Lodwar, 14th February 2024 (Governor’s Press Service) – Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai has appealed to the Japanese Government for assistance in addressing the devastating effects of climate change in Turkana, during a meeting with Japan’s Ambassador to Kenya Okaniwa Ken, today.

The Governor highlighted the rising water levels in Lake Turkana and the displacement of communities along the lake. He emphasized the need for substantial resources to improve the lives of residents due to the county’s arid nature.

He expressed the County Government’s commitment to achieving self-sufficiency and reducing reliance on aid, citing the strain it places on the county budget.

Governor Lomorukai welcomed assistance in developing the fish value chain around Lake Turkana and promoting Turkana as a tourist destination. He explained how weather fluctuations and limited resources force pastoralists to migrate in search of pasture and water.

The Governor mentioned the County’s Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) as a blueprint for programme implementation and urged partners to align their initiatives with the plan. He also informed the ambassador about efforts to integrate refugees into government programmes and create employment opportunities for youth and women.

Deputy Governor Dr. John Erus echoed the call for strategic partnerships, emphasizing their role in promoting tourism and preserving the county’s rich cultural heritage. He highlighted the importance of identifying and safeguarding cultural sites through collaboration.

Ambassador Okaniwa commended Turkana’s resilience in the face of environmental challenges and pledged Japan’s continued support through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). He expressed his desire to engage directly with affected communities to gain a deeper understanding of their needs.

Ambassador Okaniwa reaffirmed Japan’s commitment to collaborating with the County Government on water, agriculture, and support programmes for the host community and refugees in Kakuma.

Senior county officials present included Deputy County Secretaries Dr Albert Gamoe and Joseph Nyang’a, County Executive for Education Leah Audan, Chief Officer for the Office of the Governor Paul Lodung’a, and Chief of Staff Peter Loyapan.

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13TH-14TH AUGUST 2024