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6000 benefits from free medical camp attended by Governor Nanok and DG Lotethiro

About 6035 people benefitted from a first ever two days free KMPDU medical camp in Turkana south and east sub counties held on 31st May and 1st June 2019 at Lokichar sub county hospital and morulem dispensary respectively. A total of 1350 sanitary pads were donated, 47 patients were recommended for admission and 27 others benefited from minor surgeries. Clothes and books were donated to children’s home in Lodwar.

The camp was initiated and executed owing to the warm friendship and cordial working relationship between the by Governor Nanok and the KMPDU leadership. KMPDU was able to attract more than 60 medical specialists from all over the country including the Kenya Defense forces medics and civilian practitioners to attend. The doctors were supported by nurses, clinical officers, sign language interpreters and community health officers from Turkana County.

While speaking at the closing ceremony of the event, Governor Nanok commended the KMPDU chair Dr. Samwel Oroko and secretary general Dr. Ouma Oluga for ensuring the presence of more than 60 medical practitioners to offer specialized services to the residents of Turkana. The Governor also used the closing ceremony of the camp to credit the improvement of health services in pastoralist counties to devolution. Governor Nanok called for improved allocation of funds to the medical sector by the national government to accelerate realization of universal health coverage.

KMPDU chair Dr. Samwel Oroko called for change in perception of union movements in Kenya. The chair observed that many people associated KMPDU with strikes only yet the union was capable of holding CSR services like the two days medical camp. The chair was praised Governor Nanok and the entire management team of the County Ministry of Health for the selfless service and sacrifice that made the event a success. The secretary general Dr. Ouma Oluga divulged that the union had submitted their proposals to the Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA) for improved funding of health sector.

During the opening ceremony, DG lotethiro said that KMPDU has clearly demonstrated their concern and understanding to the medical needs of the people of Turkana by holding the camp. The DG promised that the county will upscale school health initiatives by creating a budget line in both the ministry of education and the ministry of health for supply of sanitary pads in the county to all school going girls in Turkana.  He also called on KMPDU to consider holding similar camps in the future so as to reach more far flung communities in Turkana.

County executive committee member for health Hon. Jane Ajele said that the county had made significant strides in provision of quality health care to the entire population of Turkana and beyond through innovations. Hon. Ajele cited the birthing stool and medical beads as key inventions that have transformed reproductive health and diagnosis of pneumonia in Turkana. The minister also added that the county was on course for the implementation of universal health care (UHC) by abolishing hospital charges in all level two and three facilities.

County chief officer for health and sanitation Dr. Abok praised Governor Nanok for initiating discussions that led to the realization of the camp. Dr. Abok said that the camp had adopted a holistic integrated approach that brings together all the medical specialists to conduct medical reviews on patients, offer diagnosis and treatment and, recommend referrals for further medical care where applicable. Dr. Abok appreciated all the partners who contributed to the success of the camp and hinted at continued engagement with safarilink airlines to airlift needy cases to facilities that could provide specialized care needed.

The event was attended by the MP for Turkana south Hon. James Lomenen, his counterpart for Turkana East Hon. Mohammed Lokiru Ali, CECMs Easther Lowei, Robert Lotelengo; chief officer Ariko Namoit and others

COUNTY AND LVTC IT DEPARTMENTS HOLD A CONSULTATIVE MEETING

The Department of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), under the Ministry Finance and Economic Planning, held a consultative meeting with the Lodwar Vocational Training Center (LVTC) IT Department, during which both sides agreed to work together to enhance the IT capacity of the students and strengthen cooperation.
The meeting come up about when the County ICT team received the first IT students from the institution for attachment and realized the skills gap. Therefore, the team decided to take a proactive approach to reach out to the IT Instructors to identify these gaps and figure out how best to assist in grow the department through collaboration.
“We are looking at a futurist way of developing IT professionals with the right skills within the county which will be for the betterment of the entire community,” said James Eripon, county Director of IT.
The county-run institution introduced the two-year IT Certificate course in 2017 and the first class had only four students; three of which are currently on attachment at the county IT Department. Its second class has 10 students which is an indication that the course is growing.
“From the interaction with the students, we saw we need to form a possible partnership to work together,” said Washington Malala, the county CICTO Technical Support and System Maintenance.
Lanka Ekaran, the county CICTO Software and Applications, concurred with Washington noting that although the students where well versed in theory, the practical skills needed improvement. Therefore, he suggested that the two parties should look also into sharing resources; hardware and software.
“We would like to encourage the IT professionals to address the students to exposure them, even as they go through the set curriculum, on the professional courses they need to pursue to have skills-based specifics like networking or security,” said Director Eripon.
In regards to involving the institution more in driving the IT agenda in the county, he said LVTC would be one of the stakeholders in the ICT Steering Committee that was being constituted.
Charles Rasare, the LVTC Manager, appreciated the IT Department calling for the meeting and recognized indeed more IT skills like networking and programming were need to take the students to the next level. He also looked forward to the cooperation between the two parties.
At the end of meeting, the parties suggested that a meeting with the top county executive concerned should be organized soon and will focus on how to expand cooperation.
Others in attendance included Peter Alimon (CICTO Networks and Security) and Emmanuel Emanikor (IT intern) from the county IT department. Aiyen Haron, Ekal Michael, Winnie Cheroitot and Samson Lowapa instructors from LVCT IT Department.

