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Netherlands gov’t supports Lake Turkana peace project

The Netherlands government through its Kenyan embassy is supporting a five-year project aimed at resolving conflict over resources in Lake Turkana in the county’s Central and North sub counties.

The project includes conducting a participatory analysis on the dynamics of conflicts, the hydrology and capacity building of the stakeholders to resolve disputes.

The Water, Peace and Security (WPS) programme is an initiative of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kenya is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It is implemented by six partner organisations that will provide their expertise in the various aspects of the project among them IHE Delft, World Resources Institute, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, Wetlands International, Deltares and Alert International.

Speaking during the inception workshop of the partnership programme in Lodwar on Thursday, Dutch Ambassador to Kenya Maarten Brouwer said awareness raising, capacity development of the community and stakeholders and dialogue support will contribute to sustainable peace and end resource-based conflicts.

Turkana County Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro said the meeting followed another meeting held between Governor Josphat Nanok and the Dutch Ambassador to Kenya Maarten Brouwer held in Nairobi on Monday, where they discussed strengthening partnership in different sectors.

Addressing participants who comprised representatives from government, peace committees and representatives from water resource users, Lotethiro said that the projects targeted outcomes include a better understanding of water and conflict inter-linkages and to provide capacity to prevent and resolve such conflicts.

He said, “the initiative will enhance effective collaboration among stakeholders and create awareness on existing tools already in place to address water-related conflicts.”

The deputy governor urged the implementing partners to engage with communities in the targeted areas in order to collect views on the conflicts and ensure community ownership of the initiatives.

Netherland’s Embassy Regional Senior Advisor on Climate Change Dr. Elizabeth Carabine said the initiative draws together priority areas of water management, peace, security and the rule of law.

She revealed the Water Peace and Security project was a global collaboration implemented in Mali and Iraq, with partners keen to draw lessons from those investments.

She said the Dutch government was increasing its presence in the ASALs and was committed to support communities develop resilience to climate change, instability and other shocks such as conflicts and Covid-19. She promised that the projects will be aligned to the needs and priorities of the County Government.

Wetlands International Policy and Advocacy Officer Titus Wamae said the project will include the use of the information on water, peace building strategies, and scientific data to solve the water related conflicts between the water users and protection of the environment.

By Peter Gitonga

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