COUNTY GOVERNMENT TO UTILIZE TECHNICAL EXPERTISE ON FARM DESIGNS

The County irrigation directorate will leverage on its technical expertise as well as indigenous knowledge while surveying and developing designs for the proposed Irrigation and Land Reclamation projects, County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun has said.

He noted that collaborating traditional information would boost modern technological designs and ensure establishment of climate proofed Irrigation and Land Reclamation farm infrastructure that will ensure sustainable water access to the cropping area hence improved and nutrition security.

CEC Aemun was speaking today when he toured Naurien Puu surface irrigation scheme to witness the ongoing survey and designing of the 138 Hectares scheme, being undertaken by engineers and officers from directorate of Irrigation and Land Reclamation.

Once rehabilitated and improved, the scheme will directly benefit 568 farmer households from Nauren Puu and Nakesio villages in Turkwel ward, Loima Sub County.

The irrigation directorate is also undertaking surveys on flood protection works at the 180Ha Naremit Irrigation scheme, Tudukae drip irrigation and plans construct an in-situ rain water harvesting structures at Urum, all in Loima Sub-County.

He stated that the County Government is currently doing survey and design for 20 irrigation and Land Reclamation projects and that, an additional 613 hectares will be put under irrigation while 380ha will be reclaimed for rain fed agriculture in a month long process that started last week.

CEC Aemun called on the community to support implementation of the Government investment projects adding that the department will reclaim more land for crop production to benefit more residents with a focus on surplus production of food.

He advised farmers to ready themselves for diversification of livelihoods saying that the changing climatic conditions called for adaptation into different environments that accommodates both farming and livestock production.

County Director for Irrigation and Land Reclamation, Chammah Lotome, said that department is doing survey on deferred projects early enough, so that they can be advertised, awarded and completed within the stipulated timelines in this financial year.

In Turkana South Sub-County, the Irrigation and Land Reclamation department has earmarked construction of a 20Ha in-situ rain water harvesting and management (RWHM) structure in Kalapata,establishment of a 5Ha each drip irrigation at Lokwaliwa  and Naakot in Katilu ward and Lobokat ward respectively.

An ex-situ structure will be constructed in Kalemungorok and flood protection works for Koputiro surface Irrigation scheme will also be undertaken.

Lining of Canal in Elelea, construction of 40Ha ex-situ RWHM structure in Napeitom and proposed 5Ha drip irrigation scheme at Kapedo is set for Turkana East.

Establishment of 80Ha drip irrigation schemes in Kanamkemer and Kangatotha together with flood protection works on the 130Ha Nangitony irrigation scheme has been budgeted for Turkana Central Sub-County.

The County Government will establish 40Ha of spate irrigation in Nawountos, a drip irrigation scheme at Lokirieriet in Lokichoggio, an in-situ water harvesting structure in Nanam and repair the 40Ha Lomidat spate irrigation farm in Turkana West.

Construction of ex-situ water and harvesting structure will be done in Kibish while residents of Nakinomet in Kaaleng/Kaikor ward will benefit from construction of 40Ha spate irrigation project in this financial year.

PASTORALISTS SET TO BENEFIT FROM CONSTRUCTION OF WATER PAN AT LOPEIPUKE, TURKANA SOUTH

Construction of water pan by National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP) to support pastoralist in Lopeipuke village at the border of Katilu and Kaputir wards in Turkana South will commence soon after the site handover to contractor.

The water pan is part of the integrated landscape management, water harvesting and spate irrigation project being funded by World Bank and implemented by the County Government to support more than 57,000 people. It’s divided into a water and soil conservation through sustainable land management as well as construction of a water pan.

Implementation of the water pan project will enable nearby pastoralist community to get access to water for their livestock and domestic water by reducing the trekking distance.

Completion of the pan will supplement water deficiency in the area of 116,812.775 metres cubic by constructing a pan with a volume of 117,360 metres cubic.

