The Deputy Governor Dr. John Erus has acknowledged the fruits of collaborative partnership between the County Government of Turkana, UNHCR and International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group in establishing the first of its kind Biashara Huduma Centre in Kakuma, Turkana West Sub-county.
“As a County Government, we treasure the strategic partnerships we have established with UNHCR, IFC and other Development Partners in reinforcing our commitments in transformative development projects like Biashara Huduma Centre, while we provide conducive and enabling environment for them to invest,”stated Dr. Erus.
In his remarks, during the opening of the meeting where stakeholders were validating the progress of the Centre, The Deputy Governor noted that the Biashara Huduma Model focuses, among other needs, on collaboration and strategic partnerships, wealth creation and revenue enhancement in the County.
He revealed that the one stop shop Huduma Model is a noble initiative that can be scaled and replicated to other sub-counties in Turkana and other counties nation-wide.
Cognisant of the benefits arising from the Biashara Huduma Centre in Kakuma, the County Executive Committee Member for Trade, Gender and Youth Affairs, Elizabeth Loote, has said that the Centre will uniquely provide crucial social services to both the refugees and the host communities in Turkana West and the larger Turkana County.
Further, CEC Loote added that the nearly completed Centre which is over 95% complete, will be launched on April 23rd 2023 in Kakuma.
Once operationalised, CEC said, it will be a single point of access for both county and national government’s services, and critically said it will be easier to apply for Biashara, Youth & Women and Cooperative Funds, among other key services identified in the centre.
She disclosed that there are more than 15 priority services identified and validated that are key to the residents of Turkana. Some of those, CEC Loote highlighted civil registration, national bureau, NSSF, NHIF, KRA pin certificate. Police clearance certificate, enrolment to school national examinations and Department of Refugee services, are some of the essential services that would be provided to avoid traveling from Kakuma to Lodwar for the same.
According to Taneem Ahad, IFC Operations Officer, said that the project which started in 2018, despite the enormous challenges of Covid-19, has finally come to a tail-end ready for the launch in April this year.
Ahad says, “Biashara Huduma Centre is going to provide an avenue to stakeholders for sharing best practices and processes across agencies and for policy excellence approach. Our centre of excellence is also aligned to the Governor’s 9-point development agenda”.
He said the Centre services will benefit over 400,000 persons in Kakuma-Kalobeyei area and beyond.
The two-day meeting in Lokichar happens after the team comprised of County Government, IFC and UNHCR visited Kakuma on last Monday to have a feel of the Centre and discuss on modalities to have it operationalised without further delay.
Present during the meeting were; Dr. Michael Eregae (CECM, Finance and Economic Planning),Patrick Losike (CECM, Infrastructure,Transport and Public Works),Peter Lomorukai (Chief Officer, Health & Sanitation), John Korikel (Ag. Chief Officer, Infrastructure, Transport and Public Works), Ruth Emanikor (County Solicitor), Yoromoe Peter(Chief of Staff) Dr.Richard Ekai (Economic Advisor to the Governor), James Lokwale (Director, Trade), Wilson Ejie (Deputy Director, Trade), Jane Ebenyo(Principal legal officer), Michael Musyoki, Gideon Angelei, Ekeno Samwuel and Damaris Kimani-Trade, Robert Naweet, Washington Malala-ICT and Michael Aupe(PA to Deputy Governor).
On IFC side, Fatma Kassim (Program Assistant), Felix Kariuki (Consultant), Andrii Palianytsia (Consultant) and Peter Lolem(KKCF Liaison Officer) were present.
Collins Naweet (Protection Associate) and Edith Ingutie (Livelihoods & Economic inclusion) from UNHCR attended the meeting.