Turkana Deputy Governor (DG), Peter Lotethiro has emphasized the importance of cooperative societies as he led celebrations to mark Ushurika Day in Lodwar town.
Lotethiro urged residents of Turkana to embrace the cooperative model, to benefit from the huge financial and socio-economic gains associated with the enterprise.
“In the reporting period of 2019-2021, the cooperative enterprise model in Turkana had only 13,000 members, but with bank savings and shares capital worth more than Sh115 Million which would have been doubled, tripled, or just repeated manifolds if there were more cooperatives across the County,” DG Lotethiro explained.
Speaking at the Lodwar Livestock sale yard during the marking of County Ushirika Day, the DG expressed concerns about cooperative societies becoming dormant after a few years of activation despite the favorable environment created by the County Government and partner organizations.
While noting the significant role played by USAID Kenya funded Livestock Market System project in driving the uptake of the cooperative enterprise model in Turkana, the DG called for the allocation of more funds to the program to extend its term which is due to end in the coming months.
CEC for Public Service, Administration, and Disaster Management, Jeremiah Namuya, highlighted statistics showing that the cooperative enterprise model had firmly taken root in Turkana Central and Turkana West as compared to other parts of the county.
CEC Namuya explained that the uneven distribution of cooperative societies called for targetted sensitization aimed at consolidating gains so far made and breaking new grounds for further growth.
Best performing cooperatives were also awarded office equipment and supplies by the LMS during the celebrations as individual cooperatives used the opportunity to exhibit their products.
Senior Officials present were Abdullahi Mohamed (Chief officer Pastoral Economy), Phoebe Kaaman (Advisor- Gender, Partnerships and Children Affairs), Akol Benson( Director Cooperatives), Geoffrey Apedor (SCA Turkana Central), Humphrey Dianga’ and Sarah Nakusi (USAID LMS) alongside representatives from World Vision, Catholic Relief Services and local commercial banks.
By Peter Gitonga