Lodwar, 31st August

Communities affected by the recent desert locust invasion are set to benefit from a joint livelihoods recovery efforts by the County Government and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation(FAO).

The programme is intended to strengthen communities after negative economic impacts of the desert locust invasion on crops and livestock related activities and will benefit 9650 households

More than 1800 farmers will receive certified crops seeds,support on establishment of kitchen gardens as well as agri-nutrition training as part of the recovery effort.

Speaking today when he opened the livelihoods recovery workshop in Lodwar, County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun said that the joint coordination was meant to address the double shocks of desert Locusts and Corona virus that he decried to have negative socio-economic impacts to the livelihoods of residents of Turkana.

While noting the progress towards combating the pest in the region, the County Executive noted that limited ground surveillance and capacity had earlier own enabled desert locusts subdue County Government and development partners efforts against its invasion when it was first reported in Turkana.

He acknowledged FAO,among other many partners support towards combating the pest infestation and called for more resource mobilization and coordinated approach to mitigate future disasters . He warned that Turkana County was not yet off the hook of desert locust.

The County Executive stated that the recovery program would include training of farmers and herders on disaster management through Public Barazas and radio programmes to reach a larger number of people.

FAO Head of Lodwar Field Office Dan Irura said that the pastoralist community will benefit from distribution of 5000 bags of range cubes as well as mass deworming of livestock as well as ectoparasite control.

Additionally, 5000 one-month old improved indigenous chicken will be distributed as part of rebuilding capacity to the affected households.

Also present were Fisheries,Livestock production and Veterinary Services Chief Officer Abdullahi Yussuf, Fisheries Director Robert Kibunja, among other senior County Government Officers.


The Songot community will be heavily involved in the demarcation exercise to map the area to be gazetted to conserve and protect the Songot Ranges, said County Executive Committee (CEC) of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources George Emoru.

Speaking to the community leaders at Songot in Turkana West Sub-county, CEC Emoru appreciated the community for agreeing to the gazettement as it will benefit the community directly with jobs as well as attract investors.

“The county government, with our partner Mercy Corps, will also be there to support you [Songot community] to restore the degraded sites by tree planting and pasture,” he said. “This will mitigate against climate change as Songot Ranges is a major water catchment in Turkana West.”

The Songot gazettement process began last year with the community sensitisation exercises on the importance of gazetting being held periodically.

As Pauline Ngoli Pusiye, Deputy Director of Natural Resources pointed out that public participation is essential to enlightening the communities on the benefits of the county government projects.

She also urged the youth representatives present to take the message of the importance and benefits of the gazzettement back to their villages.

Kenya Forest Service’s Inspector Bernard Kisanya said that the community will be responsible in managing its conservation and protection as they will be free to enter and graze in the gazetted area.

In his remarks the Songot Member of the County Assembly (MCA) and Leader of Majority, Hon. Bethel Kobongin, said that the gazettement will give the county government the directive to support the community in its effort to conserve and protect the ranges.

The Chair of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources committee at the County Assembly and MCA Lokori, Hon. Daniel Emekwe  echoed the same and urged the community to embrace the gazettement.

In attendance were MCAs – Hon. Cosmas Longor (Nanam), Hon. Rebecca Akeno Elim (nominated) and Hon. Angeline E. Lokaala (nominated) and the area wards administrators and chiefs.


Lokichar, 28th August (Governor’s Press Service)–A joint disaster coordination team has carried out assessment of areas along the Turkwel riverine at risk of flooding in anticipation of spill-over of the Turkwel dam.

Led by the County Department of Disaster Management, the team visited settlements, irrigation schemes and addressed communities living along the revirine as part of a mapping exercise to collect information which will advise a contingency plan.

County Director of Disaster Management Vincent Palor yesterday led one team consisting of experts in different fields and representatives of partner organisations, on a visit to Kaputir and Katilu wards for data collection and to address residents’ fears.

