Turkana County administration will review existing donor-funded programmes and evaluate agreements signed with development partners to ensure targeted aims are being met.
Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai said the county receives considerable donor funding and the new administration was keen to evaluate implementation mechanisms to ensure better coordination with line county departments to realize greater impact on targeted communities.
“We intend to review MoUs to realign them with the priorities of residents of Turkana, avoid duplication of interventions and ensure that all agreements are adhered to. We have a new government with a new agenda and it is our commitment that all partner programmes are aligned to our development agenda,” he said.
The governor was speaking when he met with a team from the World Bank, led by Senior Social Development Specialist Matthew Stephens in Lodwar to discuss implementation progress of the Kenya Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (KDRDIP).
KDRDIP is a National Government project funded by the World Bank with a focus of changing lives and livelihoods of communities hosting refugees, by providing them with entrepreneurship money, improving health, education and drilling boreholes.
The project is implemented in Turkana West sub county, Wajir and Garissa counties.
The Governor appreciated World Bank support in Turkana, citing its funding of different projects including KDRDIP, the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) and the Lokichar-Nadapal road upgrade.
He added that the investment had contributed greatly to the socio-economic development of the county, with a tangible impact on the ground.
Lomorukai asked the KDRDIP to strengthen coordination with line county departments and area elected leaders, including MCAs.
The governor added that the County Government had to play a bigger role in implementation of the project, as its components fell under devolved functions.
Lomorukai encouraged the KDRDIP team to reevaluate the tendering process of projects under the programme, and consider local firms in the award of contracts.
He explained that businesses in the county had developed capacity and the move would ensure the funds were reinvested to the local community.
Governor Lomorukai reiterated calls for extension of programmes targeting host communities beyond Turkana West, adding that definition of host community was inclusive of the entire county, in order to guarantee fair distribution of resources across the county.
KDRDIP’s team leader Wilfred Omari agreed with the Governor on need to build the capacity of local firms through allocation of contracts and the importance of strong coordination structures for local leadership to offer oversight.
He said the county government was involved in the project’s implementation, with joint coordination alongside counterparts from the National Government.
On his part, Stephens admitted that better communication was needed to enlighten targeted community that the project was meant to benefit them, as host community in the refugee support programme.
In the delegations were World Bank Social Development Expert Ms. Ragini Dalal and KDRDIP Turkana County Coordinator Amoni Amfry.
Senior county officials in the meeting were Chief of Staff Peter Yoromoe, Director for Irrigation and Land Reclamation Chammah Loteme, who is also the KDRDIP County Lead, and Director Veterinary Services Dr. Benson Long’or.
By Peter Gitonga