BY RASHID LOROGOI
LODWAR, TURKANA CENTRAL
Tullow Oil, in partnership with Kenya Red Cross Society, has donated more than 300 tonnes of Ujimix and cooking oil to 50 Early Childhood Development (ECD) and 20 health centres in order to arrest the hunger in Turkana County.
Relief food will target more than 30,000 people in Turkana South, Turkana Central and Turkana North. According to the Kenya Red Cross communication officer, Ms Waiter Wairiko, this is the second distribution, and it will last for three months. Wairiko clarified that the foodstuff will go to 50 ECD schools in Turkana central, south and north, and 20 health centres across the county.
“The first consignment, including maize flour, cooking oil, salt, etc, was distributed in Turkana South alone, targeting over 50 ECD centres,” said Wairiko.
African Oil field operations manager, Mr Mario Koeck, said that the food donation was part of the company’s social based projects, among others like building of schools, planting of trees and provision of water to local communities that Tullow is working with. While flagging off distribution of the ECD relief food, Turkana County governor Josphat Nanok urged the Kenya Red Cross Society to provide green houses to ECD centres, for them to grow their own food.
Nanok further said the county government had employed 150 ECD teachers at a ratio of five teachers per ward. He criticised the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) for frustrating the recruitment of ECD teachers in the county by claiming that the county government had no authority to do so.
Posted in: Art&Culture
BY STEVEN ARIONG
LODWAR, TURKANA CENTRAL
Travellers who have been struggling by road between Nairobi and Lodwar or Lokichar can now fly, following the launch of daily flights on this route by Safarilink. Speaking at the official launch of the flights in Lodwar on October 8, Safarilink Aviation manager, Mr John Buckley, said: “Today’s commencement of operations to Lodwar and Lokichar is a significant milestone in our operations. These flights will contribute significantly towards spurring economic development in northern Kenya by opening up the region, not only for tourism but also investment in and the development of other sectors.” Mr Buckley said that each day from Monday to Friday, Safarilink will be departing Nairobi from Wilson Airport at 7am to arrive at Lokichar at about 8.15am, before proceeding to Lodwar, where it will be landing at 8.45am. The flight will then leave Lodwar at 9am to arrive back in Nairobi at 10.20am. The chief officer of tourism, trade and industrialisation in Turkana County, Mr Mathew Logurale, said in a telephone interview that while the introduction of the flights stood to reduce the suffering that people went through when travelling by road to and from Nairobi, the ticket prices should be pocket friendly to the average person. “We are happy about the development, but my worry is that the price might be such that our local people who would also wish to use these flights might not afford,” he said. Safarilink was established in 2004. It mostly offers safari destinations, serving a route network that covers game parks and the coast region. It helps those who wish to minimise transit times.
Why Lokichar and Lodwar
Its interest in serving Lokichar arises from the fact that the town is central to the locations of recent oil finds and further exploration activities. Lodwar, on the other hand, is the seat of Turkana County government. Turkana is blessed with key tourist attractions, being the cradle of mankind, and the home of the famed Lake Turkana and Sibiloi national parks. The colourful launch of the Safarilink Lodwar and Lokichar flight was attended by Mr Linus Ebenyo, the Turkana County Minister for Tourism, Mr John Lodepe, the area Member of Parliament, and Mr Pius Ewoton of Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry Turkana County, and among other dignitaries.
Posted in: Art&Culture
BY RASHID LOROGOI
LOKIRIAMA, LOIMA SUB-COUNTY
Leaders from Turkana and neighbouring regions in Uganda and Ethiopia have asked the government of Kenya to disarm communities in northern parts of the country,
saying it was necessary to protect the lives of people and their property. They spoke at a peace meeting at Lokiriama in Loima Sub-County, near the border of Uganda and Kenya, on September 21. The meeting was held to mark 41 years of peace among the Ateker cluster. The Uganda Minister for Energy and Minerals Development Peter Lokeris said: “The central government is the custodian of peace, and I therefore urge the government to carry out forceful disarmament because these illegal firearms have made many families living along the borders to be vulnerable.” Lokeris further said: “I know our brothers from Pokot and Turkana community have been having conflict for a long time. I urged the leaders from both communities to replicate what Matheniko and Turkana did for the past 41 years, so that people can co-exist without conflicts.”
He went on: “We want our people to share resources. That is why we allow pastoral communities to come and graze their livestock in Uganda, as long as they don’t cross the border with a gun.” The leader of minority at the Turkana County Assembly Jeremiah Lomorukai echoed the same sentiments, and accused the national leadership for failing to remove guns from warring communities. Lomorukai also said that it was high time for both county and national governments to talk to leaders from both Pokot and Turkana communities on how they will return their guns. Turkana governor Josphat Nanok urged the delegations to support dialogue, as it was the only way of getting a lasting solution among the communities. “I led another delegation last month to Ethiopia, the South Omo Zone, where we had candid talks with Ato Moloka, the chief administrator, and agreed that the two governments were going to work together in promoting peace along the borders,” Mr Nanok said. The governor called upon the national government to move with speed and arrest the situation of insecurity along the border of Pokot and Turkana, pointing out that it was getting out of hand.
Posted in: Art&CultureNews&Editorial
BY CHUMAN ACHUMANI,
LODWAR, TURKANA CENTRAL
Turkana people showcase their traditional dress and dance during the Turkana County Tourism and Cultural Festival heldon the last week of August 2014 in Lodwar. GREG AKALL
First lady Mrs Margaret Nanok at the Turkana County Tourism & Cultural Festival held in Lodwar.
Turkana County’s first Tourism and Cultural Festival was held last month and it attracted thousands of visitors from Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and abroad. Governor Josphat Nanok officially opened the three-day fete held on 28th to 30th August 2014 at St Patrick’s Kanamkemer Primary School in Lodwar. The event was dubbed “Tobong’u lore” 2014, which means ‘welcome back home’. This is because Turkana County is believed to be the origin of mankind. According to Governor Nanok, Turkana County Tourism and Cultural Festival will be an annual event. “We will make a law to ensure the festival is marked in the last week of August every year,” he said. The Governor officially opened the event with sky-lit fireworks that lasted for 10 minutes, symbolising a new beginning for the county, endowed with unrivalled and rich cultural heritage.
The festival had a variety of cultural activities, including traditional dances, mock weddings, and beauty pageants, among others. The Turkana Basin Institute showed a film on Turkana as the origin of mankind. Moreover, Hon. Immanuel Imana, a Peace Ambassador, narrated the history of Turkana people at the festival, which saw 22-year-old Irene Akuya Ng’asike crowned the Miss Culture in the hotly contested beauty pageant. Bomet County Governor Isaac Ruto, on the last day accompanied Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok during his traditional coronation by Turkana elders where a bull was slaughtered before he was installed as a Turkana elder. The festival also attracted exhibitors from Turkana and neighbouring counties and countries who showcased their products and services. Governor Nanok announced a plan to build an international airport in Lodwar in order to promote tourism and economic growth. In addition, the Governor said his government would set aside land to construct Turkana Cultural Centre, an idea which received public acclamation. Journalists were not left out either. They thronged Lodwar to have a feel of the Turkana culture. Cyprian Kandie, a Business Executive with The Standard said: “Turkana people are unique. I will not be missing the next cultural events in Turkana County.”
Posted in: Art&CultureFeaturesOther News