TURKANA COUNTY GOVERNMENT, MINISTRY OF DEFENSE AND LEADERS TO CARRY OUT RECONNAISSANCE OF PROPOSED MILITARY BASES

A joint technical committee comprising senior County Government officials, the Kenya Defense Forces and leaders is set to carry out reconnaissance on locations of proposed military bases to be set up across Turkana.

The reconnaissance visits are expected to assess the suitability of proposed sites, socio-economic and environmental impacts of setting up the bases,  human settlements and grazing areas likely to be affected among other aspects; in Turkana Central, Turkana South, Turkana East, Turkana West, Turkana North and Kibish subcounties.

The team held a planning meeting today at the County Government HQ in Lodwar, chaired by the County Secretary Peter Eripete and attended by the representatives of KDF led by Col. S.K Sane, who represented MoD team leader Major Gen. (Rtd) Oyugi.

The joint reconnaissance was decided after thev consultative meeting between Ministry of Defense, Turkana County Government and elected leaders led by Governor Josphat Nanok in Nairobi on 8th April 2019. The Governor has in the past lauded the process for land acquisition for military use in the county, which began in March 2017, as the most consultative of all land acquisition processes by a National Government entity.

CS Eripete said the joint technical team will compile a report which will advise the final decision on land acquisition by the National and County Government and elected leaders. He assured that public participation will be carried out before the land allocation.

On his part Col. Sane appreciated the goodwill shown by the County Government and local leadership and insisted that KDF will adhere to plans by the County and its leadership. He was accompanied by Col. M.S. Mwacharo representing the Kenya Army and Lt. Col. A. B Ahmed of the Kenya Navy among other officers.

The technical team included Deputy County Secretary Robert Loyelei, County Executive for Lands Anthony Apalia, Senior Advisor for Security, Peace and Borderlands Initiatives,  Cpt. (Rtd.) Augustine Lokwang; Chief Officers Mark Ewesit (Lands), Abraham Losinyen (Administration and Disaster Management) and Joseph Ekalale (Office of the Governor); Directors were Richard Emoru (Economic Planning), Clement Nadio (Environment) and Julius Lokaale (Inspectorate) and GIS officer John Mutemi from county lands department.

COUNTY GOVERNMENT AND WFP SIGN MOU TO IMPLEMENT FOOD SECURITY PROGRAMME

The County Government and World Food Programme (WFP) have today signed a five-year agreement for the joint implementation of development programmes aimed at achieving food security in Turkana.

The MOU signed by Governor Josphat Nanok and WFP Representative and Country Director Annalisa Conte today morning in Lodwar, will align efforts to transform and influence County Government’s structures and food systems, through joint investment to build resilience for communities, increase market access for farmers, strengthen the County’s preparedness towards dealing with emergencies, implement school-feeding programme and nutrition campaigns for the vulnerable.

Speaking after the signing, the Governor said investment to support food production through flood-based farming for over 10,000 households will contribute to achieving food security which he said was a priority for the County Government, and help to reduce the size of the county’s population that is dependent on relief food.

“This agreement is going to run for the next five years and we will be utilizing resources for the WFP to increase acreage under flood-based farming irrigation. The biggest target for the County Government is to ensure that we drastically reduce the number of food insecure people from the high number of 80 percent to a manageable figure,” he said.

Governor Nanok said the County Government will take lead of the programme and thanked WFP for support for the agreement and past support for emergency intervention, refugee assistance and asset creation. He added that the programme will bring in more partners to invest in better storage for food produced to limit post-harvest losses.

On her part, Ms. Conte said WFP was shifting its form of support for the region from primarily providing relief response to joint investment to develop food security of communities.

