Turkana County to exploit groundwater for food security


The County Government will exploit the potential of groundwater resources to boost food production and meet water demand in Turkana, Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai has said.

“The salinity of water in Turkana remains a challenge. We have to come together to invest in technology to help us utilise our water resources. We want to produce food and feed our people properly even when there is no rain and that is practicable,” he said

He explained that the county will explore Public-Private Partnership to invest in desalination plants across the county.

This is part of efforts by the administration to enhance crop and pasture production that will change the fortunes of residents of Turkana following years of drought which has led to an increase in reliance on food relief.

Governor Lomorukai was speaking today in Kakuma, at the close of the three-day Saline Agriculture Conference organised by UK and Dutch-based experts in partnership with FAO and the World Food Programme (WFP). The conference was organised to initiate a dialogue on the risks, challenges and opportunities of saline agriculture.

He informed participants of engagements he had held with experts on desalination during his visit to Dubai in February to find solutions to high salinity of water resources in the county.

He said: “We are soon going to implement few plans, acquire innovative technology and even tap water from Rivers Kerio and Turkwel; and utilise the water from Lake Turkana so that we can have sufficient water for domestic and livestock use.”

Governor Lomorukai lauded FAO and WFP for complimenting county development programmes and insisted on investments focused on results. He said the objective of all programmes initiated by County Government or development partners should be making impact on communities and changing livelihoods.

He assured the private investors on the County Government’s commitment towards success of their plans and announced plans to operationalize soon-to-be established Kakuma-Kalobeyei Municipality. The move, Governor Lomorukai said, would contribute to development of public infrastructure in the county, enhance coordination of integrated projects and attract more investors to Turkana West Sub-County.

County Executive for Agriculture, Livestock Development and Fisheries David Erukudi shared the actionable points that had been settled on the conference and assured the Governor of the department’s desire to spearhead his food security agenda.

Turkana County Assembly Deputy Speaker Philip Ekuwam welcomed the move by the partners to explore saline agriculture and said that it will have positive impact to farmers whose visions on food production had been affected by high salinity of water sources in many parts of Turkana.

Also present were a host Members of the County Assembly led by Majority whip Etubon Samal.

Senior County Government officials present included County Executive for Lands Peter Akono, County Chief Officer for Agriculture and Land Reclamation Janerose Tioko and County Director for Veterinary Services Dr. Benson Long’or.

Partner representatives present included FAO’s Head of Kakuma Sub-Office Francis Ekiru Anno, GIZ Deputy Head of Office and incharge of livelihoods Chris Aletia as well as WFP Head of Programmes in Kakuma Samal Lokuno.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here