“This assessment is for the county and partners involved to be better prepared by understanding areas that sit at a high risk of flooding in the event of spill-over. We don’t want to be caught unawares,” Director Palor said when he addressed residents of Juluok in Kaputir Ward which was one of the stops made.

He dispelled fears that the warning of possible flooding was a ploy for residents along the revirine to abandon their lands but stated that community preparedness was critical to reduce losses in case of a disaster.

On Thursday, KVDA Regional Manager Samuel Kigen assured the team of the dam’s structural integrity and has a durability assurance of 100 years. Construction of the dam was completed in 1991. He said KenGen was working at full capacity to reduce water levels through two turbines, each   discharging 17m3 of water per second.

The dam’s structure is fitted with technology to monitor is integrity including deflections of the arc, hydrological and geological activities.

Water level at the dam has risen to a record high of 1,145.39 metres, with spillover designed to occur when the water hits the 1,150 metre mark. Reports have indicated that there has been no increase in the last 24 hours, and the trend could continue if heavy rains stop in the dam’s catchment of Mt. Elgon and Cherangany hills.

Assistant Director for Humanitarian Affairs John Tukei led a second team which visited Turkwel and Lobei/Kotaruk wards in Loima Sub-County for the vulnerability assessment.

Another team is in Turkana Central Sub County and is led by Deputy Director for Disaster Management Moses Nawoton. They have so far carried out assessment in Lodwar Township, Kerio Delta Ward and Kang’atotha wards and will conclude in Kanamkemer ward.

The assessment will identify spillage route and expected flooding areas, safe zones in the event of floods, population at risk, livelihoods and government installation such as health centres and dispensaries that could be affected.

Information collected will form part of a contingency plan being drafted as the County Government plans to be better prepared.

Turkana South team included Turkana South Sub-County Administrator Alex Losikiria, Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Benson Longor, Assistant Director for Humanitarian Affairs Namuya Benjamin, Ward Administrators Lomodei Lomodei (Lobokat), Ignatius Erupe (Kaputir) and Emmanuel Ewaar (Katilu) as well as experts from lands, irrigation, water and public health.

In Loima, Turkwel ward Administrator Imadis Ekuleu was part of the team.

Partner organisations involved include National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), World Food Programme (WFP) among others.


International Organization for Migration (IOM) with County Government today held an evacuation
and prepositioning training for County Administrators in readiness incase of Turkwel Dam spill over.
The training exercise is a collaborative initiative between the County department of disaster and
IOM to prepare Administrators incase of the Dam over flow which the metre reading is getting
worse day by day.
The training comes at a time when Turkwel dam is expected to fill to its full supply level of 1150
metres and spill over.
Guided by Yoko Fujimura, International Organization for Migration (IOM) Head of Sub-Office, the
Administrators have been trained on mitigation, contingency plans, coordination and Management
of disasters, data collection and reporting, sectorial needs at times of disasters as well as advocacy
and resource mobilization among others.
The training is to inform Administrators on their obligations with a basis on how they should
implement the mitigation plan.
In the event of a spill, the county government estimates that 300,000 people will be displaced,
damage to irrigation schemes and infrastructure, loss of lives and livelihoods and Sub mergence of
key towns across the river basin including Lodwar.
Even as the spillage is likely to occur, the department of disaster still endeavours to continue
sensitizing residents living downstream as it capacity builds administrators, Chiefs, religious and
opinion lesders on applicable contingency plans.
The training brought together Administrators from the likely affected wards of Kaptir, Katilu,
Lobokat, Lobei, Turkwel, Kangatotha, Kerio, Kanamkemer and Lodwar Township as well as officers of
key sectors of Agriculture and Livestock, water, Lands, Infrastructure, health and Disaster
Management that will directly or indirectly be affected.


Relief for traders as County Government okays resumption of market days

Loya, 24th August– Business people in Turkana can now 4breath a sigh of relief after the County Department of Trade acceded to pleas by traders to resume operations of open air markets, after months of closure due to the Corona Virus pandemic.

