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Turkana County establishes multi-sectoral team to respond to flood emergency

Turkana County Government, through the Water Services Department has established a multi-sectoral team to coordinate an emergency response against possible damages by flooding of River Turkwel on water supply infrastructure in Turkana.

The Chief Officer for Water Services Department David Maraka will take lead in managing the team which will also include state and non-state actors in the water and natural resource management sector.

Representatives will be drawn from National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), UNICEF, Water Sector Trust Fund (WSTF), USAID Sustainable Transformational and Accessible Water Interventions (STAWI), Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA), Water Resources Authority (WRA), USAID Livestock Market Systems (LMS) and National Drought Management Authority (NDMA).

Departments in Public Works, Public Health, Urban Areas Management, Disaster Management, Sub-county Water Office and Sub-County Administration will also be part of the steering team.

The multi-sectoral team was constituted following a two-day assessment jointly conducted by the Department of Water Services.

The assessment indicated the number of water points that were prone to floods owing to river Turkwell breaking its banks as a result of the ongoing El-nino rains.

Notably, borehole 9 that serves up to 40,000 residents of Kanamkemer area is facing imminent threat of collapse from the widening of the banks of River Turkwell due to increase in water levels.

Maraka said the immediate task of the team constituted was to develop a technical report to inform decision-making and resource mobilization from the government and development partners.

He said the team would be required to submit its report to the County Steering Group (CSG) for formal inclusion into the overall County El-Nino Contingency Plan.

According to Chief Maraka, the move was also informed by history of past rains in 2017 and 2021 when seven boreholes supplying water to the residents of Lodwar Municipality were lost to floods.

On her part, the Chief Officer for Public Works Cathra Abdi said the emergency response team would also facilitate issuance of safety alerts to the residents of Lodwar Municipality in regards to flooding.

Chief Abdi added that Public Works would work closely with the team to offer technical assistance.

During the meeting, members resolved to involve the Public Health and Water Resource Authority to strengthen regular water quality analysis occasioned by a mix of surface runoff and borehole water causing contamination.

By Peter Gitonga

 

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