County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries, Philip Aemun, said that the world bank funded project would enhance effective livelihoods diversification as it would support food production as well as pasture for livestock.

He lauded residents of Kalemngorok and Kaputir for embracing the project and that it was a move in the right direction considering that the site was once a battlefield for cattle bandits.

CEC Aemun thanked the National Government for peace stability in the region and urged residents to support implementation of Government projects.

The County executive noted that the 80HA farm which is part of the Multi-Community Investment Project has created employment program for 800 youth and enabled 100 households to plant and harvest sorghum from the farms established with soil and conservation structure.

CEC Aemun spoke today when he led a team from the department of Agriculture together with local leaders in site handover for the proposed construction of Water pan that will benefit residents of Kaputir and Katilu wards.

He stated that the County Government would continue advocating for livelihoods diversification on farming and livestock rearing because of the changing climatic conditions.

CEC AEMUN said that the project would put value addition to livestock chains product by increasing goat/sheep productivity and profitability through integrated landscape management, water harvesting and spate irrigation.

He expressed optimism that proper implementation of the 97 million project was selected by the County Government as part of its food security agenda through an inclusive approach that caters for farming and at the same time bolstering livestock production.

County Chief Officer for Agriculture and land Reclamation Jacob Lolelea said that successful implementation of the project would help in surplus food production because of the peace stability being enjoyed in the region.  He warned the contractor against shoddy works noting that members of the public must get value for the money invested in the project.

The land scape management system is geared to increase land productivity and improve livelihoods by ensuring appropriate practices that enables land users to maximize the economic and social benefits from the land while maintaining the ecological support functions of the land resources.

Katilu ward MCA James Abei said that establishment of farms that has arable agricultural soil had created job opportunities for hundreds of youths in the area that had been abandoned initially because of insecurity.

NARIGP County coordinator Joseph Ekalale said that the project will enhance sorghum and livestock value chains.

Others who spoke included County Agriculture Director Paul Lokone and Turkana South Sub-County administrator Alexander Losikiria, among others.

COUNTY GOVERNMENT TO RECRUIT YOUTH TO HELP STEM LOCUST INVASION IN TURKANA

County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun has said that desert locusts invasion on vegetation has affected sources of livelihoods for residents of Turkana.
Speaking in Lodwar today when he officially closed a three day desert  locust control training, CEC Aemun said that the County Government was working on modalities for a recovery programme to benefit pastoralists and farmers.
The plans include supply of farm inputs, livestock feed and training of more  youths on desert control exercise to impart knowledge on handling such disasters in future.
He stated that the ongoing operation to stem locust infestation in the region was multi-sectoral as it involved the National Government, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) as well as Peace Winds Japan (PWJ).
To enhance ground and aerial surveillance spray the County Government will recruit 280 youths, with FAO and Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) recruiting 310 while the National Government has send 200 National Youth Service personnel to boost Locusts control in Turkana
To mitigate future Locusts infestation, CEC Aemun said that the County Base for Pest Control will be strengthened to have enough chemical for spraying and staff as well as stationing of a deputy base commander drawn from the County Government.
He urged the trained officers to help in creating awareness on desert locusts, and added that  a hotline number for surveillance reporting of the pest would be created to help in combating desert  locust.
Swarms of locust has so far destroyed more than 15,000ha of vegetation in Turkana.
County Director for Agriculture  Paul Lokone stated that the training had factored staff from the Department as well as those from the Public Administration as the campaign required a multi-sectoral approach.
Head of Food and Agriculture Organisation in Turkana, Dr.Dan Irura, said that Turkana County was now a breeding epicentre for the desert locusts ,and assured that FAO will continue supporting the County Government in combating the pests.

