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OXFAM to promote accountability

Turkana County and global charitable organization Oxfam will partner to improve governance so as to make the government accountable and transparent to members of the public.

According to a dispatch from the office of the Deputy Governor, Peter Lotethiro after a meeting at the County Government Headquarters in Lodwar, Oxfam Country Director, Ms. Sumananjali Mohanty said though the organization had changed its strategy on humanitarian support, their vision of transforming communities through fighting inequality and poverty remained.

Mohanty said Oxfam program in Turkana county was aimed at supporting active participation of citizens in governance, promoting gender justice through pushing for behaviour and attitude changes and championing humanitarian work which had shifted to supporting the County Government improve its capacity.

On exploitation of natural resources, the country director said that Oxfam was working to ensure local communities secured rights to access, control and own their land and were empowered to make decisions.

She committed to support the County Government in policy making and formulation of transparent laws, policies and regulations.

On his part, the deputy governor proposed a structured engagement with Oxfam through formalizing partnership by signing of MoU to address resource gaps that existed towards achieving transparency and accountability.

Lotethiro insisted that the County Government required more support to meet its mandate on public participation especially in formulation of bills and policies, as required by law. He cited the vastness of Turkana and poor technology as some of challenges hampering conclusive public participation.

On the extractive sector, the deputy governor said the county was at a critical point with heightened debate on acquisition and use of land as well as revenue sharing, which called for better support to improve community awareness and participation.

Present in the meeting were county executives, Emathe Namuar (Water Services, Environment and Mineral Resources), Chris  Aletia (Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries), Charles Lokiyoto (Public Service and Disaster Management) who all echoed calls for further support on policy formulation and legislation.

Others were County Attorney, Erastus Ethekon, Chief Officer for Water Services, Moses Natome, Deputy Director Water Services, Tito Ochieng, Liaison Officer John Lokopu, monitoring, evaluation, accountability advisor, Blandina Bobson and regional advisor on extractives, Gilbert Makore.

By  Peter  Gitonga

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