PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP HAVE PRODUCED HUGE ECONOMIC LOSS ASSOCIATED WITH LIVESTOCK DEATH

Strategic public-private partnership between the County Government and livestock stakeholders has emboldened disease surveillance and reduced huge livestock deaths in Turkana,County Director for Veterinary Services Dr..Benson Long’or has said.

Speaking today in Lokichar,when he opened a two-day refresher training of Community Disease Reporters(CDRs),Director Long’or said that his Directorate will continue engaging stakeholders in collection,analysis and presentation of disease data to determine disease status, pattern and its distribution so as to inform timely responses.

He described the CDR structures as inevitable and essential in reporting livestock disease syndromes in a vast county like Turkana where challenges of infrastructure, lean staff, logistical constraints are enormous and briefed participants on progress of the Turkana animal health zero draft policy and bill that is before the County Assembly for legislation.

The trainees,drawn from all the 30 wards,will under this refresher training on major animal disease syndromes as well as be taken through mobile application tool (Plantvillage Nuru app)-Animal survey.

The objective of the training is to support the ongoing efforts of livestock disease surveillance within the county with focus on equipping the CDRs with basic knowledge on accurate, quality and evidence based information which can be easily analyzed, interpreted and presented for decision making and resource mobilization.

The two days training,with a 6-months piloting has been jointly organized by the County Veterinary Services Directorate and Plantvillage Nuru organization.

Plantvillage Nuru as an organization played a major role on locust surveillance (elocust3m app) which helped early detection of locust for its control. Now, they’ve come with an App for animal disease surveillance to inform early detection and response.

Plantvillage Nuru’s Veterinary officer Dr. Catherine Karungo said that the organization will continue using technology to engage more professionals and see how they can partner with the County Government to scale up disease reporting and enhance its control.

Turkana South Sub-County Administrator Esther Lokitoe challenged the community disease reporters to utilize the knowledge and help herders at their respective wards.

CS ERIPETE HOSTS UN JOINT DEVOLUTION PROGRAMME DELEGATION

Lodwar, 27th April 2022 (Governor’s Press Service)– County Secretary Peter Eripete this morning hosted a delegation of representatives from UN partner agencies implementing a devolution support programme in Turkana at the County HQ.

The delegation led by UNDP Resident Coordinator Walid Badawi, is in the county to review progress of initiatives under the Consolidating Gains Deepening Devolution in Kenya project, also referred to as the Joint Devolution Programme (JDP).

The programme is a project by UNDP, UN Women and UNICEF in 14 counties which seeks to strengthen policy and legal frameworks for devolved governance and enhance service delivery in different sectors.

Mr. Badawi said the review will provide UN organizations and partners an opportunity to assess ‘key initiatives implemented, outcomes delivered in the county with support from of JDP’. The review will also identify priority areas for the extended programme from 2022-2025.

The organizations included UNDP, UNICEF and UN Women and partners Embassies of Finland, Sweden, the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) as well as the National Government.

“The objective of the Joint Review Mission is to review with partners the progress we have made through JDP, hear from the County Government and beneficiaries what was done well and what was not done well. Also we need to discuss possibilities for future collaboration,” Badawi said.

He informed the CS that the UN was in the process of finalizing on a Cooperation Framework with the Kenya Government to be signed in June, and promised that the agreement will prioritize support to counties in the ASALs.

On his part CS Eripete commended the partnership with UN agencies under the UN Delivering as One Programme, with seamless coordination of joint projects which have become a unique model for partner cooperation.

He highlighted partnerships implemented including the KISEDP support for integration of refugees and host community, FAO support on land registration, partnership on health service delivery with UNICEF among others.

The CS attributed the development progress made across Turkana to the successful collaboration with partner organizations, adding that increased resilience of residents to natural disasters such as drought was due to investment in different sectors of the society bearing fruit.

