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KCB GROUP CEO PROMISES IMPROVED ACCESS TO CAPITAL TO BOOST INVESTMENT IN TURKANA

Lodwar, 3rd August 2021 (Governor’s Press Service)– Governor Josphat Nanok and KCB Group CEO and Managing Director Joshua Oigara yesterday met and agreed to deepen collaboration to boost economic growth and development in Turkana.

Oigara is on a tour of Turkana as the bank seeks to increase its presence in the county and announced that a new branch is set to be opened in Lokichar before end of the year. He concurred with the Governor on need for the bank and County to explore partnership which will lead to recognition of county-issued land allotment letters as guarantee to access financing.

He expressed the bank’s willingness to support investors in the agriculture and livestock sectors- two of Turkana’s high potential sources of livelihoods for residents.

Oigara admitted that the Governor’s vision to commercialize livestock keeping was viable owing to the high number of livestock owned by residents and promised to tailor financial packages for pastoralists and support livestock trader groups grow their business. He insisted that demand for livestock products, both local and international markets was huge and committed to work with the government and private sector to create market linkages.

He also commended integration programme of refugees and host communities spearheaded by the Governor and agreed that the economic potential for the Kakuma-Kalobeyei Municipality was huge, presenting numerous opportunities for investment.

On concerns that beneficiaries of social protection programmes, who have to travel long distance to access their payments, Oigara promised to follow up and ensure individuals are not inconvenienced when getting their dues.

Governor Nanok informed the CEO that growing private sector investment to grow Turkana’s economy was a priority for his second term, and that the County Government was partnering with financial institutions such as the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) to improve ease of doing business in the county.

He urged KCB to support growth of livestock sector as a major source of livelihood, to increase its profitability for communities engaged in pastoralism.

The Governor challenged the bank to extend social responsibility programmes to Turkana, to include scholarship for top students joining form one. The CEO admitted that the bank had to do more in CSR, and pledged to extend such programmes in education and other social infrastructure to pay back support from Turkana as the leading bank in the region.

He asked the CEO to push for recruitment of locals when setting up its new branch in Lokichar.

Senior County Government who participated in the discussions were County Secretary Peter Eripete, County Attorney Erastus Ethekon, County Executives Charles Lokiyoto (Trade, Gender and Youth Affairs), and Philip Aemun (Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries); Chief Officers Abraham Losinyen (Finance), Dr. Lolelea Natade (Agriculture) among others.

Oigara was accompanied by KCB Lodwar Branch Manager Christine Tatoi, National Bank Lodwar Branch Manager Dennis Kirui, Corporate Communications Manager Peter Mwaura and Credit Manager Lameck Odhiambo.

GOVERNOR NANOK RECEIVES TWO GENEXPERT MACHINES FROM AMPATHPlus

Lodwar, 3rd August 2021 (Governor’s Press Service)– The County Government has received two new GeneXpert machines which will boost diagnosis of TB, HIV in infants, viral load monitoring and Covid-19 testing.

Governor Josphat Nanok received the two machines donated by USAID-AMPATHPlus, today at the County Government HQ. AMPATHPlus Chief of Party Professor Sylvester Kimaiyo handed over the machines.

The Governor thanked AMPATH for the support and announced that the machines will be installed in Lokitaung and Lokori Sub-County Hospitals to serve Turkana East and Turkana North. The new addition brings to seven genexpert machines in the county, with others already installed in Lopiding, Katilu, IRC Refugee Hospital and Lodwar County Referral Hospital which has two.

“The two will go further to cut cost incurred by patients travelling long distance to get tests and end the need for samples to be transported to Lodwar. We are able now to diagnose these ailments at that lower level and have them treated at the lower level,” he said.

The Governor also acknowledged receipt of three landcruisers vehicles donated by AMPATHPlus when the programme ended in May. He said the vehicles will support monitoring of health field programmes.

The County boss restated the County Government’s support for partnership programmes and assured of commitment to ensure success of MOU with USAID to jointly monitor and implement USAID-funded programmes. He insisted health remained a priority for the county, with the County investing to strengthen health delivery with support from partners.

County Health Executive Jane Ajele appreciated AMPATHPlus for recruiting 154 contracted health workers and supporting 104 others during the period of the contract. All the staff have been absorbed by Turkana County Government in collaboration with AMREF Imarisha Jamii human resource support to the county under USAID.

Prof Kimaiyo thanked USAID for the support in acquiring the genexpert machines and appreciated the county’s support for the joint programme. He was accompanied by Director Laboratory Services Sylvia Kadima, AMPATHPlus Team Lead in Turkana Chris Eweilar.

