The Turkana County government, with the support of USAID on Thursday, launched a communication strategy that seeks to create a framework that will guide the county government, in undertaking public communications activities and media relations.
County Governor Josphat Nanok, presided over the launch of the strategy that runs from 2022-2027, at a ceremony that was attended by senior USAID officials.
It captures the five-point development agenda of the Nanok administration, which includes water, development, mineral exploration and natural resource management, food security, peace building and conflict management, investment and partnership development as well as resource mobilization and prudent utilization.
Among the key issues identified in the document were culture and mindset change, lack of centrality of the community as the anchor of the county communications and development, risk of overlooking indigenous populations within the county, irregular communication outputs and lack of use of indigenous languages in communication of the county.
Speaking during the launch, Nanok said the document sought to elevate the image and profile of the county. He said the document seeks to communicate strategically so that investors and tourists get to know what the county has to offer.
It also seeks to establish county broadcasting stations as well as enhance public access to information and learning. Other objectives include improving the county image.
“We are working closely with the USA government through an MOU we signed two years ago,” said Nanok.
He noted that the revolution in the telecommunication sector that saw the introduction of the mobile phones has caused a change in strategy.
“Most of the communication channeled through social media is false hence a strategy to communicate effectively. The image painted that the county is insecure is not true. When one part of the county has insecurity cases it should not be painted as the whole county because the county comprises 13 percent of the land mass of Kenya,” said Nanok.
He said the fibre optic cable being laid in the county would be an enabler for the ICT firms and the communication strategy.
He noted that 70 percent have access to mobile phone connectivity.
He appealed to the media to balance their reporting so that they do not focus on the challenges only but also focus on developmental communication to highlight the work done by the county with the partners.
He cited the Kenya sector support development programme as one of the major programmes transforming the host and refugee communities in Kakuma.
By Peter Gitonga and Fammy Masiza