Plans to have Turkana County join the Community Resilience in Kerio River Ecosystem (CORKE) project registered good progress last Friday after the successful completion of a two-day scenario-building workshop which was held in Lodwar.
The two-day workshop brought together community representatives and Members of County Assemblies together with Ward Administrators from the five wards of Katilia, Kapedo/Napeitton, Katilu, Kerio Delta and Lokori/Kochodin across which the Kerio River runs.
In the workshop, the participants outlined the prevalent scenarios and challenges that have been faced by local residents as a result of climate change, especially those experienced along the Kerio River’s course. The team which unanimously agreed on the importance of conserving the Kerio River Ecosystem also outlined the possible solutions to mitigate and reverse the effects in their area.
The three Members of County Assembly present applauded the good work done by the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) along the region for a long time and they promised to work together with NCCK and NOREB in addressing climate change challenges once and for all. The community organizers came up with a work plan for training their communities on the importance of conserving the environment to reduce dangers on climate change.
Speaking at the two-day meeting, NOREB CEO Dr. Dominic Biwott said the move to have Turaka County join the pact was timely as implementing it within the three source counties would mean that the lower parts of the Kerio River would not be a beneficiary of climate action interventions that are set to be rolled out.
“This endeavor to institutionalize conservation of the Kerio River ecosystem ahead of rolling our mitigative strategies is welcome, and as NOREB, we are happy to have Turkana on board as they are our member county and an important stakeholder. I look forward to our working together to make sure the Kerio River ecosystem is revived to its good, sustainable condition.” Dr. Biwott said.
Dr. Biwott also implored all the communities living along Kerio River and within its ecosystem to commit to environment conservation and urged MCAs to come up with the law and regulations aimed at protecting the environment from further damage.
“I call upon all the MCAs in all of our member counties to work with the County Executives and other stakeholders in formulating laws on climate change for ratification in their respective county assemblies to stop further environmental degradation and support the rolling out of climate action projects and programmes like CORKE.” Dr. Biwott said.
The County Executive Committee Member for Tourism and Culture Charles Lokiyoto welcomed the move to have Turkana join the pact and expressed the commitment of his department to see to it that the process is accomplished and that programmes under the agreement are implemented successfully.
“As partners in the CORKE project, we need to also ensure we have a strong tool to monitor and evaluate the progress of our interventions so that it informs our journey as we jointly embark on the revival and conservation of the Kerio River Ecosystem,” Lokiyoto said.
CORKE seeks to enhance the adaptive capacities of community members in the target areas while driving climate change mainstreaming processes in county planning for the four-county governments, with a view of creating sustainable linkages and interventions. NOREB will play the coordination and supportive role in the project which had earlier been penned by Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot County Governors.
Also present were Bishop Boniface Lokoruka, CECM Finance Robert Lotelengo, CO Water and Mineral Resources Moses Natome, NCCK leaders in the North Rift region and members of the NOREB secretariat.