to fast track market renovation and finishing for eventual opening.

He thanked the women group that took active role in initial renovation of the structure and called on the community to give them full support and ensure this vision is realized.

Lokiyoto equally asked traders to take advantage of Biashara and Cooperative funds to be disbursed soon in readiness for the market operation to boost their businesses.

Acting Chief Officer for Trade James Lokwale told the committee to prioritize market users when distributing Biashara and Cooperative fund loan application forms.

He said there was an urgent need to operationalize the market following a huge influx of business people to the area to buy available produce for commercial use.

Lokwale tasked sub county, ward Administrator and the committee to work out on modalities on how businesses will pay taxes and harmonize prices to prevent exaggerations.

This modern market, he added, will be the first to be officially opened among the stalled structures.

The Committee is required to provide a list of market users by next week.

 

Also present were were sub county Administrator Reuben Eleo, Ward Admins Simon koloi ( Katilia) and Nikilau Chamale ( Lokori).

LIVESTOCK BRANDING TO BEGIN IN TURKANA WEST SUB-COUNTY

Livestock stakeholders drawn from the National and County Government as well as those from the Non-Governmental Organization have today met in Lodwar to prepare a roadmap on planned branding of livestock at Lokipoto and Nakitong’o areas of Turkana West Sub-County.

County Chief Officer for Fisheries,Livestock and Veterinary Services Abdulahi Yusuf opened the one-day event that drew County Government staff from the departments of Pastoral Economy and Peace Building.

In his remarks,CCO Abdulahi said that livestock branding exercise would reduce conflict on ownership of livestock as it would have visible marks, and would also help in preservation of culture as identification would have regional attractions that he said each sub-County had its own unique features.

The branding stock act of 2012 and Veterinary Services Guideline 2014,outlines the County Government’s overnment role on Livestock Identification and Traceability systems (LITs) that includes and not limited to conducting livestock identification using approved identification systems such as Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFIDs), branding and microchips.

Additional roles include data upload on livestock registration, veterinary interventions, test results and movement records to the central database.

The National Government on the other side is supposed to undertake registration and regulation of all livestock identification systems such as brands, RFIDs and radio tracking devices.

County Director for Veterinary Services Dr.Benson Longor said sub-counties near international borders,and assured that Government’s readiness to undertake exercise that he said had been accepted by the National Government’s Directorate of Veterinary Services.

Lotus Kenya Action for Development organization (LOKADO) Chief Executive Officer Augustine Kai assured of the commitment by the organization to support implementation of the program just as it has done on peace initiatives along the Kenya-Uganda border.

WATER AUTHORITY GIVEN 10 DAYS TO COMPLETE NAPUU PROJECT

Lodwar, 26th April 2021 (By Governor’s Press Service)– Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro has directed the contractor to finalise the Napuu Water project within 10  days.

The DG who is the acting County Executive for Water Services, Environment and Mineral Resources, directed the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority (NWHSA) who are undertaking the project to conclude remaining works.

Speaking after an inspection tour of the project today, DG Lotethiro said the project launched in 2019 and initially expected to be completed within three months had taken too long while residents of major parts of Kanamkemer remained without water.

Patrick Ndumia, a technician with the NWHSA assured the DG of the Authority’s commitment to conclude the project having already laid supply pipes from Napuu aquifer to the 300m³ steel tank erected in Narewa as well as distribution lines to villages and institutions within Kanamkemer. Over 16000 people are set to be supplied with water after completion of the project, from Narewa, Lokitela, Ekaales, Mathewan, Kasarani, Juluk and Trans Africa as well as connection to Kisumu PolyTechnic, Turkana University College and Kanamkemer Sub-County Hospital.

The assurance come after demand for answers on cause of delay from the Deputy Governor to the Authority’s CEO Erick Okeyo and acting Chief Executive Officer Sharon Obonyo. In a visit to Lodwar last May, CEO Okeyo had promised timely completion of the project.

The DG has directed LOWASCO to rehabilitate water supply systems within areas to benefit from the project, to ensure residents can access water either from taps at their homesteads or from a number of water kiosks set up. He has also called for plans to be set to address concern of residents’ construction cutting off water pipes set up along land set aside for public road network.

The DG who was accompanied by Kanamkemer MCA James Ikeny, Water Chief Officer Moses Natome and Director Tito Ochieng, inspected ongoing construction in Napuu aquifer and the entire supply and distribution line to Kanan village.

Other senior County staff present were Turkana Central Sub-County Water Officer Kenneth Omondi, Patrick Njoroge (Deputy Sub County Water Officer) and Reinhard Wanjala- Planning and Design.