Senior County officers who witnessed the handing over were Chief Officer Health Augustine Lokwang, County Lab Coordinator James Maragia, County TB Coordinator Dr. Job Okemwa, County HIV Coordinator Samuel Pulkol among others.

ISRAEL TO PARTNER THE COUNTY ON FOOD SECURITY AND WATER MANAGEMENT

Lodwar, 2nd August 2021 (Governor’s Press Service)– Israeli Ambassador to Kenya Governor Oded Joseph and Governor Josphat Nanok have agreed to further partnership between the County Government and Israel in food security and water programmes.

In a meeting at the County HQ this morning, the envoy and Governor Nanok acknowledged the similarities between Israel and Turkana especially on climate, with the county keen to replicate successful Israeli innovations and programmes. The two committed to establish a joint technical team to further explore the collaboration.

The ambassador revealed that Israel had identified ten counties to work directly, with Turkana one of the devolved units picked.

On water management, the Ambassador announced that the Israeli Government together with the United Nations Environment Propgramme (UNEP) will support development of the County Water Laboratory capacity to carry out tests on quality and suitability of water.

He said the lab will provide information which will advise best interventions depending on the quality of water. He stated that the County could emulate Israel and adopt different approaches to address water scarcity, including desalination and water harvesting.

The Ambassador shared the proposal on water management programme with Governor Nanok. He promised to push for inclusion of recent agriculture graduates from Turkana in an Israeli-funded sponsorship programme for select Kenyans to undergo an 11-month specialized training in Israel. The graduates will be required to then work in Turkana, with the objective of increasing expertise in the field.

To continue capacity building for County staff, the Ambassador Oded informed the Governor that in-person training in Israel will commence after Covid-19 travel restriction are lifted. He said virtual training will be held in the meantime.

On his part, Governor Nanok agreed that transformation of Turkana would require the same commitment from residents of Turkana in the same way Israel strove to build all aspects of its economy to global standards.

He informed the Ambassador that the county was keen to tap into Israeli expertise in crop production, with innovation for dryland farming including transformational aggrotech. He said research and success of model irrigation schemes had proven that Turkana held the potential for agriculture, with crops such as groundnuts, soybean, sunflower and a variety of fruits and vegetables suited for the climate and soil type.

The Governor reiterated the county’s vision to shift from subsistence farming to commercial production, and urged the Ambassador for linkages with Israeli investors who will invest and allow residents learn from their best practices. He admitted that success of commercial agricultural production rested on finding a solution to water scarcity.

Governor Nanok appreciated the commitment by Israel and UNEP to support the county develop the water lab. He agreed that with massive groundwater resources including numerous water aquifers, finding the technology to make saline water suitable for domestic use will solve water challenges currently being experienced.

On ICT support, the county boss pointed to the success of private investors under the Digital Lions tech startup in Loropio as a model of intervention to equip youth with key skills. Other areas with potential for partnership include vocational training development and tourism.

In the meeting were County Secretary Peter Eripete, County Executives Charles Lokiyoto (Trade, Gender and Youth Affairs) and George Emoru (Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources); Chief Officers Dr. Lolelea Natade (Agriculture), Moses Natome (Water), Abraham Losinyen (Finance) and Philip Lokaala (Acting-Tourism).

Others were Chief of Staff Ekuwom Nakiporo, Advisors Protus Akuja (Security, Peace and Borderland Initiatives) and Rebecca Lowoiya (Politics and Intergovernmental Affairs).

UNICEF SUPPORT FOR ECDE TEACHERS TRAINING FOR SKILLS DEVELOPMENT BEGINS IN TURKANA WEST 

Hundred Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) teachers are currently undergoing a five-day training workshop, in Kakuma – Turkana West Sub-county, to equip them with the necessary professional skills to enhance early childhood education.

The workshop organised by UNICEF in conjunction with TCG, will be expected to capacity build the teachers, drawn from county government, Kakuma Camp and Kalobeyei Settlement, to ensure quality education.

The training will include also sensitisation on the utilisation of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) kit.

“ECDE teachers should have teaching aids for practical instructional teaching which the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) is trying to achieve,” said Pauline Lokuruka, the Chief Officer for Education, Sports and Social Protection, as she officially opened the workshop.

She added that ECDE teachers should be innovative and have strong work ethics such as reporting to work and on time because their job is an important one; molding minds of the future generations.

Samuel Eregae, ECDE Director, advised the teachers to commit to the training and take the opportunity to learn to be better at their given profession.

“The county government will enhance its supervision to ensure quality assurance such as keeping records and registers,” he said. They team will also be visiting the centers to advise on how they can continue to give quality education in line with the new Curriculum.

