H.E Hon Peter Emuria Lotethiro

Ag. Minister of Water services, Environment and Mineral Resources

Moses Napeyok Natome

Chief Officer Water Services, Environment and Mineral Resources


The Constitution 2010 of Kenya chapter four gives what is popularly known as the Bill of Rights. Under section 43 it says every person has right to clean and safe water in adequate quantities. Furthermore the Fourth schedule gives the duties of Water Services as water and sanitation and storm water management systems in built- up areas. Section  42 also talks of Right to Clean and Healthy environment, which includes the right to the environment to be protected for the benefit of present and future generation, Mining section is a new section which has been created to enhance the exploration and exploitation of Mineral resources in the County for the Benefit of all.

The Ministry of Water, Environment and Mineral Resources is one of the ten ministries in the County government mandated to improve livelihoods of the people through development of Water infrastructure, rehabilitation of dilapidated water systems as well as promotion of environmental management and development of a viable mining industry capable of tapping into the un-explored mineral reserves in Turkana County. The Ministry has three main directorates namely; Water Services Environment and Mineral Resources and Gas.

This subsector includes water supplies for domestic and livestock use, Conservation and protection of Catchments.In supplies for domestic water, development of water infrastructure such a boreholes, shallowwells, springs, rock catchments are key while construction of water pans has been key to livestock water supply although construction of big dams is currently gaining popularity due the amount of water impounded and stored in these large and medium size dams. This department mandate also includes sanitation and hygiene. In fulfilling its mandate, the department has a number of functions that are core to its activities and are geared to ensuring that the department fulfils its mission and achieves its vision. The core functions of the department are key to the county’s development goals and are the basis for developing policy priorities. They include the operation and maintenance of water supplies and utilities,  conservation, control and protection of water catchment areas, which are largely found in forests and other ecosystems; rural and urban water development and supply especially ensuring water supply in rural pastoralist communities, provision of water for livestock and irrigation. Another critical function is wastewater treatment and disposal and rural sanitation and hygiene

The Directorate of Environment mandate is to implement the devolved environmental functions by “exercising general supervision and coordination over all matters relating to the environment and to be the principal instrument of County Government in the implementation of all policies relating to the environment. The core functions of the directorate include; Pollution control, waste management, Environmental Impact Assessments reviews and audits, Environmental inspections, climate proof and controlling Environmental degradation in Turkana County. The Directorate also undertakes environmental monitoring to ensure compliance. 

The Directorate of Mineral Resources in the Ministry of Water, Environment and Mineral Resources is mandated to be the interface of the Turkana County and various stakeholders in the extractive sector. The directorate was established after the executive letter issued by H.E. the Governor. The directorate is mandated to ensure progressive exploration of mineral resources found in the county that will result in improved livelihoods of the people in Turkana County.

The Directorate is in the process of developing the county extractive sector strategy, mapping the County mineral resources, carry out community sensitization on extractives, stakeholder engagement platforms and develop staff competence in the extractive sector through partnerships with various partners.

    1. Improvement of Water Resources in Turkana County

    Turkana County is rich with underground water aquifers located in the Lotikipi Plains and Napuu in Turkana West and Turkana Central respectively. The highest population of the County depends on borehole water which is drilled to varying depths depending on the local geology of the area. Lodwar for example has shallow aquifer ranging between 30 and 60 metres recharged mainly by the Turkwel River. In other places like Lokichoggio, the drilling depth increases to over 80m and in some cases over 150m. Most urban centers in Turkana County cannot satisfy the daily demand due to rapid population growth and the relative slow pace of development of water infrastructure, dictated by availability of funds. Most rural areas have low water coverage, people mainly use water from a few boreholes and hand dug shallow wells during the rainy seasons. Pastoralists on the other hand would rely on water from water pans, rock catchments found on mountain ranges and unprotected saline springs during drought.

    Due to exigencies and weather vagaries, Turkana pastoralists are forced to migrate to Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia in search of pasture and water in times of drought. This movement forces Turkana County Government to engage the local governments of the three neighbouring countries within the ambit of East African Community (EAC), Intergovernmental Agency of Development (IGAD) and Africa Union (AU) protocols to facilitate bilateral and multilateral engagements for cordial, peaceful coexistence and integration of the border communities.

    Currently, over 10,000 Turkana pastoralists and over 80,000 livestock are being hosted in the Karamoja region of Uganda. Competition for the scarce water and pasture normally results into conflict leading into loss of lives and property. Even in this context, Turkana County Government has been able to facilitate events that bind and bring together the Ateker communities in the four countries. These annual events include Turkana Tourism and Cultural Festival (commonly known to as Tobong’ulore), Lokiriama Peace Accord and Moru-a-Nayece Peace Cultural Festival.