GOVERNORS NANOK AND LONYANG’APUO DISCUSS REGIONAL PEACE, TECH INNOVATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

Loropio, 23rd April 2021 (Governor’s Press Service)- Governor Josphat Nanok today hosted West Pokot Governor Prof. John Lonyangapuo and held discussions on cross-border peace and development.

The Governors visited Value Villages in Loropio, Kalokol Ward, and agreed on need for investing in technology and innovation to spur development in the region. The Value Villages is a fish, feeds and fish leather processing company, which sources fish from local fishermen, producing fish fillet while utilizing waste to make value added prodcuts including poultry feeds and fish leather products.

Governor Nanok said the two held engagements on the security situation of Turkana border with West Pokot and the ongoing security operation in Tiaty, Baringo County.

“We have held talks on development affecting our people and discussed measures we can implement as leaders to foster peace along our borders. We have also met to find joint means of engagement with leaders from Uganda following recent elections, on cross-border peace,” he said.

Governor Nanok stated that he was impressed by the growth of Digital Lions ICT Campus in Loropio, a start-up where youth are trained on IT and Media then empowered to grow into entrepreneurs using the skills to earn a living. He said the institution had the potential to grow into a university on ICT which will produce the experts in technology in the region.

Addressing trainees at the institution, the Governor Nanok encouraged them to embrace the opportunities with knowledge and emulate founders of big global technological companies such as Microsoft and Amazon, whose founders did not attend institutions of higher learning, but went on to build global tech companies.

He added that investment in Value Villages should inspire the region to develop technological hub similar to Konza City, for the Northrift region to be the centre of innovations, build skills to spur development including in food security, green energy. He promised that the County Government will continue partnership with Value Villages to empower communities and transform livelihoods.

Governor Nanok also commended the idea behind futuristic Wakanda High School which intends to offer a technology-driven “paperless” education.

West Pokot Governor Prof. John Lonyang’apuo expressed his awe for the idea behind Value Villages and its power to transform a marginalised area and develop technological experts and value addition hub that needs to be emulated.

He said the idea fit with global trends where all aspects of development are driven by technology. He promised to bring senior officers from his administration to learn from the institution and echoed sentiments by Governor Nanok on need for a technological hub for the region.

The initiative is promoting employment and self-reliance among youth who develop websites, logos, among other products for local and international companies for a fee.

Kalokol MCA Simon Nang’iro commended Governor Lonyangapuo for his support of peace between the Turkana and Pokot communities. Accompanying the Governors was County Executive for Trade Charles Lokiyoto, Acting Chief Officer for Trade James Lokwale, Director for ICT James Eripon, Deputy Director for Sports Jackson Nakusa among other senior County Government officials.

COUNTY GOVERNMENT AND KENYA POWER STRIKE DEAL TO END LODWAR WATER CRISIS

Lodwar, 12th April 2021 (By Governor’s Press Service)– The County Government will fastrack payment of pending power bills owed to Kenya Power, with the power company committing to reconnect water supply systems within Lodwar Municipality.

Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro has ordered the Lodwar Water Services Company (LOWASCO), the County Water Services Department and County Treasury to finalise payment of an initial Sh5.4million before June, which is part of a Sh11million power bill owed by LOWASCO.

In a meeting with key stakeholders in his office meant to solve the crisis, the DG decried the situation that had seen residents of the municipality go five days without water, after Kenya Power disconnected power supply to water system operated by LOWASCO.

DG Lotethiro who also serves as the County Executive for the Water docket, said the situation was unacceptable and ordered that all responsible individuals work round the clock to ensure water supply was back on track before end of the day.

He noted that public outcry over the crisis could not be ignored, stating that it was critical that the County Government remains sensitive to the plight of residents of Turkana, especially during the current Covid-19 pandemic where hygiene was critical to stop spread of the virus.

In the meeting, it was also agreed that LOWASCO will pay Sh1million each month with DG Lotethiro ordering the company to improve integrity of its officers in collecting charges from water trucks and water users. He said regular payment of bills and commitment to clear the debt will build confidence between LOWASCO and Kenya Power, as the County Government prepares to launch a new urban water services company in line with the County Water Act (2019).

Kenya Power’s County Business Manager Damaris Akal promised that power connection to the water systems will be restored once the commitments agreed were delivered. She expressed confidence that the meeting will finally address concerns by the company insisting that good working relationship was key to avert such a crisis in future.

The Deputy Governor promised to shift focus to address the Napuu Water project delay which is being implemented by the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority (NWHSA). He said the delay had prolonged water problems in parts of Kanamkemer ward and further delays could not be tolerated.

In the meeting was Chief Officer for Water Services Moses Natome, Director Treasury Nicholas Maiyo, Deputy Director for Water David Kosgei, MD LOWASCO Benedict Ekeru and Principal Administrator Faith Akuwom.al Administrator Faith Akuwom.