He said the county’s readiness to support partner investment despite different modes of support had led to an increase in organizations working in Turkana, adding that the flexibility had turned Turkana into a leading county on partner coordination.

On the Joint Devolution Programme, the CS acknowledged that the initiative had supported strengthening of the county’s planning, budget implementation, monitoring and evaluation and accountability in service delivery as well as train MCAs on budgetary systems.

He promised that the coordination structures developed with partners will be maintained through the third generation CIDP with partner input included in its development.

Senior County Government officers present in the meeting include County Executives Jane Ajele (Health Services), Jeremiah Namuya (Infrastructure, Transport and Public Works), George Emoru (Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries), Esther Lokwei (Education, Sports and Social Protection), Alexander Flemings Losikiria (Tourism, Culture, Environment, Energy and Natural Resources) and Chief of Staff Boniface Korobe.

In the delegation was Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Finland Otto Stenius, UN Women Deputy Country Director Rukaya Mohammed, Programme Officer at the Swedish Embassy Josephine Mwangi and Programme Officer at Embassy of Norway Shamza Birik, UNICEF Chief of Field Office Rotuno Kipsang and Council of Governor’s Kizito Wangalwa.

COUNTY GOVERNMENT AND MINISTRY OF DEFENCE SIGN LAND AGREEMENT

 Lodwar, 22nd April 2022 (Governor’s Press Service)– The County Government and the Ministry of Defence have today signed a Framework Agreement for the allocation of land for military use in Turkana County.
In the ceremony today at Ekaales Centre, Lodwar, presided over by Governor Josphat Nanok and Defence Principal Secretary Ibrahim Mohamed, the Kenya military has been allocated 9,000 ha of land to set up military bases across Turkana.
These include 2,000Ha in Kanamkemer, 1,000Ha each in Kaputir, Kapedo/Napeitom, Lapur, Kibish, Lokichoggio, Nanam, and Letea Wards; and an additional 50,000Ha reserved by community for access by military for training purposes when need arise in Kapedo/Napeitom Ward.
Governor Nanok said the agreement will help the county address the challenge of perennial insecurity  that has affected development.
“I am glad that today I am able to witness that we have given you land to enable you come and take care of defence especially of our international borders where brave men from our community have been securing the border,” he said.
The Governor said he was proud that the agreement has been signed before he leaves power to boost security within Kenya’s borders to allow pastoralists live without fear.
He commended KDF for adhering to the Community Land Act and seeking consent of the community through the County Government which holds the land in trust and stated that community approval was critical to avoid future conflicts.
“This is the right path to acquire community land for whatever need and I am glad the Kenya military took this path. You will not encounter any roadblocks going forward because what you have received today is social license which is critical when engaging with local communities,” he added.
The Governor announced that the County will soon sign a similar agreement with Geothermal Development Corporation (GDC) on development of Silale geothermal power, in presence of the local community in Kapedo.
He also revealed that public participation process on land management across the county had begun, with adjudication process of land documents in Lodwar Municipality ongoing in a bid to develop title deeds for land owned by residents.
PS Mohamed thanked Governor Nanok and residents of Turkana for the support to enable signing of the agreement. He said the partnership will enable the Ministry of Defence strengthen security as one of President Uhuru’s agenda.
“The allocation of land to the Ministry of Defence will now provide the much needed security, enhance development, boost investor confidence and in return create job opportunities for residents of Turkana County,” he said.
He added that through the consultative process, which involved the County Government, elected Members of Parliament and County Assembly was a sign of respect for the rule of law. He noted that the agreement is a rich and historical legacy that Governor Nanok will leave behind for the future generation.
The PS assured of the Ministry’s commitment to implementation of the agreement and fulfilling of promises on social investment projects including schools, water projects including dams, health centres and infrastructure projects.
On his part, Vice Chief of Defence Forces F. O. Ogolla echoed the military’s commitment to adhere to the agreement and assured that the military presence was aimed at securing Kenya’s territorial integrity.
Others who spoke include Turkana Central MP John Lodepe, Leader of Minority Benedict Lokamar, Chairmen of the County Assembly committees Cosmas Longor (Lands Energy Housing and Urban Areas Management) and Willy Nalimo
(County Security Administration and Disaster Management) County Secretary Peter Eripete and County Attorney Erastus Ethekon.
Present at the signing were a host of nominated MCA’s including leader of Women Caucus Dorcas Epusie. Others were senior County officials including County Executives, a host of Chief Officers, military officers, senior officials from the Turkana County Commissioner’s office,  representatives of Turkana Professional Association, KNCCI among others.