Sabit Abdalla, who has been teaching at Nasibunda Pre-School in Kakuma 3 for the last three years, appreciated the county government and UNICEF for organizing the workshop. As a teacher with a class of 95 children, he hopes that the training will provide him with ideas to manage the populous class.

GOVERNOR NANOK VOWS TO STAY IN POLITICS TO ESTABLISH A DIRECTION FOR TURKANA

Namariat, July 31st, 2021 (Governor’s Press Service)- Governor Josphat Nanok has reiterated his stand to remain active in politics to champion for the interest of Turkana County at the national level.

The Governor was speaking yesterday at Namariat village in Kalokol Ward, while presiding over a fundraiser for 17 groups of livestock traders, where Sh3.8M was raised. He said politics is about interests for the people and castigated those aspiring for Gubernatorial position with selfish agenda, warning that the position requires an ardent leader and qualified manager who will ensure equity in distribution of resources across Turkana.

While on his way to Namariat village to conduct the fundraiser, Governor Nanok inspected County Government projects including Kapokor Dispensary, Kapokor ECDE Center and Kapua ECDE Center in Kalokol Ward. After serving two terms, the Governor affirmed that he was more than qualified to direct and advise on the election of his successor.

He called on residents to support UDA candidates in the next elections, saying the unity of purpose will usher in renewed hope for Turkana in national politics. He revealed that the party had gained a large following all over Kenya and it will be the political vehicle for Turkana with William Samoei Ruto as the next President of Kenya.

He stated that the party’s preferred bottom-up approach to grow the national economy, which focuses on economic empowerment from the grassroots will benefit local small entrepreneurs and contribute to poverty eradication.  He criticised Turkana politicians opposed to the unity of leaders for engaging in abusive and violent politics while pushing for selfish interests despite having nothing to show for their longevity in politics.

The Governor said he left former party ODM because it was not taking into consideration the interests of the Turkana people with empowerment and development. “I will play national politics to fight for space for Turkana people when my second term ends as per the constitution and all the Turkana leaders are behind this decision,” he said, promising to rope-in like-minded leaders to ensure the region had a say and space in the next government.

Governor Nanok further said that Kenyan politics was about emancipation and empowerment of ordinary wananchi to transform lives. He lauded the fundraiser for Namariat Saving Groups as a good example on the establishment and management of cooperative societies.

He advised Namariat Livestock traders with a membership of 262 to form a SACCO which will provide a platform for saving and offer credit to members to grow their business. He inspired the group to take advantage of numerous opportunities to grow, acquire their own trucks to transport livestock to other major markets.

The Governor directed County Departments of Cooperative Development and Livestock Development to provide training for the SACCO once formed. Nanok announced that Village Administrators will soon take up their roles which will be followed by the nomination of Village Council members.

Earlier, during an empowerment drive for students joining Form One organised by the Lodepe Nakara Foundation, the Governor presided over distribution of school materials to 300 needy students from Turkana Central. He said that TCG bursaries will be ready in August and appealed to Secondary School teachers to admit needy students as CDF and TCG bursaries are being processed.

For his tour of Kalokol Ward Governor Nanok was accompanied by area MP John Lodepe Nakara, County Assembly Speaker Ekitela Lokaale, Area MCA Simon Nang’iro, John Lokwatuba (Kang’atotha) ,  Ebenyo Naur (Lobei/Kotaruk)  and nominated MCAs Mathew Alany, Dorcas Epusiye, Grace Nakeno among others.

Senior County Government officials include County Executives Charles Lokiyoto (Trade, Gender and Youth Affairs), Jane Ajele (Health and Sanitation), Philip Aemun (Agriculture, Fisheries and Pastoral Economy), George Emoru (Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources) Emathe Namuar (Finance and Economic Planning).

Chief Officers Moses Natome (Water, Environment and Mineral Resources), Rosemary Nchinyei (Roads), Lolelea Natade (Agriculture and Land Reclamation), Abdilahi Yussuf (Livestock and Fisheries)  Esther Ikaru (Public Administration and Disaster Management) among others.

COMPLETION OF PROJECTS WILL BOOST WILDLIFE TOURISM IN LOBOKAT, TURKANA SOUTH

The Directorate of Natural Resources, led by Deputy Director Pauline Ngoli Pusiye, handed over sites to contractors in Turkana South National Reserve, located in Lobokat Ward, intended to ensure capacity building and the improvement of working conditions for the county rangers.

The sites handed over were an office, main reserve gate and 12 uni-huts earmarked for renovation, clearing an airstrip and construction of ablution block.