The decision to re-open markets follows last week’s resolution by Governors from North Rift Economic Block (NOREB) in a meeting in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.

NOREB Interim Chairperson H.E Governor Jackson Mandago in a statement while announcing resumption of the Livestock Market called upon respective Livestock Market Management Committees to work closely with County Departments of Livestock and that of Public Health, National and County Government Administration as well as the National Police Service to ensure traders in the markets embrace behavioural change as stipulated while engaging in all market processes. Markets which will fail to comply with these guidelines will be closed indefinitely.

Speaking today at Loya in Lokiriama/Lorengippi ward when she officiated re-opening of Loya border market, County Executive for Trade, Youth and Gender Affairs Ms Esther Lokwei called on youth and women-led businesses to register in groups to enable them benefit from the Kshs.133 million Youth and Women Empowerment Funds set to disbursed by the County Government in the next few months.

She added that gender and youth officers will soon move to the wards to sensitize wananchi on eligibility criteria, whilst distributing group loan application form to qualifying and registered groups.

While decrying the socio-economic impact of Corona Virus to the busssines Community in Turkana, CEC Lokwei urged residents to invest in livestock trade and other forms of business to generate income as alternative source of livelihood other than the traditional rearing of livestock for prestige and cultural purposes.

She promised to organize for a joint cross-border trade mission, in liaison with her counterpart in West Pokot County, to address concerns on imbalances in trade practices along the border point.

On the reported cases of illegal market and cross border border conflict between Turkana and West Pokot Counties, CEC Lokwei called for calm and patience among residents stating that the County Government officials together with National Administration will work together to address the issue to create harmony whilst deepening trade relations along the Loya and Nawoiyapong’ border areas.

County Chief Officer for Trade Dr. Michael Eregae assured traders that the department had budgeted Kshs. 10 million that will be used for renovation of the border market to create a conducive business environment for traders.

Dr. Eregae called for strict adherence to the Ministry of Health guidelines and protocols on Corona Virus adding that the County Government will improve infrastructure in all markets in Turkana to enable traders transact business with minimal challenges.

Trade Director James Lokwale said that the expansion works to be undertaken in Loya market will comprise a perimeter fence, open shed, ablution block, store, resting shed and a raised water tank in order to give a face-lift to the market.

The Loya integrated fresh produce and livestock market host traders from Turkana and West Pokot Counties as well as Tepeth community from the neighboring country of Uganda.

Others who spoke included Turkana County Chamber of Commerce Director and Committee Chair on Livestock and Agri-business Ms Elizabeth Lokolio, County Livestock Market Council Chairperson Joseph Losuru and Lorengippi location area Chief, Nathan Loong’orio.



Turkwel Dam is expected to fill and spill for the first time. It has never filled up to its full supply level at 1150 meters above the sea level, since its construction from 1986 to 1991.

It has a capacity of 1.6 billion m3 covering an area of 6500 hectares and Kenya’s highest dam at 150 meters. It produces 106 MW of electricity.

The ongoing rains in Mt. Elgon and Cherangani Hills Catchments has made its water levels to go beyond the highest water level ever reached from the 1139.24 meters to 1145.09 meters above the sea level as at Thursday 20th August, 2020.

The dam spillage is designed to occur at the water level above 1150 meters above sea level.

Since the onset of rains in October 2019 to date, most of the catchments in the country, have been receiving above normal rainfall.

In this regard, I direct the Department of Administration and Disaster Management to continue providing alerts and sensitizing downstream communities along the Turkwel basin in Lobokat, Kaputir, Katilu, Lobei/Kotaruk, Turkwel, township, Kanamkemer, Kerio and Kangatotha wards to move to higher grounds should this trend worsens.

The County Government of Turkana, National Government and Development Partners are at advanced stage to establish a workable contingency plan with objective of protecting human life, property, environment and alleviating human suffering in the event of spillage.

I implore upon Water Resources Authority (WRA), Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA} and KenGen to take lead in providing adequate data and trend analysis in aiding in decision making.