COUNTY TO STRENGTHEN RESOURCE MOBILISATION THROUGH PARTNERSHIP WITH DEVELOPMENT ORGANISATIONS 

Lodwar, 20th April 2022 (Governor’s Press Service)- County Secretary Peter Eripete has stated that the County Government will continue to strengthen partnership as means of resource mobilisation to develop Turkana County.

In meeting with a delegation from Nawiri and Mercy Corps led by Senior Vice President Programmes, Craig Redmond, the CS said the county will maintain its focus on joint planning, implementation, monitoring and implementation of partner programmes. He added that the County Government had upheld its transparency in coordination with partner organisation, including in financial contribution invested in programmes.

“We appreciate partners who have been key in our resource mobilisation efforts, to fill gaps in our development needs caused by the vastness and many needs in the county.

“As we have shown, we support co-creation, joint planning, implementation and monitoring. We don’t have a problem with partner organisations funding projects directly as long as they show commitment to work together and the project benefits the community and contributes to the development of Turkana, ” the CS said. 

To ensure partner programmes were aligned to County priorities, the CS said partner organisations in Turkana were heavily involved in ongoing development of the third generation five-year County Integrated Development Programme (CIDP). 

CS Eripete revealed that the county was committed to ensure the process was all-inclusive to collect views of all residents across the county. 

“To get the core priorities from the community we strive to go to the lowest administrative units. As a County that has experienced marginalisation, we persist to reach everyone to get views,” he said. 

On the drought situation, the CS insisted that the situation was dire and appealed to partners to find ways to further support county emergency relief response to benefit residents facing food stress and water shortage.

He recognised that different efforts by partners was contributing to build resilience, including support to livestock vaccination, water development, school feeding and cash transfer programmes. He stated that through partner support, Turkana was no longer the face of drought in Kenya despite the severe drought.

On his part, Reimond said Mercy Corps was committed to the partnership with the county for the success of projects implemented in Turkana. Chief of Party -USAID Nawiri Hussein Noor Abdille said all programmes implemented by Mercy Corps was to support the County Government achieve its development objectives. 

He added that the organisation was committed to transparency and adherence to coordination structures including joint monitoring and evaluation. 

County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries George Emoru said his department valued partnerships investing to make the dream of food security a reality. 

Chief Officer for Economic Planning Jeremiah Apalia appreciated Mercy Corps support in public participation for CIDP development. He said partner organisations’ involvement in developing the document was key to ensure the county got right priorities for the next five years.

Other officials in the meeting include Chief of Staff in the Office of the Governor Boniface Korobe, Mercy Corps Regional Director for Africa Granville Ross, Head of Lodwar Office Alice and Field Director USAID Nawiri Gabriel Ekuwam.

BUILDING LOCAL EXPERTISE KEY FOR DEVELOPMENT OF PASTORALISTS- CS ERIPETE

County Secretary Peter Eripete has asked the Intergovernmental Authority on Development(IGAD) to prioritize mapping resources that suit common challenges facing pastoralist communities in the Karamoja cluster.

Proper mapping of resources and use of local expertise, he said, would help address the root cause of the challenges as well as provide a road map for actualization of the Transhumance Corridor Development Plan.

He challenged professionals from the Ateker communities to be at the forefront on mapping of the resources because it holds the lifeline of the pastoralist communities.

