• Dr. Gilchrist Lokoel

Which way Turkana?


In the recent past, we have been wooed by the top two presidential candidates. They have all promised the same thing: a better economic environment for our residents. Doesn’t this all sound familiar? Same script from the 2017 narrative? I have an ask though:

1. South Sudan is aggressively pursuing expansionist agenda and attempting to reclaim the Elemi triangle. That means lands after Kokuro and entire Lokichiggio and Nanam is under threat from being annexed out. Our southern Neighbours are also claiming our lands up to Lokichar region. What’s your position as presidential contenders in respect to this?

2. Tullow Oil abruptly stopped its operations in Turkana after breathing hope of an economic boom to the populace of Turkana and Kenya as a whole. I hear they want to sell their share of oil to whoever is interested. What is your road map in disentangling this quagmire and restoring our oil hopes?

3. The 250 billion cubic aquifer that was touted to supply water to Kenya as a whole for 70 years is still untapped 8 years since its discovery. Turkana is currently one of the most water-stressed counties in Kenya. What are your plans for quenching the thirsty desert with water?

4. Drought has been our perennial compatriot since time aeon. In fact of late, it knocks on our doors after every one and half years killing our livestock wantonly and rendering us poor and vulnerable. In fact, our poverty level index is now at 79%. What are your plans to restore our dignity and make Turkana food secure?

5. Insecurity has ensured we can’t trade within our borders and without in peace. With three international boundaries and aggressive neighbours around us, our kinsmen have lost their lives and livestock to cattle rustlers. The state is supposed to protect our lives and property as per the dictates of the constitution. How are you going to ensure that we live peacefully with our neighbours and compatriots from neighbouring countries?

6. In the National table, we only have one cabinet minister and maybe two parastatal appointments. We are more than one million strong. For us to feel and be proud us Kenyans, our representation in Government appointments need to be significant and well pronounced. What arrangement do you have for Turkana appointments in the National table to reflect inclusivity?

7. Eliye springs under Vision 2030 was earmarked for a resort city. 9 years down the line, I don’t see any iota of infrastructure to support the journey of this beachside town into a resort city. What plans do you have for this?

8. Unemployment in Turkana just like the rest of the country has reached alarming levels. I see a horde of graduates, a multitude of holders of masters degrees and others with PhD proliferating and getting disillusioned after missing out on jobs. Papers without employment make them wallow in a miasma of hopelessness. We hear Youth fund and Uwezo fund for people to exploit their talents. But am yet to see anyone in Turkana benefiting from this. How are you going to ensure qualified Turkana have jobs or capital to start businesses or endeavours that will guarantee meaningful utilization of their skills?

9. 60% of our populace are pastoralists. Our animals lack markets to exploit this resource. We have Lomidat slaughter factory that is currently operating below par. What plans do you have to restore Lomidat and if possible put one slaughterhouse factory per sub-county in Turkana?

10. 12% of our people depend on fishing. What plans do you have in helping us exploit our lake to realize its full potential and benefit fishermen along the lakeshore?

These are the questions I would like our presidential aspirants to answer before we weigh you out. Politics is a transaction. Show us what you can provide and we shall support your vision by giving you votes.

God bless Turkana and her people.