ENSURE NARIGP PROJECT HAVE BIG IMPACT TO THE COMMUNITY – CEC AEMUN

County executive for Agriculture ,Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun has urged officers working under the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Project (NARIGP) to ensure that projects being implemented under the World Bank funded programme are impactful to the community.
CEC Aemun said strengthening of producer groups through mapping, capacity building and training would help in successful implementation and profitability of  Narigp’s value chains in the County.
The four value chains being supported by NARIGP in Turkana includes; Sorghum and cowpeas intercrop, sheep and goats, bee keeping and chicken farming.
The County Executive was speaking today in Lodwar during a meeting with County Government staff officers seconded to Narigp. He was briefed on progress of the projects being implemented under Narigp.
He was accompanied by County Chief Officers; Abdullahi Yusuf (Fisheries and Livestock Production) and Dr. Jacob Lolelea (Agriculture and Land Reclamation).
While calling for teamwork among officers, CEC Aemun stated that correct design and consultation with the community on the value chains to implemented on selected areas was crucial as it would determine output and sustainability of the value chains.
The County Executive said that the Program is part of investment to achieve the County Government priority to achieve food security.
NARIGP is a National Government project funded by World Bank with an objective of increasing agricultural productivity and profitability of targeted rural communities in selected 21 Counties.
The project has four component intervention areas:  support community driven development, strengthening producer organizations and value chain development, supporting county community-led development and project coordination and management.

PARTNERSHIP WITH LIVESTOCK STAKEHOLDERS A BOOST TO CROSS-BORDER TIES

County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun has said that livestock production partnership between the County Government and Livestock Market Systems(LMS) organisation has boosted cross-border trade ties.

He noted that launch of market days in Lokichar, Kakuma ,Lodwar and Lokiriama has enhanced cross-border trade linkages thus providing ready market for traders who now have an opportunity to sell their products during the established market days.

CEC Aemun spoke when he chaired a quarterly review meeting between LMS officials and representatives from County Government departments of Livestock production and Veterinary Services that play role on implementation of LMS activities.

LMS officers from Nairobi attended the meeting held in Lodwar, through zoom.

In his remarks, the County Executive said that the partnership on poultry and fish value chains has proven to be transformative after establishment of an ice plant and poultry feed processing in Loropio village in Kalokol Ward.

CEC Aemun stated that completion of Napeililim holding ground and Lomosogol breeding centre would reduce losses leading to an increase on livestock assets productivity and income to the owners.

The Kenya Livestock Market Systems activities funded by USAID seeks to strengthen community resilience in Northern Kenya and reduce poverty, hunger, and chronic malnutrition by expanding and diversifying viable economic activities.

LMS has conducted a feasibility study and development of operations framework awaiting discussion with the County Attorney on operationalization of the Lomosogol breeding centre in Kerio Delta ward through a public-private partnership agreement.

CEC Aemun assured LMS of County Government commitment to partner with livestock production stakeholders to achieve County Government agenda on food security, through investing on different value chains that would enhance livelihood diversification.

CEC Aemun said diversification is meant to provide alternative source through value chain addition on different producer groups in the Turkana that would be mapped by the sectoral county departments and LMS.

He added that identification and strengthening of the livestock value chains would open up business opportunities in Turkana to neighbouring regions and increase sales for producer groups. He emphasized on the need to invest on honey production, processing and branding before its release to the market.

LMS Technical Coordination Director Erastus Kyalo stated that they will support livelihoods diversification by strengthening established cooperative groups through livestock market policies.

COUNTY GOVERNMENT TO REVIVE STALLED IRRIGATION SCHEMES

County Chief Officer for Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Dr. Jacob Lolelea, has said that the Agriculture department will put focus on reviving and sustaining all stalled irrigation schemes along the riverine areas as part of its efforts to increase crop production and achieve food security agenda.

He said utilisation of the arable land and rehabilitation of farm infrastructure in the stalled irrigation schemes would aid self-reliance on farm produce and end dependence on relief food.

Dr. Lolelea spoke today at Nakwamoru, Kaputir ward when he chaired a meeting with farmers, area leaders and the contractor on resumption of rehabilitation works of Nakwamoru irrigation scheme.

