Turkana to Spend KSh 3.5 billion on Agriculture and Roads

The county that faces severe droughts was allocated KSh 271 million by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) through Equalisation Fund.

A grader awaits deployment. Turkana county took the lions share of the KShs.3.4 billion based on its poor economic history.

A grader awaits deployment. Turkana county took the lions share of the KShs.3.4 billion based on its poor economic history.

Turkana governor Josephat Nanok plans to spend KSh 3.5 billion on infrastructure and agriculture. Mr Nanok said good roads will open up the area to economic development, a county that has lagged behind for decades.

The county plans to complement agriculture projects like the Kenyans for Kenyans initiative that was started in 2011 to feed Turkana residents and improve food security.

‘‘The money will be used to boost agriculture that will necessitate the need for reliable transport to markets,’’ said Mr Nanok when Red Cross paid a courtesy visit in the area to assess community projects jointly run with Safaricom. He said the county plans to increase water supply to enable locals shift from small-scale to large-scale farming. Pastoralism remains the key economic livelihood of majority of Turkana.

But Mr Nanok said the community should adopt emerging livestock-rearing techniques like stock management, which guarantee high profits compared to keeping many cattle that compete for little pasture and water, especially during dry seasons.

The county that faces severe droughts was allocated KSh 271 million by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) through Equalisation Fund.

The cash will be used for water projects, roads, health facilities and connect electricity to the marginalised areas. Turkana is among the 14 counties that benefited from the KSh 3.4 billion kitty. Others include Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit, Samburu, West Pokot, Tana River, Narok, Kwale, Garissa, Kilifi, Taita Taveta,Isiolo and Lamu. The county took the biggest share, based on its poor economic history.

Recently, Mr Nanok said the county plans to rehabilitate irrigation schemes and establish new ones, focusing on technologies that can improve water use, retention and mechanisation. “Water harvesting will be part of our agenda as we open up opportunities in fish production and promote value addition to our products,” he said.

Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Turkana chairman Peter Ejole said drought-resistant crops like millet and cassava, were best suited to address perennial food shortages in the area.

Source: BusinessDailyAfrica.com