Turkana leaders have committed to support process to establish an international university in Kakuma.
During the meeting held in Lodwar, the leaders agreed to kick off engagement which will involve the County Government, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) as the lead partner organisation, the Ministry of Education and the Commission for University Education.
The leaders expect that the discussion will culminate into MoU which will guide all aspects of the establishment and management of the varsity, protect interest of community and safeguard goodwill of international donors.
Governor Josphat Nanok who chaired the summit said the focus was for attainment of a fully-fledged university as contained in the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP).
The summit discussed a report from a County Executive Sub-Committee Chaired by the Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro which was tasked with investigations into land acquisition for construction of the Turkana West MMUST campus.
On issue of land, the leaders insisted that process for acquisition has to follow laid down procedures of acquiring community land. The summit admitted that the community desired a university in the area and urged for clarity on community’s benefit from the university’s project.
They also expressed appreciation of the international goodwill on the project through UNHCR, and the role of an open University in integration effort of refugees and host community under the Kalobeyei Integrated Socio-Economic Development Programme (KISEDP).
The leaders also appreciated existence of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) in Turkana and the institution’s role in continued partnership in development of Turkana University College.
Present in the meeting was Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro, Senator Malachy Ekal, Turkana North MP and Chair of Turkana Parliamentary Caucus Christopher Nakuleu, John Lodepe (Turkana Central), Daniel Epuyo (Turkana West), and Ali Lokiru (Turkana East); Speaker of the County Assembly Ekitela Lokaale and Leader of Majority Bethwel Lochor and Minority Leader Benedict Lokamar.
County Executives Jennifer Nawoi (Lands, Energy, Housing and Urban Areas Development) and Charles Lokiyoto (Education, Sports and Social Protection) were also present.
By Peter Gitonga