“We will continue providing relief whenever needed but we want to change the lives of these people who are regularly affected by food insecurity and under the leadership of the County Government we will work together to support communities have better access to food, diversify livelihoods and developing and integrating the markets,” she said, adding that part of efforts to strengthen market linkages for small holder producers will be to support their financial literacy and access to credit.

CECM for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Chris Aletia, who will chair the Project Steering Committee which is tasked with overseeing the implementation of the partnership, said the programme will open doors for development that will impact several other sectors apart from agriculture and livestock production. He said the focus for his department in irrigation for crop production was to move beyond conventional techniques by introducing new means such as the flood-based farming system.

Present at the signing was the County Secretary Peter Eripete, Finance and Economic Planning CECM Robert Loteleng’o, Chief Officers Dr. Michael Eregae (Livestock, Fisheries and Veterinary Services) and Joshua Lemuya (Agriculture and Land Reclamation), Chief of Staff Ekuwam Nakiporo and Deputy Director for Resource Mobilization Charles Ekai.

COUNTY GOVERNMENT TO STRENGTHEN MULTI-PARTNER PEACE INITIATIVE AT KENYA-ETHIOPIA BORDER

Governor Josphat Nanok has announced that the County Government is leading efforts to strengthen peace initiatives between communities living along the border with Ethiopia.

Speaking in Kibish yesterday when he hosted talks with a delegation from Nyangatom Woreda District of the South Omo zone, the Governor said the region stands to benefit from investment through the peace initiative that is supported by IGAD and the United Nation’s.

He revealed that a regional peace conference held in Addis Ababa explored development priorities for partners to invest to help reduce conflict that is fueled by a struggle for limited resources.

Administrators, security teams and other peace actors from Kibish and Nyangatom sides agreed to hold regular engagements and work closely to address causes of conflicts that occasionally threaten peace along the corridor.

The Governor acknowledged that water and pasture were the main sources of conflict and urged elders to take charge of assessment of grazing lands and water points, which will advise migration patterns for pastoralists. The teams agreed that peace talks will be driven by the communities.

He promised that the County Government will station a peace building officer to take charge of initiatives along the Ethiopian border from Kibish to Todonyang’; and mandated the Sub-County team to coordinate regular peace talks with the Ethiopian side.

Governor Nanok underlined the key role played by cultural exchanges through festivals like Tobong’u Lore, as tools for soft diplomacy and strengthening cohesion of the communities which share a common ancestry and culture.

On his part, Nyangatom Woreda Administrator Abraham Bongoso insisted the need for joint commitment to pursue cattle rustlers from both sides and strengthening of communication to boost relations. He agreed that youth involvement was key to success of peace initiatives.

Kibish MCA Jacob Nakuwa challenged political leaders to support peace efforts to end conflict at the corridor which he said had led to the loss of many lives.

The Governor later addressed residents of Kibish who had gathered for County Government relief food distribution where he reiterated his commitment to deliver on the development pledges promised during the election campaigns.

Accompanying the Governor were County Executive Committee Members Esther Lokwei (Public Administration and Disaster Management), Jane Ajele (Health and Sanitation), Emathe Namuar (Water Services, Environment and Mineral Resources), Chris Aletia (Agriculture,Pastoral Economy and Fisheries) and Dr. Anthony Apalia (Lands, Energy, Housing and Urban Areas Management).

Others senior County Government officials were Chief Officer for Education, Sports and Social Protection Dr. Lolelea Natade, Chief of Staff Ekuwom Nakiporo, Advisors Cpt. (Rtd) Augustine Lokwang (Security, Peace and Borderlands Initiatives) and Boniface Korobe (Culture) among others.

GOVERNOR NANOK IN TURKANA NORTH SUB-COUNTY TO MONITOR DROUGHT RELIEF RESPONSE

 

Governor Josphat Nanok is in Turkana North Sub-County to monitor ongoing drought emergency relief response that includes food distribution under the April relief cycle.

The Governor made stop -overs at ‪Lolupe, Losajait in Nakalale Ward; Kankurdio, Kaeris in Kaeris Ward; Kaaleng, Ekicheles, Nakinomet in Kaaleng/Kaikor Ward

He announced that all residents targeted through the County Government’s relief food distribution will receive 50% food rations after consultations between the County Executive and the County Assembly. This is a change to initial plan where 365,000 residents of the target population were to receive only 25% food rations.

He assured residents that the April relief cycle will continue with food dispatches to sub counties from the Lodwar warehouse, as the maize consignments were received from Kitale NCPB depot.

The County relief response has been planned for the next three months.

