Lokiriama, June 16, 2023 (Governor’s Press Service)- Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai has assured Turkana pastoralists that the government is working to address the challenges they face following their return from Uganda.
Speaking today during a visit to the communities in Loya and Lokiriama, the Governor urged the residents to remain in Turkana and graze their livestock in Kenya to avoid persecution which had forced them out of Uganda.
“We have not abandoned our brothers in Karamoja, but we are saying you come back to Kenya. It is easier to address your issues in our land than in Uganda, where we have no voice whenever there are issues,” he said.
Governor Lomorukai revealed that he and a host of Turkana MPs had visited President William Ruto to discuss the plight of residents of Turkana imprisoned in Uganda. The President had written to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni appealing for the release of the Kenyans.
“While we await a response to the President’s letter, we have sponsored a court case in Uganda to secure the release of our people,” he added.
The Governor also stated that the leaders had asked the President to undertake mega water projects in the county to support pastoralists.
“I have informed the President that our people have returned from Uganda, and we have agreed that there is a need to invest in water infrastructure, including mega-dams. I want to assure you that we will support you wherever you will be in the county,” the Governor said.
He urged the National Government to provide security to the pastoralists as they moved into the region to graze their livestock.
The Governor stated that the County Government was pursuing peace in the region to enable Turkana pastoralists to graze their livestock in parts of the North Rift rich in pasture and water.
“We have kept peace in this region; the Turkana, Pokot of Kenya and Tepes of Uganda are living in peace. We want this peace to be emulated in other regions, including Baringo and parts of West Pokot. It will be shameful if conflicts continue to deny the region development,” he said.
On drought relief, Governor Lomorukai assured residents that he was committed to protecting them against the effects of drought and promised to ensure all residents in need received enough food.
Community representatives who spoke urged for peaceful coexistence and sharing of resources among the pastoralist communities living along the border.
Leader of Majority Stephen Edukon (Turkwel) informed residents that the County Government was working to invest in social infrastructure to benefit Turkana pastoralists and end the need for them to migrate to Uganda in search of water and pasture.
Lokiriama/Lorengippi MCA Lawrence Lopayo reiterated the Governor’s call for Turkana pastoralists to return home and avoid the challenges they had faced in Uganda. He commended the Governor for the fair distribution of senior positions in the County Government and for giving the ward a Chief Officer position.
Other MCAs who spoke were Anarclet Lemuya (Lobei/Kotaruk), Mark Amojong (Loima) and Ruth Kuya (Lodwar Township).
Senior County Government officials accompanying the Governor included County Executive for Public Service, Administration and Disaster Management James Wangiros, Chief Officer for Water Simon Etom; Chief of Staff Peter Yoromoe; Loima Sub-County Administrator Lokorikeju Titus; Director for Veterinary Services Dr Benson Long’or and Advisors Malachy Ekal (Political), Amb. Ekai Richard (Economic) and Ekiru Tulele (Legal).