Devolution and ASALs Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and Governor Josphat Nanok commissioned the Sh16.5Million Urum water reticulation Peace Dividend Project a partnership by the Turkana County Government, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with technical assistance from the Ministry of Devolution and ASALs. This was during celebrations to commemorate the first anniversary of the Kenya-Uganda MOU on cross-border peace and development.
Governor Nanok said the project was the beginning of reaping fruits from the MOU and termed it a demonstration of the productive partnership between governments to meet communities’ needs. He said the community had identified water shortage as it’s biggest problem which prompted President Uhuru Kenyatta to direct construction of three dams in Turkana, West Pokot, Marsabit, Samburu and Baringo. The MOU was signed by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and President Uhuru in September last year.
The Governor called for the National Government to fast-track construction of the Namoni-ang’ikaala dam to end strife for water by pastrolists in the area. CS Wamalwa said that the Sh250M strategic and multipurpose dam set to be constructed in Namoni-ang’ikaala in Loima, was on course and that a team of experts from the Ministry of Water will visit the area to iron out technical aspects before construction begins. He explained that the project, a dividend for cross-border peace was meant to emulate similar investment by the Government of Uganda in Kobebe which has benefited communities on both sides of the Kenya and Uganda border.
To address the challenge of insecurity raised by residents of Urum, the CS promised to bring Interior CS Dr. Fred Matiangi on board to assess the situation and explore a possibility of establishing police posts in vulnerable areas. The CS announced that his Ministry through the peace programme, will construct a peace school for communities in the area.
UNDP Chief Technical Advisor for Cross-border Programme in Kenya Dr Asfaw Kumsa said they will endeavor to partner with the government to invest in additional water projects to meet demand by residents. County Executive for Water, Environment and Mineral Resources Chris Aletia announced that the County was drilling an additional borehole to compliment the Urum water project.