“All of us must embrace and use local expertise.It will inform how to drive governance of our people and resource therein,” he said.

The transhumance corridor plan, that’s being funded by IGAD, outlines the available resource within the migratory routes, the gaps in the infrastructure within those routes and ways of addressing the infrastructure gaps.

The County Secretary was speaking today in Lodwar when he officially opened a two-day validation participatory mapping meeting of Transhumance Corridor and Associated features between Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda.

CS Eripete who is also the Head of Public Service expressed County Government’s commitment to work with stakeholders to support pastoralist livelihoods, and also briefed participants on progress made through the Peace Building structure.

IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD) representative Adan Bika assured of the authority’s readiness to implement the plan and ensure its primary objective is achieved.

County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries George Emoru called for fast-tracking of the validation process to enable the Government capture it in the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP).

Others who spoke included IGAD’s Cross Border Development facilitator Dr.Dominic Lokeris and International Organization for Migration representative Khadija Ali, among others.

MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH GETS A BOOST WITH TOOLS SUPPORT FROM USAID NAWIRI

Over two hundred community health volunteers (CHVs) from fourteen community units from across the county will receive tools, supported by USAID Nawiri, that will enable them to scale up maternal, child health and nutrition services.

The two hundred and ten (210) CHVs, including those present in the handing over ceremony from Ng’itakito Unit, are expected to use the tools to increase access to the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition of children under five years, malaria and diarrhoea. While confirmed pneumonia cases are referred to the nearest health facility.

Speaking during the ceremony, County Health Executive Jane Ajele appreciated the partners, like USAID Nawiri, for training the CHVs for it had greatly improved health at the household level.

“The CHVs are the first point of health access and therefore need to be supported to achieve sustained reductions in persistent malnutrition among mothers and children below 5 years,” she said.

Dr Malcolm Lochodo, Health Chief Officer, mentioned that the support given to CHVs will assist the county health department in the operational activities.

“Training of CHVs on nutritional health will empower mothers in the community attain appropriate feeding habits to curb malnutrition,” he said.

On his part, Gabriel Ekuwam – Field Director of USAID Nawiri – said that organisation will increase the CHVs trainings to enable them detect early signs of nutrition deficiency diseases.

As the implementing partner Save The Children’s Project Coordinator Akutan Lobolia assured the county government of its support in ensuring CHVs deliver nutrition health services to mothers and children.

The tools, to be kept in the metal box for safe keeping, were identification jacket and badge, torch, first-aid kit, dosage mart for nutrition supplements, reporting tools, pneumonia beads, malaria testing kits and so on.

Others who spoke were Deputy Director of Public Health and Sanitation Services – Innocent Sifuna, Community Health Services Coordinator – Lucas Edete who urged the CHVs to safeguard and utilise the tools as they geared towards assisting the communities. Also in attendance was the County Partners Coordinator – Dr Getrude Nasike.

OVER 30 INFANTS DECLARED HIV-FREE IN GRADUATION CEREMONY IN TURKANA SOUTH 

County Government, in conjunction with USAID Imarisha Jamii, held a graduation ceremony for 39 children HIV Exposed Infants (HEI) in Lokichar, Turkana South Sub-county, after successfully completing a two-year program for getting infected by the virus from their HIV positive mothers.

The event, held in RCEA Lokichar Health Centre – Turkana South Sub-county, aimed to also celebrating the HIV positive mothers who were able to breastfeed and wean their babies without passing the virus to the children. This is due to the provision of free antiretroviral therapy (ART) and ensuring that they deliver in health facilities through close monitoring by the county government and its partners.

Speaking during the celebrations, Health County Executive Jane Ajele reminded the mothers that knowing their HIV-positive status put them above the rest who don’t know theirs.

“The mothers here are empowered and therefore know to visit health facilities for their healthcare needs,” she said.

