February 9, 2024 (Public Communication and Media Relations)

The County Government of Turkana hosted a one-day meeting to foster collaborations within the environmental sector, aiming to tackle environmental degradation in Turkana West.

The meeting brought together state actors, humanitarian agencies, and community-based organizations.

A key concern identified was the absence of a solid waste management infrastructure in Kakuma, posing a significant threat to environmental conservation efforts in the region.

Director for Environment, Phoebe Ekal, emphasized the need for partnerships to address the lack of a comprehensive system for solid waste collection, transportation, processing, and disposal in Turkana West and Kakuma.

She highlighted the urgency, stating that without intervention, Kakuma faced imminent environmental degradation and biodiversity loss.

County Director for Climate Change George Lodungo, emphasized the connection between waste management and climate change.

He urged stakeholders to adopt an inclusive approach, striving for a clean and healthy environment in a garbage-free residential area.

Director Lodungo commended the substantial turnout as a testament to sector players’ commitment, expressing optimism about the success of bilateral and multilateral partnerships focused on waste management and environmental conservation.

The meeting comes at a period when tree felling for timber and fuel needs by the large population of refugees and host communities in Kakuma Municipality and Turkana West is at its highest.

In a presentation by the areas’ Environment Officer Ekaran Victorsam, residents have severally reported that most of the initially forested areas were bare with no sign of trees or vegetation cover.

It is also evident that the rapid expansion of Kakuma, coupled with increased trade and commerce activities, has intensified solid waste production at household and workplace levels.

Turkana West Sub County Administrator, Christine Nalemsekon, assured coordinated efforts to support the County Government’s agenda.

She pledged her office’s commitment to align interventions with Governor Lomorukai’s nine-point agenda for Turkana.

Under the guidance of the areas’ Environment Officer Ekaran Victorsam, the meeting participants discussed existing legal frameworks for enforcing compliance and proposed interventions to strengthen laws, aiming to curb indiscriminate solid waste dumping in the town.

Victorsam also led the participants in discussing the potential benefits of engaging the youth in garbage collection for job creation and income generation value chain.

Representatives from entities, including the National Government Administrative Office (NGAO), KDRDIP, Kenya Police Service, State Department of Probation and Aftercare, Kakuma Usafi Group, and VSO, attended the meeting.

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13TH-14TH AUGUST 2024