The County Government of Turkana will prioritize development projects identified by residents, this is according to Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro.
The County’s second in command said after investing heavily in the last five years on building basic infrastructure to open up the county, the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) developed after extensive public and development partners’ participation would be the blueprint for all development activities both by government and partners.
“In the first phase of devolution a large part of our funding went into improving basic infrastructure, constructing roads to improve accessibility of remote areas, basic health through improving facilities at the Lodwar County Referral Hospital and dispensaries at the wards, ECDE centres and vocational training centres for the youth,” he said.
“In the second phase through public participation we have asked residents to raise their priorities in all sectors and put all this in the CIDP which will be the roadmap for all development activities and will determine budgetary allocations starting next financial year,” he added.
Lothetiro who was speaking during a a meeting with representatives from USAID’s Office of Food for Peace at the County Headquarters today said the County Government had shifted from aid-based to a partnership approach with development organisations complimenting government activities by filling the gaps caused by inadequate funding.
He welcomed continued support from USAID on improving food security and gave example of the organisation’s projects in Lodwar and Kakuma to improve marketing infrastructure for livestock. He called for more support to improve the county’s early warning system for drought which he said was key in avoiding disasters.
The delegation from USAID Kenya and East Africa was on a learning exercise to identify key challenges and opportunities in food security and nutrition in arid and semi-arid lands, with findings to determine areas of partnership with the county government.
County Executive Committee Member (CEC) in charge of Public Service and Disaster Management Charles Lokiyoto lauded the Food for Peace initiative, with most intercommunity conflicts fuelled by strife over limited resources.
CEC Member in charge of Water Services, Environment and Mineral Resources Emathe Namuar identified strengthening of water infrastructure for pastoral communities as an area in need of partnership with the county targeting to set up three dams to improve the regions resilience in times of drought.
Health and Sanitation CEC Jane Ajele called for a multi-sectorial intervention to tackle malnutrition, which she said was in most times left to her department.
Chief Officer for Agriculture and Land Reclamation Joseph Akure said irrigation schemes in the County were not performing at optimum with reasons ranging from insecurity, incapacity of farmers in handling new agricultural technology and destruction of structures by flash floods. He urged for support to improve infrastructure to enable farmers transport produce from farms to markets.
Chief Officer for Fisheries, Livestock and Veterinary Services Dr. Michael Eregae said USAID through its Feed the Future program had supported the department in strengthening livestock disease surveillance system which had helped the department respond better to disease.
USAID’s Emily Rostkowski assured the County Government of Turkana of continued support in improving food security and tackling malnutrition in the county.
Also in the meeting were Health Chief Officer Natome Moses, Agriculture Deputy Director Paul Lokone and County Nutrition Officer Wycliffe Mashani.
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