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Turkana leaders’ outcry over poverty levels

KNA   Political leaders in Turkana County have expressed displeasure over the worrying levels of poverty and under-development in the region.

The concerns come following the recent research findings by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and the University of Nairobi that placed Turkana County as both the poorest and most unequal devolved unit in the country.

Led by Petroleum and Mining Cabinet Secretary John Munyes, the leaders accused the county government of abetting the trend over alleged mismanagement of the funds the National Government disbursed to address the sorry state of affairs in the region.

“Poverty has remained a core thing in Turkana. Turkana should not be facing this problem when billions of shillings are being allocated to this County each financial year alongside UNDP funds, Oxfarm Funds and many NGOs supporting Turkana,” reiterated Munyes.

The leaders now demand that a forensic audit be done to determine why the funds pumped to the region annually by various organizations amounting to billions of shillings had no impact on the communities targeted.

According to the report, Turkana County was placed at 79.4 percent absolute poverty rate which implies the incapability for a family or an individual to meet basic needs including food, shelter, safe drinking water, education and healthcare.

The leaders were discontented with the way the constituents could not get access basic needs every person requires to sustain their life.

“How can we miss water, we can’t feed our people, we can’t get medicine to our hospitals, and Turkana has continued to be poorer and poorer,” exclaimed Munyes.

On his part Loima Member of Parliament Jeremiah Lomorukai appreciated the report by KNBS saying it had revealed a clear picture of the present situation of livelihood in Turkana County.

“As a leader in Turkana County, I support the report that has revealed the truth. It clearly indicates that we Turkana are still far behind as compared to all other counties in Kenya,” noted Lomorukai.

The legislator however called upon the County Government of Turkana to exploit the existing natural resources like rivers and underground aquifers to establish mega irrigation schemes to maximize food production as a lasting solution to the perennial hunger problem in Turkana.

“It is my appeal to the County Government of Turkana to embrace technology to exploit the underground water to establish drip irrigation to ensure the ordinary Turkana person finds food on the table and fully utilize the waters of permanent rivers like Turkwel and Kerio,” he said.

“River Kerio is the only permanent river which flows from its source to its mouth with no modern farming employed to maximize food production,” he added.

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