Tito Ochieng

Director Water Services


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.

  • A water secure County with effective governance structures for improved water service delivery and sustainable livelihoods in clean and healthy environment that promotes sustainable exploitation of mineral resources in Turkana County.

  • To effectively develop and manage the County’s Water, Environment and Mineral Resources for sustainable livelihoods.

      • Optimal, sustainable and equitable development and use of water resources
      • Provision of sustainable water supply and sewerage services for improved rural and urban sanitation and hygiene
      • Provide adequate, potable, affordable and accessible water for livestock and irrigated-agriculture
      • Planning, coordination and management of the water sector.
      • Water, Environment and Mineral Resources Policy formulation, analysis and review
      • Sustainable management of mineral resources and conservation of environment
      • Promote, monitor and coordinate environmental activities and enforce compliance of environmental regulations and guidelines
      • Continuous development of geo-database for integrated mineral resources and environmental management systems
      • Carry out geological surveys, mineral exploration and regulation of mining and use of commercial explosives
      • Provide access and dissemination of meteorological data and information


  • Achievements of water department

    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. Recruitment of more technical staff

    The directorate had less than 20 technical staff before the establishment of the County Government but currently the number of technical staff stands at 71 including seven graduate water engineers, two hydro-gelogists,one water resources engineer, one electricians, one plant mechanic and artisans specialized in plumbing or masonry trades.

    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.


    • 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