The scope of the work include rehabilitation of the intake structure deck and gates, construction of upstream and downstream river bank gabion protection as well as fencing of the farm .

In his remarks, CO Lolelea assured the farmers of the County Government’s commitment to work closely with the community and the contractor to ensure that the rehabilitation works are completed soon for its operationalisation.

He said that completion of the works will enhance farm productivity through realignment of infrastructure to re-direct adequate water flow into the intake structure even during low peaks.

On disputes between the contractor and the community, the Chief Officer urged farmers to use the necessary administrative channels to ease and speed completion of the rehabilitation works.  He noted that the department will station an additional tractor in Turkana South Sub-County to help tilling and other farm works.

CO Lolelea challenged the contractor to consult the community on local design that were used traditionally to control flow of water to the farmers and warned against shoddy jobs as there will close monitoring by the irrigation department.

The contractor will also do desilting of lined main canal, on-farm bush clearing, compaction of trapezoidal earth sections and feeder canals in the 180 hectares farm.

County Director for Irrigation and Land Reclamation Lotome Chammah said that the contractor had committed to complete the work before September this year. He added that construction of an aqueduct across the main canal will protect the structure against flash floods that have in past destroyed crops.

Kaputir Ward Member of County Assembly Shadrack Lodonga, who was also present, said that insecurity had in the past affected farming in the area.

He stated that farmers were ready to go back to the farms once rehabilitation works are complete.

AGROFORESTRY RESEARCH PROJECT ON CLIMATE CHANGE LAUNCHED

County Executive Committee member (CEC) of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources, George Emoru Emojong, said the use of technologies like the absorbent polymer for water retention in grow indigenous trees and sorghum will assist the county in reforestation and enhancing food security.
Speaking at the launch of the project at Lodwar Energy Centre – Nadapal-Nauriebu, the CEC also encourage residents of the county to plant more trees.
“We should plant trees to return Turkana as it was before with forests and full of wildlife. The destruction of the forests has led to climate change and also wildlife has migrated,” says CEC Emoru.
He further added that planting of trees is a collective responsibility which includes all government entities and the community working in partnership.
The research project, with a second site in Bishop Mohan area, is being done by Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) and University of Edinburg. Apart from the planting of indigenous trees, the research will study the use of the same polymer on sorghum variety that is dual purpose; fodder and grain.
The Chief Officer of Agriculture, Dr. Jacob Lolelea said, “sorghum is an indigenous food for our people by adopting agricultural technologies then we can expand the arable land in the county.”
“With only 10 grams the polymer can retain water for up to three weeks, the research would like to know if it can work in such extreme areas like Turkana,” said Dr David Langat, the head of KEFRI Rift Valley Eco-Region.
He added that the research was expected to run for two years. He also appreciated the county government for partnering in the project to ensure its success.
In attendance was Research Scientist KALRO Kabete – Engineer Fabian Kaburu, KEFRI Deputy Regional Director for Rift Valley – Jesse Owino and Head of KEFRI Lodwar – Dr. Edward Mengich.

RIPARIAN REHABILITATION SENSITISATION AT KAITESE, TURKWEL

County Executive for Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources, George Emoru Emojong graced a riparian rehabilitation sensitisation exercise to encourage the community participation in rehabilitation of areas surrounding River Turkwel.

The exercise held in Kaitese, Turkwel Ward in Loima Sub-county organized by the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) which has partnered with the County Government in environmental conservation.

“The Ministry works closely with partners to ensure that our mandate to protect and conserve forests is achieved. One of efforts we collaborate is to enhance tree cover by distribution of trees seedlings communities for free from the county tree nurseries,” CEC Emoru said.

The community was trained on rehabilitation methods, conservation of threatened indigenous species and management by utilization of prosopis.

The CEC said that the community could use prosopis in the production of charcoal and poles for building their homes. The ministry’s was working on procuring kilns to promote value addition.

