COUNTY GOVERNMENT, KENHA REVIEW PROGRESS ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC PROJECTS IN TURKANA

COUNTY GOVERNMENT, KENHA REVIEW PROGRESS ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC PROJECTS IN TURKANA

A joint meeting between the County Government and the Kenya National Highways Authority has met to review the progress of the construction of the socio-economic projects meant to benefit Turkana and West Pokot Counties.

The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects are widely distributed within Turkana South, Turkana East, Turkana Central, Loima, Turkana North and Turkana West Sub-Counties.

This critical infrastructure aims at improving connectivity between Kenya and South Sudan to enhance movement of people and goods, and provide essential social services to communities along the A1 Road.

The meeting chaired by the Turkana County Secretary, Peter Eripete, agreed to
focus on collaborative efforts to ensure the projects are completed within time and facilitate operationalisation of the facilities to benefit the communities.

The projects are being executed in two Contracts, Lot 1 and Lot 2. Lot 1 Contract comprises projects in West Pokot County, Turkana South, Turkana East and Turkana Central, On the other hand, Lot 2 Contract consists of projects within Loima, Turkana North and Turkana West.

According to the meeting, the projects in Lot 1 consist of construction works of various facilities at 14 locations constituting Secondary Schools (3), Primary Schools (2), Teachers’ Training College (1), ICT Hub (1), Health Centres (3), amenities to Truck Parking and Rest stops (2), 1 Water Supply Projects and 1 Police Post

It was also revealed that works in Lot 2 included construction works of various facilities at 12 locations constituting, Secondary Schools (3), Primary School (1), Health Centres (3), Livestock Market (1), amenities to Truck Parking and Rest stop (1),Water Supply Projects (3).

The KeNHA Deputy Director and Project Coordinator, Eng Erick Wambua, presented that the road construction, fibre optic installation, and socio-economic infrastructure development are projects on progress.

He said the facilities will significantly improve access to education, healthcare, digital communication, and economic opportunities for residents in Turkana. Eng Wambua authoritatively reported that both Lots are on track and are due for completion by end of June 2024.

On water supply, the Chief Officer for Water Services, Simon Etom, raised the challenge facing the Kawalase community. The Joint Committee resolved to further discuss and put forward the concerted effort to address the water inaccessibility concerns at Kawalase Community. He further informed the team of the ongoing efforts to address the challenges on water supply and emphasised the importance of good governance for sustainable water management. KeNHA committed to sharing water quality reports and collaborate on being part of the solutions.

The Medical Services Chief Officer, Dr Gilchrist Lokoel, expressed appreciation for the inclusion of health facilities in the socio-economic project, but raised concern for the involvement in the project. He emphasized the importance of solar power integration for reliable energy access on health facilities. KeNHA assured the CCO of the water supply for all health facilities and requested specifications and cost estimates for necessary equipments for the facilities. They acknowledged the need for prioritisation of equipment within budget constraints.

Discussions also included ICT infrastructure where the Chief Officer for Economic Planning and ICT, Samuel Ekale called for well established and equipped ICT Hubs across the County.

At the same note, the Chief Officer for Lands and physical Planning, Peter Lomorukai, confirmed the completion of land surveys and preparation of later acquisition of title deeds for all project facilities.

On long-term project sustainability, the CS Eripete stressed the need of planning and budgeting for personnel to operationalise the facilities. He also stressed the involvement of the community to ensure ownership and successful project continuation. KeNHA emphasised the importance of a roadmap with timelines and a legal agreement for a smooth handover.

He advocated for joint planning and urged KeNHA to prioritise facility quality for maximum community benefit.

This infrastructural project review meeting signifies a strong commitment from both County Government and KenHA to the successful completion and sustainable of the Eldoret-Nadapal road project. Improved infrastructure and access to essential services, the joint team agreed, will have a lasting positive impact on the lives of residents in the region.

In attendance were Chief officers; Eng Mark Achila (Roads), Robert Loyelei (Trade), Ruth Emanikor ( County Soliton) and KeNHA officials.

TOBONGU LORE

13TH-14TH AUGUST 2024