With the completion of these projects, the directorate seeks to create the reserve as a tourism product through infrastructural development as well as promote tourism investment in Turkana County.

Speaking during the handover exercise, the Deputy Director said that once the projects are complete, the Department would ensure that a group of county rangers can be deployed to the reserve. The county rangers, who have been paramilitary trained in Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Manyani Training College, are seconded to KWS according to the MoU that the county government has with the national government wildlife management agency.

“The clearing of the airstrip will boost economy of the county as the tourists will be flying to see the wildlife in the national reserve as well as serve as emergency airstrip,” she added.

Pusiye further added that the rangers’ presence at the reserve would enhance policing and patrolling therefore fulfilling one of the directorate’s mandates which is to conserve and protect flora and fauna in Turkana County.

Also present at the handover were Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources’ Fred Akila (Senior Procurement) and Peter Locham (Senior Accountant) and John Owino Engineer from County Public Works Directorate.

COUNTY ECDE TEACHERS TO UNDERGO SKILLS TRAINING

The county Directorate of Early Childhood Development and (ECDE), in collaboration with UNICEF, will be rolling out an ECDE teacher capacity building training to enhance their skills in order to be resourceful in their daily activities.

Speaking at a stakeholders ECDE meeting in Eliye Springs, Ag. County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Education, Sports and Social Protection George Emoru said that the training of the teachers ensures that children attain a strong educational foundation as they transit to the primary school level.

“The initial assessment at the beginning of devolution was to build two ECDE centres per ward and this number increased. However, this has proved to be a challenge as the school feeding program is allocated the largest share of the entire department’s budget,” he said.

Despite the success of the program, and he acknowledged the vital role and support by partners in the program – particularly Mary`s Meals, the provision of learning materials, supervision and monitoring and evaluation of the centres continues to remain a challenge.

“The County government will continue to seek solutions in these areas and make them as priority areas together with feeding program,” said the CECM.

The Chair of the County Education Board and Turkana County Public Service Board, Dr John Ng’asike pointed out that the county had employed 300 ECDE teachers to match the number of centres; those formal and informal found in the kraals. He further requested that the ECDE teachers should have representations in such meetings.

Pauline Lokuruka, Chief Officer (CO) of Education, Sports and Social Protection, reiterated that the county should employ more teachers particularly to replace those who had been absorbed by the Teacher Service Commission.

“With the training, the teachers will have the skills to deliver and be encouraged to come up with innovative teaching approaches such the use of local materials as teaching aids,” she said.

The Education CO explained that the training will kick off with ECDE teachers stationed in Turkana West Sub-county. And with UNICEF assistance, six ECDEs in Kakuma will be renovated and trainings targeting parents to sensitise them on the value of education.

Others in attendance were Directors Samuel Eregae (ECDE), Paul Lokone (Agriculture), Mark Amiyo (Social Protection) and Dr. Gilchrist Lokoel (Medical Services); partner representation includes World Food Program, UNICEF, Save The Children, Private ECDE Schools, USAid Imarisha Jamii, Mission of Hope International, Feed the Children, Ministry of Education and Science and Technology and Kenya National Teachers Union.

REVIEW OF DRAFT POLICY FOR ECDE DEVELOPMENT AND QUALITY ASSURANCE               

County Directorate of Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) held a stakeholder meeting to review the draft Turkana ECDE Policy Framework that is meant to be the primary manual that ensures every child receives the right educational foundation.

Speaking at the meeting, the Chief Officer of Education, Sports and Social Protection Pauline Lokuruka emphasised the importance of the framework as it would provide the guidance to all service providers, both public and private, to ensure quality and holistic ECDE services.

The framework includes infrastructural development and strategies on access to quality holistic early childhood education, governance and management of ECDE programs and monitoring and evaluation, supervision and reporting system that guarantees quality assurance and high standards for ECDE in Turkana County.

However, the policy also seeks to address some of the unique needs of children in the pastoralist communities.

Due to migratory nature of the pastoralist and school feeding programme, parents tend to take children who are below two years and those who are above five years of age.

David Omakada, Ag. Deputy Director ECDE – Turkana Central Sub-county, proposed the need to strengthen parental awareness creation and education on the importance early education and entry age (two to five years) to a centre.

In addition to reviewing the policy, Washington Malala – ICT Officer – presented the an online ECDE system called Turkana Early Childhood Development and Education Management Information System (TECDEMIS) developed by the county Directorate of ICT, in conjunction with World Food Programme.

The system will also be used as a planning tool for both the county and other stakeholders. The system has been contextualisation of the National Government’s National Education Management and Information System (NEMIS).

