More than half a million people from Turkana West sub county are expected to benefit from the Kalobeyei Integrated Socio-Economic Programme(KISDEP) that was officially launched on Monday by Governor Josphat Nanok together with donor representatives led by United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
The program envisions that both host communities and refugees benefit from strengthened service delivery systems, increased socio-economic opportunities along with sustained investments in building skills and capabilities in order for them to become the drivers of economic growth in Turkana West.
Speaking in Kakuma during the launch, Governor Nanok said that the initiation of the program was necessitated by the need for the county government to pool more resources for service delivery to its people as well as creation of a conducive environment to address issues of conflict between the host community and refugees.
He said that lack of provision of basic needs in the sectors of water, health, livestock, agriculture and insecurity that have existed after years of marginalization could not be solved by budgetary allocations from the National Treasury only.
Nanok said this informed the need of going out to search for development partners to source resources and funding to fully deliver the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP).
Governor Nanok said that the county government is holding consultations with the Kenyan and Ugandan governments to start a cross border program to unlock other resources to address issues of water aquifers to benefit residents of Turkana.
He revealed plans of modelling the program through establishment of Kakuma-Kalobeyei Municipality to upgrade infrastructure in the area through integration efforts with development partners.
The Governor said the county government is committed to making sure that the program succeeds and locals benefit fully through Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).
He thanked UNHCR and other development partners for supporting the idea which he said would be part of his legacy after 10 years in office.
Nanok added that the program will be reviewed annually to make sure that its benefits spread all over the county and not only Turkana West constituency.
On drought, the County chief said his government is currently providing relief food and will continue giving it in cycles to the most affected people in the next three months until the situation stabilizes.
He lauded World Food Program (WFP) for its support on drought that has affected most parts of the county and asked for support from other Humanitarian organizations.
Governor Nanok had earlier visited Nakwangat Village to view progress of a water borehole that is financed by the county government which is expected to serve more than 10,000 residents.
He acknowledged the existence of challenges in the water sector but reiterated that the Water Bill now before the county assembly will solve the problem and streamline water provision in the county.
Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro said that the integration program was a lasting solution for refugees and would be beneficial to locals, noting that refugees who are from different nationalities have varied skills that locals will benefit through the 500 million US dollar program.
UNHCR Kakuma Head of office Sukru Cansizoglu said that refugees should be taken as assets that can work together with host community.
The five year sh50 billion programme that is aligned to the county government CIDP will focus on areas of Health, Agriculture & Livestock, Water, Private Sector & Entrepreneurship among other development goals.
Other speakers at the launch were Senator Malik Ekal , County Assembly Speaker Erastus Lokaale, Turkana county Woman representative Joyce Emanikor Ms. Fathiaa Abdalla (UNHCR Kenya Representative),Ms Ingeborge Ponne (EU &Dutch Embassy Donor representative), County Assembly majority leader Betwel Kobongin and Turkana West Assistant Deputy County Commissioner 1 Wycliffe Ayoyi.
County Secretary Peter Eripete led top county Government officers including CECs, Chief Officers and Directors.
By Peter Gitonga