Once the dam spills the following will likely occur:

1. Displacement of more than 300,000 downstream residents;
2. Damage to  irrigation schemes and infrastructure,
3. Submergence of Lodwar town
4. Loss of lives & livelihoods, property, and destruction of environment.
5. Disable economy in Lodwar town and other trading centers along the Turkwel river
6. Increase in water borne diseases.

I therefore take this earliest opportunity to direct residents living along the River Turkwel basin to move to higher grounds and adhere to relevant alerts that will be given from time to time through various media channels and community barazas to avoid further destruction of lives, property and spread of water borne diseases.

I also caution people residing along the shores of Lake Turkana to move offshore to avoid loss of lives and property because of recent water in the lake has surged to unprecedented levels from 500m to 800m claiming the once dry beaches, hotels, homes, government offices and displacement of more than 1,000 households. This exacerbates the situation as people are being exposed to crocodiles and Hippos attack.

It is evident that people have lost jobs as fishing activities have been interrupted , some hotels have been submerged thus the fishing folk as well as residents have lost businesses. The effect has already been felt in Turkana North and Turkana Central Sub-Counties.

I want to assure residents of Turkana that my governmentwith that of National Government will do everything within our means to protect lives and property of the communities living along the Turkwel basin and Lake Turkana.

H.E Josphat Nanok E.G.H

Governor-Turkana County



Lodwar, 19th August (Governor’s Press Service)

The County coronavirus response today received a boost with the launch of a partnership with USAID Nawiri and equipment donation from Safaricom.

Governor Josphat Nanok launched the USAID Nawiri Covid-19 response, a partnership with the County Government to support communities affected by the pandemic.

The response will cost Sh8.8 million and will fund supply of essential health and nutrition services for health centres, support to market systems cope with the pandemic with better access to nutritious foods, hygiene items, installation of handwashing points in strategic points for the public, public sensitization on the virus.

The Governor expressed appreciation for the support from partner organisations for the county health system to improve its capacity to combat spread of Covid-19.

“I am glad that the County Government is working with partners to address Covid-19 pandemic, to support communities alleviate poverty and inequalities which have been excerbated by this crisis,” he said. The county boss assured USAID Nawiri that the County Government was committed to the partnership signed last March to end acute malnutrition.

Thanking Safaricom for donation of specialized equipment worth Sh1.5 million, Governor Nanok expressed hope of further support from the private sector.

He announced that positive cases in the County had risen to 88 with 13 new cases reported yesterday. The Governor assured residents of Turkana that the County Government was monitoring high risk areas including major urban centres and the refugee camp in Kakuma in a bid to limit spread of coronavirus.

He noted that none of the 88 cases so far reported were critical and that no one had died due to the virus, with a 60 percent recovery reported.

County Executive for Health Jane Ajele revealed that the county had adopted home-based care for patients meeting set criteria. She said that 58 coronavirus patients had so far recovered and been discharged, leaving 30 active cases.

USAID Nawiri Chief of Party Darius Radcliffe said the organization had “adapted its programming to the emerging needs posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to strategically partner with the county in a multi-sectoral approach”. Components of the partnership include Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, health and nutrition, livelihoods, markets systems and surveillance for nutrition, and support for enhanced coordination.

Safaricom Area Sales Manager Peter Njihia handed over the donations which include 250 pieces of PPE full kits- coveralls, KN95 masks, gloves and goggles.

Others who addressed the event were Deputy County Secretary Robert Loyelei and Chairman of the Covid-19 Fund Rev Samson Akoru.

Present at the launch were County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun, Chief of Staff Ekuwom Nakiporo, Chief Officers Dr. Jacob Lolea (Agriculture and Land Reclamation) and Yusuf Abdullahi (Livestock, Fisheries and Veterinary Services), Director of Medical Services Dr. Gilchrist Lokoel, among others.

Regional Director for USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance Michael DeSisti, USAID Food Security Specialist Joseph Chege were also present among other staff from Nawiri and Safaricom.