She further added that the mothers should also be encouraged to enrol for the National Hospital Insurance Fund to access medical services in government facilities without financial hardship.

On his part the Chief of Party – USAID Imarisha Jamii, Dr Chris Barasa appreciated the mothers for their commitment to follow the instructions given by the healthcare workers and taking medication. He also urged the mothers to share with others living with HIV that it is possible to have a HIV negative child.

Dr Bonventure Ameyo, Director of Preventative and Promotive, said the facility had done commendable work in their documentation and follow up of these graduates was an exemplification of the great work done by the team.

Alice Akalapatan, Deputy Director of Family Health, urged the mothers to be ambassadors of maternal health services by encouraging other women to visit health facilities.

Samuel Pulkol, County AIDS and STIs Coordinator, pointed out that the graduation was the first to be held in Turkana South Sub-county. The goal of the county health department is to eliminate mother-to-children HIV infections to five percent.

As the hosts of the celebrations, Esther Napatio – Turkana South Sub-county Administrator encouraged the women to continue with the same spirit that is putting the health of their children first. While Veronica Ereng – Sub-county Medical Health Officer, pointed out that graduation is a celebration for the whole family.

In her closing remarks, CEC Ajele commended the county health workers and USAID Imarisha Jamii for good work.

ADDITIONAL TANK TO EASE WATER ACCESS AT METHEWAN VILLAGE INSTALLED

Residents of Methewan village in Kanamkemer ward, Turkana Central Sub-County have benefitted from a joint installation of yet another water tank by the County Department of Water Services and Blessed Community Empowerment a local CBO in a bid to ease the problem of water access in the area.

The installation which was handed over to the leadership of the areas’ Water Users Association on behalf of the local Community will increase water availability to the more than 500 families residing in the area.

Paul Lotum, Turkanas’ Assistant Director (Ag) for Water Services who attended the handing over on behalf of the County explained that the move was a strategic intervention by the County Government in respect to further reticulation of the Waters of the Napuu project which serves the area.

Mr. Lotum lauded the involvement of the Blessed Community Empowerment CBO for delivering a complete water storage system fully mounted on a stand and fitted with control valves for monitoring intake and off-take of water by the community.

While asking the locals to be on the lookout for unscrupulous persons with intentions to vandalize the system given the rapid urbanization of the area and increasing cases of theft and vandalism in the area, Imadis Ekuleu the areas’ ward administrator called on the local community to report such cases for immediate action.

On his part, Paul Erukudi, the program officer for BLEC CBO said that the donation was meant to improve the resilience of women and open up more opportunities for them to take part in alternative economic activities given the reduced time spent searching for water.

Erukudi explained that his organization would continue to partner with the County Government and other organizations to raise the profile of local women and girls through the formation of village-based Savings and Loans groups while at the same time prioritizing access to social amenities.

Vinson Ekai, the new Sub-County Water Officer for Turkana Central, Kennedy Ogutu (LOWASCO), David Ewoi (Kanamkemer village administrator) and Francis Locheria attended the handing over.

COUNTY GOVERNMENT FETES BEYOND ZERO HEALTH AWARDS FINALISTS

Turkana County Health Department celebrates the twelve finalists of the 2021 Beyond Zero Health Awards for their remarkable performance in delivering primary healthcare services in their respective health facilities.

The award that seeks to recognise the nursing practitioners as they are on the frontline in the provision of primary healthcare. The national 2021 awarding ceremony were held last year in December at the State House presided by the Her Excellence First Lady Margret Kenyatta. Whereby Michael Mwangangi Muthui was awarded Best Overall Beyond Zero Health Awards Finalists in Turkana County.

Speaking in the ceremony awarding the twelve finalists at the County Health Headquarters, County Health Executive Jane Ajele appreciated the finalists for their sustained efforts in ensuring high quality health service delivery.

“There are several indicators that demonstrates that county health workers are doing a good job in their respective fields such as the reduction of the HIV/AIDS infection rate is at 2% from 5%,” she said.

