WATER SECTOR PARTNERS CONVENE TO ADDRESS INVESTMENT NEEDS FOR COUNTY WATER DEMANDS

WATER SECTOR PARTNERS CONVENE TO ADDRESS INVESTMENT NEEDS FOR COUNTY WATER DEMANDS

February 20, 2024 (Public Communication and Media Relations)

Turkana Water Services stakeholders held a consultative meeting to discuss strategies for attracting investments in the water sector to accelerate the realization of universal water access in Turkana.

The stakeholders were drawn from the County Assembly and County Departments for Agriculture, Livestock, Environment, Climate Change, and Economic Planning.

County Executive for Water Services, Faith Aletea, highlighted budgetary challenges and the need for the strategic implementation of the Lodwar Master Plan as major obstacles to achieving Governor Lomorukai’s vision of water for all in Turkana.

CECM Aletea emphasized the capital-intensive nature of water sector initiatives, including borehole drilling, piping, and machinery acquisition, all essential for achieving universal water access.

The CECM insisted that water serves as a catalyst for economic growth and urged the County Assembly to prioritize the water sector in budget allocations.

Addressing funding for emergencies, CECM Aletea called on partners to save boreholes at risk of being swept away by the River Turkwel and those likely to be damaged from overuse due to prolonged drought and increasing water demand.

The CECM reiterated that the three-fold categorization of water for domestic use, animal consumption, and agricultural use formed the basis for budgeting, resource mobilization, and investment planning.

Hon. Ewoi, Chair of Finance, Planning, Trade, and ICT, and Member of the County Assembly for Lapur Ward emphasized the urgency of implementing the Turkana County Government Water Act as a tool for unlocking investments from partners. He challenged stakeholders in the water sector to develop a costed roadmap to universal water access in Turkana using the Act as a guide.

Hon. Ewoi suggested leveraging World Bank-funded programs, such as K-WASH and Horn of Africa projects, to source additional funds for operation and maintenance costs.

Chief Officer for Water Services, David Maraka, expressed concerns that a failure to invest in water would hinder development in other sectors and delay the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal number six on the attainment of universal water access.

Addressing water for agricultural needs and food production through irrigation, Chief Officer for Livestock Development Dr. Ezekiel Etelej called for joint planning with the water department, especially on the development of integrated boreholes serving domestic needs, animal watering, and irrigation farming.

Present at the meeting were James Ikeny (MCA, Kanamkemer & Chair Water Committee), Abdifatah Kapua (MCA, Kaaleng Kaikor Deputy Majority Leader), William Etubon (MCA, Katilu & Chair Agriculture) and Philip Ekuwom (MCA, Nanam Ward & Deputy Speaker).

Representatives from Climate Change, Livestock development, Environment, Economic Planning, Water and Agriculture were also present.

Fridah Ewoton (STAWI County Coordinator), Ronald Kubasu (STAWI Deputy CoP), and Eunice Kivuva (Policy Specialist) were also present.

TOBONGU LORE

13TH-14TH AUGUST 2024