Lodwar, 17th July 2023 (Governor’s Press Service) – Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai has spoken out against anti-government protests taking place in Turkana, saying that the violent nature of the protests as witnessed elsewhere in Kenya would not be conducive to the growing economy in the county.

Speaking today during the first day of the Early Childhood Development Stakeholders Conference, the Governor said that the county was faced with many problems which call for the undivided attention of the government and leaders.

He listed challenges including constant droughts, banditry and insecurity across the county, water shortages and unlawful imprisonment of Turkana pastoralists in Uganda, as issues which require the focus of the Turkana leadership.

“As an ODM member elected in Turkana, I say we are not ready to see our business communities affected by violence. We have hundreds of problems to tackle and demonstration will not put food on the table of a hungry Turkana man,” he said.

The Governor, who was accompanied by County First Lady Lillian Ekamais, vowed to protect the peaceful coexistence of the different communities engaging in business in Lodwar Town and Turkana, stating that the protest would threaten the peace enjoyed in major towns.

In his speech, Governor Lomorukai outlined progress made in the ECDE sector since the advent of devolution Turkana and explained plans under the agenda to revitalize education, including the construction of over 20 new ECDEs centres, renovation of existing facilities and recruitment of additional teachers.

The County Government of Turkana is co-hosting the three-day event in collaboration with the National Ministries of Education and Health, the ECD Network for Kenya and the Council of Governors.

Chief Guest of the day, Kericho Governor and Chair of the CoG Committee on Education Dr Erick Mutai revealed that the Council of Governors and the Ministry of Education were pursuing a mechanism for Sh5billion grants to counties for rightful remuneration of ECDE teachers.

He acknowledged that devolution had transformed the ECDE sector, with counties investing in infrastructure development.

“I am happy that there is a lot of commitment from Governor colleagues from ASAL areas to construct even more ECDEs to allow for better access to learning and we are seeing tremendous progress in these regions,” he said.

Dr. Mutai commended Governor Lomorukai for the county’s school feeding programme which he insisted was critical in supporting access to education. He urged for a multi-sectoral approach in the implementation of the feeding programmes, involving counties and the Ministry of Education.

He reiterated CoG’s commitment to strengthening the ECD sector and other devolved functions in the education sector.

“We bring our commitment as CoG, this being a devolved function we want now to take it to another level. Devolution has to work now by making ECDEs and VTCs work,” he stated.

Turkana Central MP Emathe Namuar joined the Governor in welcoming participants of the conference to Lodwar and acknowledged that the ECD sector has witnessed tremendous growth since the advent of devolution.

Deputy Governor Dr John Erus, County Secretary Peter Eripete, County Executive for Education Leah Audan, Leader of Majority Stephen Edukon and Lobei/Kotaruk MCA Anarclet Lemuya were among leaders who addressed the conference.

Other dignitaries who spoke included Nyamira County First Lady Emilly Nyaribo, CEO of the National Council for Children Services (NCCS) Sheikh Abdinoor among others.

The event was graced by senior county staff including a host of Executives and Chief Officers.

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13TH-14TH AUGUST 2024