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Turkana Governor calls for collaboration on Nadapal-Nakodok road construction

Turkana Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai has underscored the need for collaboration among stakeholders and elected leaders to unlock the stalemate in the construction of the 11-kilometre Nadapal-Nakodok road.

The road is part of the Eastern Africa Regional Transport, Trade, and Development Facilitation Project, which includes the construction of a Sh 38 billion–338 km road from Lokichar to Nakodok, at the Kenya-South Sudan border.

Governor Lomorukai was speaking during a meeting with a delegation from the Joint Implementation Support Mission of the Eastern Africa Regional Transport, Trade, and Development Facilitation Project and the Horn of Africa Gateway Development Project in Lodwar.

He said the involvement of the County Government, elected leaders, and members of the community in engagements with South Sudan will be crucial to unlocking the impasse over the construction of the 11-kilometre Nadapal-Nakodok road.

Lomorukai called for better stakeholder involvement to ensure that residents of Turkana benefit from the social infrastructure component of the Kenya-South Sudan link road project.

A total of Sh2.9 billion has been allocated for the projects that will include education, water, and health.

The project includes the construction of the A1 highway from Eldoret to Nakodok and a 630-kilometre fibre optic cable that will increase internet connectivity in the region.

The Governor stated that the county is committed to supporting the implementation of the project, but insisted on the need for close collaboration among all stakeholders.

“We are ready to facilitate the implementation of government projects, and we will not complicate projects brought through the right channels. We must respect MoUs and respect the Constitution of Kenya’s requirement on public participation,” he said.

The Governor added that most of the projects are in sectors under the mandate of the County Government, which calls for coordination to guarantee their sustainability once handed over on completion.

The team was led by Project Coordinator Eng James Theuri and included World Bank Team Lead Susan Owuor, representatives from the Kenya Highway Authority (KeNHA), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), consultants, and contractors implementing the projects.

The Governor appreciated the support from the World Bank in developing the A1 road network in Turkana and stated that the region does not take for granted the impact of the infrastructure development on the economy.

He asked KeNHA to address concerns on the completion of the road to withstand heavy rains, the need for a flyover in Kakuma to aid ease of movement, the restoration of the water supply system in Lodwar town cut-off during construction works, and the levelling of mounds of sand dumped along sections of the Lodwar-Kitale highway.

The county boss told KRA to fast-track the establishment of border posts in Lokiriama, Nadapal, and Todonyang to boost the growing cross-border trade.

Eng Theuri informed the Governor that the road project will be completed in the next three months and thanked the County Government for their support.

World Bank Team Lead Susan Owuor appealed to the stakeholders to work together to complete the social infrastructure projects before the lapse of the project period at the end of 2023.

On his part, Turkana County Attorney Erastus Ethekon asked that stakeholders work under the Joint Steering Committee established through the MoU with KeNHA to improve coordination.

Others who spoke were Deputy Governor Dr. John Erus, County Secretary Peter Eripete, and CECM for Infrastructure Patrick Losike. Present in the meeting were Chief of Staff Peter Yoromoe and Chief Officer for Economic Planning John Korikel.

By Peter Gitonga

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