Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok wants development partners to make a master plan to desalinate the Lotikipi aquifer and boreholes with high floridity to curb perennial water shortages.
“Turkana is not lacking in water. The water is there but the quality of that underground water is the issue. We have to find a solution to our predicament going forward,” Nanok said.
“Water from Napuu Aquifer that serves Lodwar town and its environs is fresh but the bigger aquifer in Lotikipi and boreholes around Lake Turkana are saline and fluorinated and as stakeholders until we get answers to these challenges we will not have provided solutions for the people we want to have sufficient water,” he said.
The Governor was speaking today at the Cradle Hotel when he opened a stakeholders’ sensitization and review meeting on “Strengthening Community Resilience to Climate Change through Improved WASH Services”- a partnership program between the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and UNICEF.
The county boss said Turkana Government allocates a bigger percentage of its budget to provision of water services and called for joint investment by both tiers of government with support from partners, to find solutions to rising water needs caused by rapid urbanisation and population growth.
The Governor commended KOICA for the programme and for heeding his request for the partnership during a previous visit to South Korea.
The programme launched early this year, focuses on provision of water supply and sanitation through better water security that will benefit over 232,500 residents of Loima and Turkana Central sub counties through enhancing better capacity and resilience for communities.
He revealed that the County Government was lobbying to host the second Water Conference similar to the one held in 2014 and added Turkana was the best venue to discuss solutions for water challenges.
The first summit held at Eliye Springs, brought key global stakeholders on water to discuss sustainable groundwater development and management in vulnerable areas.
KOICA Kenya Deputy Country Director Yunjung Han encouraged both the County and National governments to be involved in implementation of the project, which she said was dependent upon better coordination of the stakeholders.
UNICEF’s Chief of WASH Dr. Andrew Trevett said water and sanitation issues were central to all sectors of development and called on MCAs to prioritise provision of the water during the budgeting process.
County Executive for Water Services Emathe Namuar revealed that 93 sites had been identified for drilling of boreholes in the two sub counties.
He said test pumping of boreholes has been done at Sopel, Natir, Koono, Lokiriama BH3, Locheralomala, Lochoresekon & Lokuyen and Natwel and added that equipping with solar systems is underway for boreholes in Sopel, Natira, Koono, Kakemera, Lokuyen, Kaoekoreakwan, Lochoralomala and Natwel.
Others who addressed the meeting were MCA Mathew Alany, Chief Officer for Water Services Moses Natome as well as a host of representatives from the National Government’s Ministries of Water and Sanitation and Health.
By Peter Gitonga