Kakuma, 20th March 2023 (Governor’s Press Service) – Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai has called for a paradigm shift in development programmes to focus on building the resilience of residents of Turkana. The Governor stated that the recent drought had exposed the vulnerability of communities despite the number of development programmes.
He said: “We need to refocus our resources into fighting hunger, our people are dying in Turkana County and even here in Kakuma where we have invested large amounts of resources. This is a challenge, we need to ask ourselves why and shift investments to empower youth, women and persons with disabilities.”
Governor Lomorukai was speaking when he officially opened the Motor Vehicle, Welding and Fitter Tanner Training Centre in Kakuma, and the launch of the GIZ Promoting Employment and Entrepreneurship in Turkana West Sub County. The training centre is part of the Support to Refugees and Host Communities in Kenya (SRHC) programme which was implemented by GIZ.
The Governor emphasized the importance of technical skills in today’s job market, and how the training centre provides an opportunity for Turkana County’s youth to develop these skills. He said, “The skills gained here will empower our youth to create employment for themselves and others, thus contributing to the transformation of Turkana County.”
He also acknowledged the high unemployment rate in the county and the timely and essential nature of the GIZ programme ‘Promoting Employment and Entrepreneurship in Turkana West’. He expressed confidence that the programme will go a long way in reducing the unemployment rate in the county.
The Governor urged the trainees to take advantage of the opportunity presented to them through the programme and use the knowledge and skills acquired to create employment opportunities for themselves and others. He concluded, “Let us work together to transform Turkana County into a hub of innovation and economic growth.”
Cluster Coordinator for GIZ Forced Displacement and Migration Agnieszka Samolej spoke about the importance of the workshop in improving the economy of Turkana West and Turkana County. She said, “This workshop is more than just a physical structure, it represents GIZ’s commitment to investing in the growth and development of the youth and communities where we work.”
Don Bosco Provincial Superior Fr Simon Asira expressed gratitude for GIZ’s support to establish and equip the centre, which he said will go a long way in training youth and giving them skills to develop their neighbourhood, county and country.
Governor Lomorukai announced plans to hold a joint meeting with development partners working in Turkana West led by UNHCR to discuss coordination in the implementation of programmes.
He reiterated Turkana County’s support to refugee affairs in the sub-county, including a commitment to implement integration programmes.
Kakuma MCA Eliud Emoni asked that the centre equally benefits both the host community and refugees. He promised to offer bursaries to youth who will be willing to join the institution.
Others who spoke include the Department of Refugees Affairs’ Manager of Kakuma Refugee Camp and Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement Col. (Rtd) Kasili Mutambo, Director of Don Bosco Kakuma Fr. Jose Padinjareparampil, Turkana West Sub-County Administrator Dr Joshua Napoco and GIZ Kakuma Programme Manager Gertraud Suhren.