Malindi, 9th February 2023 (Governor’s Press Service)— The Joint Retreat organized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the County Government of Turkana came to a close with officials agreeing to strengthen collaboration in programme implementation.

In his address during the closing session, Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai expressed his gratitude towards UNHCR for the successful organization of the retreat and the productive discussions that took place.

The Governor emphasized that the County Government takes partnerships with organizations such as UNHCR very seriously, and all County Executives were in attendance at the retreat.

He called for the strengthening of engagement with Members of the County Assembly, as elected representatives of the people, and acknowledged the important role that UNHCR has played in supporting development initiatives in the county.

Governor Lomorukai also stressed the need for accountability in the partnership between the County Government and UNHCR and pledged the County Government’s commitment to transparency in its dealings.

“Being accountable and transparent will make us realise the impact of donor funds which are meant to create impact. All stakeholders including the County Government should strive to be accountable for the funds we have been entrusted to manage,” he said.

He stressed the importance of extending development programs to other areas within the county, as the challenges faced are not limited to Turkana West.

Governor Lomorukai and UNHCR Kenya Representative, Caroline Van Buren, signed the foreword to the Kalobeyei Integrated Socio-Economic Development Plan (KISEDP II), which marks a significant milestone in the implementation of the plan’s second phase.

Ms Van Buren thanked the attendees for their valuable contributions during the retreat and highlighted key takeaways that would further strengthen coordination between the two organizations.

She said: “We have agreed that there is a need for better coordination, data and information sharing between UNHCR, the County Government and partners for better awareness of programmes being implemented.”

She confirmed that the launch of KISEDP II was imminent and reassured the County Government that UNHCR would work in close collaboration to establish a university in Turkana West.

The retreat was attended by senior officials including County Secretary Peter Eripete, County Attorney Erastus Ethekon, and all County Executive Committee Members among others.

Also present were Lopur MCA Gilbert Topos and Turkana West Deputy County Commissioner Mwachaunga Chaunga.

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13TH-14TH AUGUST 2024