The huge water reservoir discovered in Turkana County will change the social and economic standing of the arid and semi-arid region, say local leaders.
In a few months, residents should expect the introduction of modern cattle keeping methods, agro-forestry and an end to the perennial conflicts along the borders, according to Governor Josphat Nanok, Senator John Munyes, Women Rep Joyce Emanikor and County Speaker Geoffrey Kaituko.
CLOSE WORKING RELATIONSHIP
Mr Nanok said the county government would work closely with the national government to help pastoralists grow fodder for their livestock and also provide piped water in areas designated as cattle drinking points, and help residents to start farming through irrigation.
Mr Munyes said residents have always been exposed to conflicts across the border when they lead their cattle to neighbouring South Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia in search of water and pasture.
“Our neighbours, the Nyangatom, Merille, Karamajong, who have frequently been attacking us, stealing cattle and killing the herders, will no longer have the chance,” Mr Munyes said by phone.
Ms Emanikor said the water would address the issue of food shortages through irrigation.
“We will keep both governments on their toes to exploit this resource,” she said, adding that the county must utilise the water for commercial and industrial purposes.
Mr Kaituko said the county would no longer be a water-deficit region with the discovery of Lodwar and Lotikipi basin aquifers.
Turkana residents were overjoyed with the news of water discovery.
Ms Jane Lokalale said they would settle in one area instead of moving from place to place in search of water and pasture.
The residents said their children would settle in school as there would be no need to travel hundreds of kilometres in search of water and pastures.
Article published by Daily Nation on September 12, 2013 by Sammy Lutta