The Ministry of Defense, can now establish military camps for KDF officers in Turkana after the Turkana County government approved its request following a lengthy dialogue on the issue that has taken years to conclude.
The County Government, and the Ministry of Defense yesterday signed a Framework Agreement for the allocation of land for military use in the region.
Governor Josphat Nanok and Defense Principal Secretary Ibrahim Mohamed signed the pact that will see allocation of 9,000 Ha, to set up military bases across Turkana.
The parcels of land include 2,000Ha in Kanamkemer, 1,000Ha each in Kaputir, Kapedo/Napeitom, Lapur, Kibish, Lokichoggio, Nanam, and Letea Wards and an additional 50,000Ha reserved by community for access by military for training purposes when need arise in Kapedo/Napeitom Ward.
PS Mohamed thanked Governor Nanok and residents of Turkana, for the support adding the partnership will enable the Ministry of Defense to strengthen security as one of President Uhuru’s agenda.
“The allocation of land to the Ministry of Defense will now provide the much-needed security, enhance development, boost investor confidence and in return create job opportunities for residents of Turkana County,” he said.
He added the consultative process, which involved the County Government, elected Members of Parliament and County Assembly was a sign of respect for the rule of law. He noted that the agreement was among the rich legacy that Governor Nanok will leave behind for posterity.
The PS assured of the Ministry’s commitment to implementation of the agreement and fulfilling of promises on social investment projects such as schools, water projects, health centres and infrastructure projects.
“The agreement will help the county address the challenge of insecurity that has affected development,’’ Governor Nanok said in Lodwar.
He commended KDF for adhering to the Community Land Act and seeking consent of the community through the County Government which holds the land in trust and stated that community approval was critical to avoid future conflicts.
On his part, Vice Chief of Defense Forces F. O. Ogolla assured of the military’s commitment to adhere to the agreement and assured that the military presence was aimed at securing Kenya’s territorial integrity.
Others present were Turkana Central MP John Lodepe, Leader of Minority Benedict Lokamar, and Chairmen of the County Assembly committees: Cosmas Longor (Lands Energy Housing and Urban Areas Management) and Willy Nalimo
By Peter Gitonga