    1. Progress of Water Development in Turkana County

    The County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) 2013-2018, set out priorities for improved access to potable water in Turkana County. There has been continuous effort and commitment towards achieving the same leading to realization of positive impact as indicated below.


    Statistic 2013/14 CIDP Baseline 2016/17 CIDP Achieved
    No. of water pans 64 169
    No. of rock catchments 3 23
    No. of dams 0 0
    No. of boreholes 511 1,267
    HH with roof catchment systems 5,819 6,819
    Mean distance to nearest water point (Km) 12 10
    Distance to nearest water source (km) 12 5
    No. of households accessing safe and clean water 0 66,085
    Households with access to piped water 10,875 12,119
    HH with access to potable water 33,237 54,666
    No. of  functional solar water pumping systems 0 200
    No. of Water Users Associations (WRUAs) effectively managing water sources 0 30
    HH accessing water from safe source (%) 0 53
    HH accessing water from unsafe source (%) 0 47
    Household’s distribution by time taken (minutes, one way) to fetch drinking water (%) 0 2
    1 – 4 4
    5 – 14 5
    15 – 29 13
    30 – 59 16
    60+ 60
    Number of WRUAs established 0 10
    No. of Households with latrines 24% of total HHs


    1. Feasibility study and design of three dams

    The County embarked on feasibility study which is to culminate in the survey and design of four dams at Lomelo, Lokwanamor, Kadokorinyang near Kalokol and Kalemngorok in Katilu ward. Already results from the pre-feasibility indicate very promising outcomes with dams holding between 1.5-2million cubic metres. This is likely to improve the water situation in the County especially in terms of water for livestock which in the past was obtained from small water pans which dry up during the dry seasons.

    1. Desalination programme

    The directorate has embarked on desalination of Lomelo water supply in order to improve on the poor water quality from the area. It is expected that such projects will be replicated in other areas like Lake Zone area, Kerio, Lotikippi and other areas where salinity has been a major issue in water supply.

    1. 78 Environmental Inspections has been undertaken in Turkana County from 2015 to June 2018
    2. 18 Environmental Improvement Orders have been issued to various proprietors
    3. The Directorate of Environment has reviewed 66 Environmental Impact Assessment Projects reports
    4. 21 Noise Permits have been issued to Noise generators as a way of Noise regulation
    5. Turkana County Environment Policy and Bill has been drafted, awaiting public participation
    6. 112 Environmental sensitization has been conducted since inception of the County Government
    7. Three Environmental Officers have been trained as EIA Expert and registered by NEMA as EIA Experts.
    8. 100% annual Marking of Environmental Days in Turkana County since inception of the County Governments
    9. Quarterly Environmental inspection in Oil and Gas operation areas.
    10. Training of county executive on local content in the Oil and Gas sector by specialist from the Natural Resource Governance Institute
    11. Training of local business community on local content in the Oil and Gas sector by specialist from the Natural Resource Governance Institute
    12. Partnered with Association of Women in Extractives Kenya (AWEIK)  to train women on business opportunities in the oil and Gas sector.
    13. In partnership with AHADI –USAID to develop the zero draft of the Turkana County extractive sector policy and bill
    14. Procure gold detectors for artisanal gold miners in Namorputh, Nakalale and Lapur wards
    15. Hold sessions with the artisanal miners in the various minerals found in Turkana County with the aim of transforming their activities into a more sustainable economic activity
    16. Mapping of natural resources in Turkana County
    17. Held the Turkana County Oil and Gas conference in 2016
    18. Held the Turkana County Oil and Gas conference in 2015
  • Planned activities for FY 2018/2019

    • Survey and design of Dams: (pre-feasibility survey done) Lokwanamor, Lomelo and Kadokorinyang: (Pre-feasibility survey to done before end of January-Kalemngorok.
    • Survey of water pans and rock catchments: Turkana South-Naposimoru and Kaputir Water pans done.Turkana Central-Kapua and Kangirisae water pans done,Loima-Kapus and Urum Water pans done,Lokewatubwa and Lomokori-munyen rock catchment also done.Turkana North/Kibish-Nakinomet,Natodemeri,Nalemsekon water pans done,Liwan and Lobulono rock catchments also done.
    • Fencing of Napuu aquifer: already tendered
    • Drilling of No.11 boreholes
    • Desalination of Lomelo borehole: assessment already done by Davies and Shirtliff
    • Equipping of capped high yielding boreholes: Not done