Governor Nanok launches County Nutrition Action Plan

Lodwar, 18th August (Governor’s Press Service)—The County Government has today launched a nutrition action plan which will guide implementation of nutrition interventions by government and its partners.

Governor Josphat Nanok said the plan was aimed at achieving better nutrition for residents of Turkana and improve health of the population, to ensure enhanced productivity for better economic growth.

“The second generation of Turkana County Nutrition Action Plan for 2019-2023 underscores the importance of nutrition for healthy community and summarizes key result areas which my administration plans to invest in for enriched nutrition outcomes,” the Governor said when he presided over the launch at Ekaales Centre, Lodwar.

He highlighted measures taken since the advent of devolution to improve food and nutrition situation of the county, which include food distribution, livestock off-take, integrated management of acute malnutrition, provision of seeds and livestock feeds.

Despite past investments, the Governor admitted that the acute malnutrition was 26.5 percent, and still above WHO emergency threshold. He announced that the government was allocating 40 percent of its annual budget to key sectors of Agriculture, Water, Health and Education with the investments resourcing food and nutrition security sector.

“Food and nutrition security is one of the five transformative development priorities for my second term. We are working closely with the private sector on strategies to creating new value chains in various sectors: agriculture, livestock, poultry and fishing.

“Laying the foundation for commercial agriculture, livestock and fishing sector will be key to unlocking our potential, address unemployment, invest to increase herds for pastoralists, and empower them with purchasing power to ultimately reduce malnutrition and poverty,” he said.

The Governor reiterated his support for senators pushing for a revenue division formula to reflect a united Kenya and insisted that resources should follow functions and be allocated where most needed, especially in counties with high poverty levels.

The county boss appreciated efforts by partners to develop the plan and commitment to its implementation in the effort to end malnutrition. He promised that the County Government will lead initiatives to approach for a healthier future.

Speaker Ekitela Lokaale assured of the County Assembly’s support in passage of legislation and policy framework; and had already passed the County Community Health Services Act (2018), with the Health Administration Bill under legislation.

Unicef Deputy Representative Jean Lokenga said that the agency was committed to working with the County Government to eliminate hunger and malnutrition. He also promised to provide support in the implementation of the nutrition action plan.

Others who spoke were County Secretary Peter Eripete, Lopur MCA and Chair of the County Assembly’s Health Services and Sanitation Committee Evans Ekai, County Executives Jane Ajele (Health) and Philip Aemun (Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries); Head of the National Division of Nutrition and Dietetics Veronica Kerogo and USAID Afya Timiza Chief of Party Gilbert Wangalwa.

Others were County Directors Alfred Emanman (Preventive and Promotive Health) and Gilchrist Lokoel (Medical Services).

Present at the launch was Advisor for Politics and Intergovernmental Relations Rebecca Lowoiya among others.



Kalemngorok, 17th August (By Governor’s Press Service— Governor Josphat Nanok and Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives Peter Munya today launched the construction of water pan that will benefit residents of Kaputir and Katilu wards.

CS Munya said the Sh97million water pan is under the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP) funded by the World Bank and implemented by the County Government. He revealed that over Sh962million has been invested in different projects, developing value chains of sorghum and cowpeas intercrop, sheep and goats, bee keeping and poultry value chains.

Governor Nanok attributed a number of projects including NARIGP which are funded by the National Government and implemented in partnership with the County Government, to the good relationship that he had insisted upon, enjoyed between the two tiers of governments.

“This is the right path to follow where collaboration between the two governments leads to more benefits to residents of the County,” he said. The Governor mentioned the MoU between the County Government and KeNHA which will unlock Sh2.8 billion as CSR projects as another avenue for partnership where the County will gain.

To solve water challenges faced in the region, the Governor called on Cabinet Secretary for Petroleum and Mining John Munyes to ensure that proposed project to pipe water from Turkwel dam to the oil fields in Lokichar was revived. The water was to benefit residents in urban centres along the way.

