Peter Akono, the County Executive Committee Member for Lands, Physical Planning, Housing and Urban Areas Management was grateful to meet strategic partners working, among other interventions, on the urban development programmes in Turkana County.
CEC noted that the meeting with such partners was also a scoping mission for his Department to explore potential areas of collaboration to support sustainable urban development in the County.
He said he acknowledges the huge investment and tremendous support World Bank, UDD, UNHCR and UN Habitat are contributing to the government’s development agenda. CEC Akono says, is looking forward for more engagements to strengthen the already established partnership.
On building foundation on urban areas development, Hon. Akono says, “the County Government has undergone through a lot of demographic transitions especially in the urban areas driven mostly by rural urban migration, economic opportunities along the transport corridors, refugees’ presence, devolution and mostly due to economic opportunities in urban centres, particularly Lodwar and Lokichar, especially since the discovery of oil and gas reserves in the Lokichar Basin”.
In this regard, CEC observed the county has however taken the initiative to address the urbanisation issues by supporting the planning of 9 towns including the plan for Kalobeyei Refugee Settlement.
To prevent another form of unplanned urbanisation taking shape as has been in the Kakuma Refugee Camp area, CEC Akono says, Turkana County and partners, have adopted spatial planning as a strategic tool for managing the growth and development of the refugee resettlement in the area as well as providing a basis for local economic development.
The opportunity to support in effective spatial planning is, CEC underscores, one of areas the partners can meaningfully support.
Acknowledging the support from World Bank, County Executive Committee Member for Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Michael Eregae, says the support of parking lots, fire station and the high masts in Lodwar are evidence of the projects procured through strategic partnership with World Bank.
On Municipality, CEC Finance reveals that the advance commitment of the World Bank, UNHCR and UN-Habitat to support the proposed Kakuma-Kalobeyei Municipality is overwhelming and encouraging partnership to support socio-economic integration of the refugees and the host community in tapping into the opportunities emanating from the municipal services.
On spatial planning of Kakuma Refugee Camp and Kalobeyei Resettlement, Dr. Eregae emphasises, “a spatial development framework in the area is a deliberate move to support Governor’s Vision to have the Kalobeyei corridor planned as an economic hub to support local economic development, enterprise development, logistics support, creation of industrial zones promoting value addition for local products, and consequently promoting employment for the host community”.
CEC however, urged the World Bank and other partners to consider constructing proper sewerage system as the Lodwar Municipality is fast growing and so comes with many challenges.
At the same time, Samson Ambere, who is the Deputy Director, Kenya Urban Support Programme (KUSP) says that consultative engagements have already commenced to discuss the possible support for the urban development processes for the proposed Kakuma- Kalobeyei Municipality.
Ambere adds that the possible support from the National Government, State Department for Urban Development and World Bank through the ongoing Kenya Devolution and Urban Support Programme would become a solid base for reliable funding to urban development programmes.
The Kenya Urban Support Programme Deputy Director disclosed a plan to strategise on the spatial planning adjacent to Kalobeyei settlement.
“Through funding form the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Coordination and Cities Alliance, The County Government of Turkana and UN-Habitat will embark on the planning of the land adjacent to the Kalobeyei Refugee Settlement, which also happens to be within the LAPSSET Corridor. The plan is to provide the establishment of the Kalobeyei Refugee Settlement and presence of LAPPSET corridor investments in the area, which are the main factors informing imminent land use change in the area to ensure that the corridor not only serves the local economy but also promotes cross-border trade with the neighbouring countries”. Asserted Ambere.
The Deputy Director says the geographical advantage of the corridor is the basis for designing the Kalobeyei Infrastructure Corridor Development Plan as LAPSSET is a mega-infrastructural development in the region.
The joint team after the meeting went to inspect the fire station along Lodwar-Kitale road in Kanamkemer, street lights, high masts lights along Kerio road, and parking lots in town.
Ruth Emanikor (County Solicitor), Shemmy Ebulon (Acting Chief officer, Lands, Physical Planning, Housing and Urban Areas Management), Victor Lekaram (Director, Urban Areas Management), Joseph Egiron (Director Surveys), Esther Kiyong’a (Acting Manager, Lodwar Municipality), Odera Jeconia (Chief Physical Planning), John Lokoli(Acting Director, Administration) attended the meeting.
Board members; Roseline Ngilebei, Margaret Nabali, Rev. Bonface Lokuruka and Ambrose Merinyang were also present.
World Bank team included; Monica Karangi (Kenya Urban Support Programme), Benjamin Christopher Reese (Senior Operational Officer), Soraya Goga (Lead Urban Specialist and Urban Force Displacement Coordinator), Mercy Kimani (UDD), UN Habitat; Ivan Unluova((Senior Program Advisor),Charles Baraka Mwau( Urban Planner), David Kitenge( Kakuma Field Officer) UNHCR; Nicholas Kaburaburyo (Head of Sub-Office Kakuma) and Mnamdi Nnaji (Settlement Planning Officer).