The County Director of Medical Services, Dr Gilchrist Lokoel, re-emphasised that nurses were the face of the primary healthcare delivery. Apart from the appreciation of donated Beyond Zero truck, Dr Lokoel also pointed out that through immense support from Beyond Zero Initiative the county has achieved a reduction in the transmission rate of the mother-to-child HIV infection.

Dr Bonventure Amenyo, Director of Preventive and Promote, also lauded hard work of the nurses adding that it will build a spirit of motivation within themselves.

As the County Nursing Officer, James Mwangi congratulated the finalists and the vetting team for time in assisting the county government ensure its participation in the first of such awards.

In attendance were; Deputy Directors – Daniel Esimit (Health Promotion and Disease Control), Alice Akalapatan (Family Health) and Dr Kevin Lomuria (Medical Services); Sub-county Medical Officers of Health – Peter Lomorukai (Turkana Central), Jacob Nakuleu (Loima), Joel Lochor (Turkana West) and James Moru (Turkana East).

The winners for the; nurse practitioner award for Level 2 facility (dispensary) were Bernard K Tum (Lorogon Dispensary), Dennis S. Saenyi (Lomelo Dispensary) and Silas M. Mwenda (Lokipetot Dispensary); practitioner award for Level 3 facility (health center) were Caren A. Loole (Lowarengak Health Centre), Emily J. Cheserek (Kaaleng Health Centre), Janet L. Mukanzi (Kanakurudio Health Centre), Zainab M. Orenge Kainuk (Health Centre); nurse led initiative award were Everlyne K. Aluvala (Lodwar County Hospital – LCRH), Peter E. Ereng (Kaikor Sub-county Hospital), Patrick S.Ekadeli (Nameyana Dispensary)  Sulekha C. Edaan (LCRH) and Sister Veronica K. Mbula (Lorugum Sub-county Hospital).

In her closing remarks, CEC Ajele appreciated the Beyond Zero Initiative for their continued support particularly in child and maternal health.

 

DROUGHT AGENDA DOMINATES CIDP DISCUSSIONS DURING REVIEW MEETING

Mitigation against drought in the expansive Turkana County will only succeed upon the adoption of a properly coordinated stakeholder engagement mechanism where partners’ roles and contribution is properly defined, County Chief Officer for Economic Planning Jeremiah Apalia has said.

Speaking during a meeting held to review the second generation CIDP and prepare the 2023-2027 version at a venue in Lodwar, Chief Apalia explained that the County was currently at an alarm phase of the drought affecting 120,000 household and about 35% of animal population at a worsening trend hence the need for immediate action.

Noting that the presence of National Drought Management Authority in Turkana had afforded timely access to drought outlook situation from time to time, Chief Apalia urged the stakeholders to liaise with NDMA in driving drought response agenda during the time of need.

Chief Apalia added that the process of procuring relief food for the 640,366 most at risk population through the directorate of Disaster Risk Management was nearing completion alongside other interventions.

Chief Apalia asked development partners to prioritize the health sector in drought response due to the huge number of vulnerable children at risk of falling below the recommended nutrition threshold as the County scales the roll out of a contingency plan to ensure livelihoods are not threatened further.

Joseph Lotwel, The assistant director for Drought response at NDMA who was the chair of the session said that his organization had placed mechanisms in place for mapping of all stakeholders in the drought mitigation and response interventions and develop a data base to be used as a one stop source of information.

Dr Benson Longor, the Director Veterinary services listed; ongoing distribution of 3846 bags of supplementary animal feeds, replenishing of the 8 acres Natemito farm for use as rangeland in Songot Ward and continuous livestock disease surveillance as some of the Country led responses against the situation.

Director of Water services Tito Ochieng’ explained the targetted intervention by the County water team in respect to routine undertaking of operations and maintenance of broken down boreholes and water tracking as sector intervention.