The partnership between Turkana County Government and UNICEF KENYA has so far seen the drilling of 76 boreholes that UNICEF KENYA is ready to handover to the County Government as a deliberate intention to respond to a water stress situation that has led to shortage of water for both domestic and for the livestock in the County.
Speaking during a courtesy call when UNICEF KENYA’s Shaheen Nilofer, who is the Country Representative led the team to meet him, the Deputy Governor, Dr. John Erus lauded the UNICEF KENYA’s long-time partnership with Turkana County in various sectors of much impact to the people of Turkana.
The Deputy Governor says, “Governor Lomorukai and I prioritised Water as the most important consideration in our development agenda as water supply is key for urban and rural population for the domestic and agricultural demands of the people of Turkana County. And we endeavour to do exactly that”.
Dr. Erus has appreciated the UNICEF KENYA’s response to the current prolonged drought that has not only dried up the water sources but also resulted to many communities becoming more vulnerable than before.
He called on UNICEF KENYA and other partners to consider co-funding on the three dams the county government has earmarked for implementation along the shared borders to have water throughout the year.
Similarly, The Country Representative for UNICEF KENYA, Shaheen Nilofer said they are grateful for the cordial support her Organization is enjoying from the County’s Administration and would want to take advantage of the same.
On response on the drought, Nilofer said UNICEF KENYA is supporting County Government of Turkana to prepare for and respond to the current drought.
“UNICEF KENYA WASH project is supporting the County Government through the drilling of new 76 boreholes which are yet to be handed over to the County while rehabilitating other 82 which are non-functioning in ensuring communities have access to safe drinking and affordable water”. Revealed Country Representative.
To continue responding to water stress impacted by drought, Nilofer added that UNICEF KENYA is working on the second phase of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) for more funding to increase the availability of groundwater for domestic use, to improve the functionality of rural water points and to improve sanitation and hygiene practices.
She pointed out that the President of Kenya is leading the drought response meeting at national level with all the partners in effort to consider providing emergency supplies to vulnerable communities as a result of the drought.
Further, Nilofer reiterated that the drought has impacted on children, especially those who live far away from permanent water sources. The drought in general, she informed, has also put children at risk of severe malnutrition.
The Country Representative revealed that UNICEF KENYA is considering to dispatch school feeding program to Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) Centres as a means to bring children back to school as the highest number in Turkana has dropped out of school.
Dr. Apalia Anthony (CEC-Health & Sanitation), Leah Audan (CEC-Education, Sports and Social Protection), Peter Lomorukai (Chief Officer-Health and Sanitation), Tioko Janerose (Chief Officer-Education, Sports and Social Protection) and Dr. Joseph Epem (CEO/Director LCRH) were present in the meeting.