Residents also received trained on nature based enterprises such as bee keeping, aloe value addition and pasture production.

On his part, the Head of KEFRI Lodwar Dr. Edward Mengich said that for rehabilitation and other forestry technologies to be implemented successfully the community, County Government, learning institutions, National Administration and Agencies, and NGOs should work together in partnership.

The community later planted indigenous trees to mark the occasion.

WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME DONATES EQUIPMENT TO SUPPORT EXTENSION SERVICES IN TURKANA

County Government efforts to achieve food security agenda received a boost as World Food Programme (WFP) donated eight motorcycles and ten hand-held tractors worth Kshs10.1 million.

The equipment will support extension officers in collaborating with County Government departments under the Sustainable Food System Program to improve access to projects sites to implement, monitor and coordinate joint activities.

County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun together with Chief officers, Dr. Jacob Lolelea (Agriculture and Land Reclamation) and Abdullahi Yussuf (Fisheries and Livestock Production), received the hand-held tractors and motorbikes that would also be distributed to County Disaster and Trade departments.

In his remarks, CEC Aemun said that the equipment would strengthen the capacity of the County Government on resilient livelihoods programs that are aimed at uplifting the welfare of the residents of Turkana.

He stated that the county government was committed to strengthening of agriculture through extension services and innovative means that would aid self-reliance through production of surplus food.

This, he said, would be done through interrogation of existing gaps that would provide robust roadmap geared towards having a sustainable farming system. He called for consideration of climate change factors while drawing designs for the partnership projects.

CEC Aemun informed the WFP officers that the department of Agriculture was leveraging on mechanised and commercial agriculture to bring more land under crop production for sustainability of livelihoods programs.

Under the partnership agreement, the county government and WFP have aligned their work plans to support the achievement of the joint goal of zero hunger as articulated in the County Integrated Development Plan 2018-2022 and WFP’s Country Strategic Plan 2018-2023.

Dr. Jacob Lolelea noted that the program have so far been impactful to communities and assured that the department would continue working together with WFP to successfully implement projects under the Sustainable Food System Program.

CO Abdullahi Yussuf thanked the partners for support and added that the motorbikes would enhance effective service delivery.

WFP Head of Lodwar Field Office, Ruth Amatala, said that the equipment donation were aimed at supporting extension services adding that the organisation would offer training on its usage.

Present during the launch were Directors Chammah  Lotome (Land Reclamation), Bobby Ekadon (Livestock Production), Deputy Directors Rachael Aroo (Administration), David Namwaya (Fisheries) and  Wilson Ejie (Trade).

 

 

KAIKOR SALEYARD TO BOOST LIVESTOCK MARKET ACCESS IN TURKANA NORTH-CEC AEMUN

County Executive for Agriculture,Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun has said that completion of the ongoing construction of Kaikor livestock saleyard will  improve livestock market access and trade for pastoralists ,and other market players for increased livestock productivity & profitability.

Speaking when he inspected the project  in Kibish Sub-County, CEC Aemun
expressed optimism that the saleyard which is strategically situated on the livestock routes targeting livestock in Turkana North & Kibish areas would open up the region to livestock traders and herders who initially travelled miles away to look for markets .

He noted that the establishment of market days would catalyse bussiness activities in the region that he said had quality herds of livestock that would sale for good prizes in the market.

The department of livestock production in collaboration with other Livestock production partners has plans to operationalize all existing livestock markets through established market days & structured livestock market information system.

The County executive is accompanied by Fisheries, Livestock production and Veterinary Services Chief Officer Abdullahi Yussuf and Veterinary  Director Benson Longor .

The team separately met with the Kibish Sub-County and Kaikor ward administrator where discussion on ministry projects were extensively discussed.

Chief Officer Abdullahi Yussuf said that the department would coordinate with the administrators offices to ease service delivery to the pastoralist community

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