He said the project would have solved impeding spill over of the dam waters, which he warned would affect livelihoods of residents living downstream. However, the Governor assured that the government will advise residents living in areas along the revirine on expected damage after an assessment was carried out.

Governor Nanok reiterated his stand that a solution to border conflict with West Pokot and Baringo counties lay with the National Government and insisted that it was imperative that a direction was given to put the matter to rest.

“Recently, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua directed official map which shows the 47 counties and international boundaries for official use. So I urge the County Commissioner and Interior Ministry to use the map to tell every County where the boundary is to solve these conflicts,” he said.

The Governor advised residents not to engage in conflicts over the water pan and allow all residents of the area to have access while the county looked for additional resources to put up more infrastructure.

The water pan which is expected to benefit 57,000 people is within a multi-community investment, and includes soil and water conservation structures and spate irrigation infrastructure.

To develop potential of the region in crop production, the Governor revealed that rehabilitation of irrigation schemes in Kaputir, Nakwamoru, Juluok and Simailele to add to farms in Katilu was to ensure residents were food secure.

CS Munya said investing to increase agricultural productivity of smallholder farmers was a priority for his Ministry.

Earlier in the day, Governor Nanok and CS Munya visited Ngilukumong in Nakwamekwi where the County Government is setting up a model 100-acre agrinutrition farm. The project is supported by the National Government with 600 youth engaged in bush clearing under the Kazi Mtaani initiative.

They also toured the Loya locust control site in Loima Sub-county to observe to observe locust control exercise. Munya said a preliminary report by the Kenya Red Cross on demage caused by locust invasion was ready and report out and will advise rebuilding of livelihoods affected.

Other leaders who spoke were CS Munyes, Turkana South MP James Lomenen, Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Executive Philip Aemun, MCAs James Abei (Katilu), Shadrack Lodong’a (Kaputir), David Erukudi (Lobokat) and Alice Lokawa (Nominated).

Other senior County Government offficials present include Chief Officers Dr. Lolelea Natade (Agriculture and Land Reclamation) and Yusuf Abdullahi (Livestock, Fisheries and Veterinary Services), Chief of Staff Ekuwom Nakiporo, NARIGP County Coordinator among others.


Veterinary directorate to establish cattle crush and drug stores on livestock migratory routes

Lodwar– County Executive for Agriculture,Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun has said that the County Government will soon establish drug stores and livestock crush along strategic migratory routes and water points to ease restraining of animals during routine vaccination, vector control, treatment and deworming.

He said that placement of the crush and veterinary drugs will strengthen ambulatory animal services and enable coverage of a large number of livestock as well as ease access to livestock drugs by herders.

CEC Aemun was speaking today at Lochor~Emoit ,Lokichar ward in Turkana South Sub-County. He together with County Chief Officer Abdullahi Yussuf were in Locheremoit to monitor and asses the ongoing emergency treatment of camels .

The County executive termed the exercise successful as less cases of camel deaths were reported despite distress calls from herders ,when the exercise started a month ago. A total number of 14,322 camels had been treated and vaccinated so far against camel cough,haemorrhagic septicaemia and trypanosomiasis.

On livestock diseases reporting, CEC Aemun called on herders to be vigilant and report any cases of livestock diseases for quick response from the veterinary directorate. He assured that the County Government would continue working closely with Community Disease Reporters and kraal elders to scale up livestock diseases reporting through the participatory disease surveillance.

On his part, CO Abdullahi Yussuf expressed Pastoral Economy department commitment to strengthen livestock production and productivity through procurement of veterinary drugs as well as training many members of the community on symptoms and treatment of livestock diseases.

He added that his department had put more emphasis on strengthening animal health services to avert deaths and negative socio-economic impacts caused by livestock diseases outbreak.

County Director for Veterinary Services Benson Longor stated that there was a new trend of livestock diseases in the region but said that the directorate was well prepared to prevent any outbreaks.