Governor Nanok promised that Turkana elected leaders were pushing to ensure residents received relief support from the National Government meant for the county as one of the 13 counties worst hit by drought.

The response through the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) include vaccination and treatment of livestock, water supply and provision of animal feeds.

He urged residents to register under the National Integrated Information System (NIIMS) Huduma Namba but insisted that relief food from the National Government was needed to supplement the County’s efforts to enable residents register.

County Executive for Public Service and Disaster Management Esther Lokwee told residents that County distribution teams will to carry out the exercise and ensure targeted residents received their share of the food. She said that all responses from government and partners were being coordinated through the County Steering Group (CSG) to prevent duplication of efforts.

Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Executive Chris Aletia said an assessment will be done on locust infestation after the first phase of locust control spraying was concluded last week.

A second phase of the locust control is set to follow in areas still infested as will be determined through the assessment.

He announced that the County Government was procuring animal feeds that will be distributed to prevent animal deaths in areas worst hit by the drought.

County Health and Sanitation Executive Jane Ajele said uji mix for expectant mothers, children and the elderly will be procured to be distributed as a nutritional supplement. She said the Department had supplied medicine to health centres across the county to boost relief responses.

On his part, County Executive for Water Services Emathe Namuar said routine repairs of boreholes and water systems by the department across the county will continue as well as water trucking to regions worst hit by the drought.

MCAs Nicholas Ewoi (Nakalale Ward), Patrick Napion (Kaeris Ward) and Jacob Nakuwa (Kibish Ward) commended the county government for its response to cushion residents against effects of the biting drought.

Other CECs who spoke included Anthony Apalia (Lands, Energy, Housing and Urban Areas Management) and Charles Lokiyoto (Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources). Other senior County Government officials accompanying the Governor are Chief Officer for Education, Sports and Social Protection Dr. Lolelea Natade, Chief of Staff Ekuwom Nakiporo, security Advisor Cpt (Rtd) Augustine Lokwang, Culture Advisor Boniface Korobe among others.

COUNTY GOVERNMENT AND KEFRI TO COLLABORATE IN FOREST AND NATURAL RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT

The County Government and Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) will partner to support sustainable development of forestry and natural resources in Turkana.

In a meeting yesterday with the KEFRI Board of Directors, Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro said the partnership will equip the County Government with the needed practical expertise to address deforestation, protection of indigenous tree species and stop encroachment of land along the revirine.

The DG said KEFRI’s core mandate of conducting research in forestry and allied natural resources, will help to develop knowledge and best practices in forest and natural resource management.

He said Turkana as the rest of ASALs was grappling with effects of global warming which called for adoption of best practices to fight climate change.

DG Lotethiro said the partnership will include practice of agroforestry within irrigation schemes in the county as part of efforts to increase forest cover in the county.

The DG urged the Department to identify forests for Gazettement following the Gazette of Loima Hills as a water tower last year by the Kenya Water Towers Agency. He said better support was needed for ASAL counties to realise individual targets towards achieving Vision 2030 target of 10 percent forest cover for Kenya.

He urged KEFRI to support the campaign to stop infestation of brosopis which has colonized most parts of Turkana and called for the lift of the ban on charcoal burning to allow control of the spread of brosopis.

The Deputy Governor received from KEFRI Board Chairman Robin Ng’ethe, who led the delegation, the Institute’s 6th Strategic Plan that was launched last year.
Mr. Ng’ethe said the team was in Turkana to familiarize with the activities of the station and enhance partnership with the County Government.

He said the Institute shared a long association with the County Government as Governor Nanok served as Assistant Minister in the Forestry and Wildlife Ministry.
Further areas of partnership the chairman raised include mapping of forest areas, identification and Gazetting of forests for protection and the development of framework for internship and training.

County Executive for Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources Charles Lokiyoto revealed that the Department was drafting a bill to regulate charcoal burning in Turkana which he said despite being a source of livelihood for residents and revenue to the government, had to be controlled.

Chief Officer Pauline Lokuruka assured of support of KEFRI in efforts to transform the county. She commended the organisation for its support in absorbing interns seconded by the department and joint marking of International Day of Forests that took place in Kaaleng’ Turkana North.

Chief of Staff Ekuwom Nakiporo was also in the meeting.

EASTER MESSAGE TO RESIDENTS OF TURKANA COUNTY

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Josphat Nanok EGH

Governor, Turkana County

 

DG Lotethiro flags off vehicles to support health services delivery

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

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

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

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

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

Tullow oil hand over lokichar sub county hospital to the county

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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