The Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS), Peter Munya concluded his tour of Turkana county on Monday, where he inspected various agriculture projects and vowed that the government would take action on any person found misappropriating funds meant for development projects.
Responding to concerns from his Petroleum and Mining counterpart, John Munyes and other leaders who expressed concerns over non completion of projects, Munya said there is no reason why projects should not be completed yet the government had provided funds for the same.
“We are calling on Kenyans to be vigilant and inform us of anyone who is not completing projects as expected. If the money is availed and planning has been done why should the projects stall? If someone is found embezzling public funds they should be arrested and charged before a court of law,” he said.
The CS toured an agri-nutrition model farm in Nakwamekwi in Lodwar, addressed farmers in Loya Turkana East and later toured KAPU multi community investment project, aimed at benefiting the pastoral community in Katilu and Kaptir wards in Turkana south sub county.
The project is being implemented by the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP).
The CS said the government has invested Sh.962 million in the county to boost value chains, including sorghum and cowpeas intercropping, bee keeping, poultry farming and sheep and goats.
The KAPU project includes the construction of a water pan that would supplement water deficiency in the area to the tune of 11,812.775 cubic meters by constructing a pan of capacity 117,360 cubic metres, construction of soil and water conservation structure, spate irrigation and capacity building of the community.
A total of 200 acres would be put under pasture production and another 200 acres under sorghum production. The project will benefit 16,544 people directly and another 57,043 indirectly.
Munya said the government has invested a total of Sh.1.9 billion for water and agriculture projects in the county.
Concerning desert locusts, the CS said the government had made great strides in eliminating the menace though not fully, but would continue with surveillance and spraying of the pests as need arises.
In the meantime, the government deployed two aircrafts, three vehicles and 200 National Youth Service officers to combat desert locusts in the county.
The government has also commissioned the Kenya Red Cross Society to conduct a survey in order to determine the impact of the locust infestation on farmers and look into ways of supporting those affected.
Speaking during the occasion, local leaders among them Mining CS, John Munyes, Governor Josphat Nanok, the Turkana South MP, James Lomenen, the County Commissioner (CC), Muthama Wambua hailed the current peaceful coexistence in the region that had spurred development.
“Without peace we cannot realize any meaningful development,” said Munyes, adding that the area where KAPU irrigation scheme is located used to be a battle ground between the Turkana and Pokot communities.
On his part, Wambua lauded the locals for surrendering firearms to the security agencies and urged those who had not complied to do so, while assuring them of their safety.
“I know many of you surrendered firearms but there are few who doubted whether the government could provide them with ample security afterwards and were hesitant to hander over their weaponry. I am asking everyone to surrender all the guns in illegal possession,” said Wambua.
The governor called for respect of boundaries to avert conflicts. “Any Kenyan is free to live and work anywhere in the country but they must respect boundaries. I have no problem providing services for members of the Pokot community who come and live in Turkana county as long as they respect our boundaries. I also don’t have any problem if members of the Turkana community moved to West Pokot or Baringo,” said Nanok.
By Peter Gitonga