Gabriel Eloto, World Food Program Officer – Lodwar Field Office, urged other partners to consider supporting the development of the system as it can be used as an accountability tool as it provides data on all ECDEs in Turkana.

Others in attendance were Directors Samuel Eregae (ECDE), Paul Lokone (Agriculture), Mark Amiyo (Social Protection) and Dr. Gilchrist Lokoel (Medical Services); partner representation includes World Food Program, UNICEF, Save The Children, Private ECDE Schools, USAid Imarisha Jamii, Mission of Hope International, Feed the Children, Ministry of Education and Science and Technology and Kenya National Teachers Union.

NATIONAL WILDLIFE CENSUS KICKS OFF IN TURKANA

For the next ten days, the National Wildlife Census team will be seeking to establish the number and wildlife species that can be found in Turkana.

The team leads from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the implementing institution, paid a courtesy call to County Executive Committee Member (CECM) of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources, George Emoru to share their activities for the exercise.

“It is an important exercise that will assist the county government in knowing the species and in identifying priority areas with specific locations in mind especially in mitigating human-wildlife conflicts,” said CECM Emoru, during the meeting.

He pointed out that South Turkana National Reserve had scarcity of water which exacerbated the human-wildlife conflict as the wildlife cross to the river. He suggested that with prioritizing water provision at the park it would limit the movement of wildlife.

Catherine Wambani, KWS Assistant Director Western Conservation Area, said that she was encouraged that the county was seeking to gazette more area to protect and conserve wildlife. “This will attract more resources from the National Government and make it a priority in management as well as support developmental infrastructure.”

The Acting Chief Officer Philip Lokaala said requested that the final report should be shared as the county had engaged 54 community rangers. The report, he said, would assist the county government in the deployment of the rangers in the appropriate areas for the purpose of conserving and protecting the wildlife.

On her part, Pauline Ngoli Pusiye – the Deputy Director of Natural Resources – said that Turkana County had a unique ecosystem as majority of the wildlife is found in community land and with the presence of the international borders (Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia) wildlife can be found on both sides of the borders.

“We have a lot of cross border movement of wildlife and with the National Wildlife Census report, the National and Turkana County Governments can collaborate in managing the migratory routes identified in this exercise,” she added.

The National Wildlife Census is a three-month exercise, launched in May 2021, targeting all conservation areas and wildlife rich counties in Kenya. This is the first ever wildlife census that will establish both land and aquatic wildlife population status.

Others present in the meeting were James Mathenge (Senior Research Scientist – KWS ) and Joseph Erupe (KWS Senior Warden based in Lodwar).

 

MEDICAL SUPPLIES WORTH KSH 59 MILLION UNVEILED

A shortage of medical supplies caused by supply chain challenges linked to the disruptions of Covid-19 across the country has been resolved through receipt of drugs from MEDS. The stock of supplies sourced from MEDS (A faith based organisation) bridges the gap arising from KEMSA low fill rate. The supplies cushion and facilitate service provision by Lodwar County Referral Hospital and 211 health facilities in the 7 Sub Counties across Turkana County.

Among the key concerns by members of the public was the shortage paracetamols, oxytocin and clean examination gloves.

The CEC Health and Sanitation Jane Ajele today received and flagged off distribution of essential drugs and total of 10,000 clean gloves of which 1,440 were supplied last week by KEMSA and 7000 today by MEDS.

The CEC confirmed that the drugs will sustain the county for the next 3 months and the stock of clean gloves will last 5months.

Chief Officer Health Capt (Rtd) Augustine Lokwang warned the department’s staff at LCRH and facilities across the County against asking patients to buy gloves or prescribing drugs not in the approved essential list with a view of inducing patients to source drugs in private chemists than government pharmacies.

The Chief Officer disclosed that the department had put in place public complaints mechanism including a 24/7 toll free number that will receive grievances on service delivery in all government health facilities.

The Chief Officer impressed upon the public to use the toll free number to alert the department of service delivery gaps in any government facility in the county.

He also invited the public and the media to witness the distribution of the supplies to the target facilities in all the sub counties.

The Chief Officer encouraged the public to report and share evidence of any theft of government drugs or drugs finding their way into private Chemists to facilitate action.

Director Medical Supplies Dr. Epem also confirmed that KEMSA is expected to supply an additional 3,000 gloves and medicine.

The Director also confirmed that KEMSA order worth KSh 35Million was being expected at the end of July 2021 after its ongoing stock taking processes.

The event also served as an opportunity to unveiled Dr. Brian Muyakani as the new county pharmacist to serve for a period of 2 years.