By Samuel Kablit, Youth Leader – Youth Agenda Kenya,
Hi Good people, I write this article with much pain for our people the Turkanas, being a person that the community can rely upon to deliver I think it is time we stand up and arrest some issues that crop up every now and then concerning our people.
Even as much as we boast about Oil recently discovered, we must look at it with a wider and critical eye. Remember Turkana as for long been overlooked when it comes to development. The only headlines we have captured in the news have just been: “Turkana Faces Drought”, “”Kenya Kenyans ” funds headed for Turkanas”, “Turkana Men Got to eating Dog Meat” and so much more.
To us it us been a rude experience being ridiculed continuously as animals and more so sidelined like hoods (thugs) and called names such as Mturu Mjinga (Ignorant Turkana). All these insults and humiliations are a result of many people (non-Turkanas) seeing us as people who shall never go anywhere in life, people trapped in our “uncivilized” mannerisms and wretched poverty. Thank God OIL came our way and you couldn’t imagine the respect and attention we got. All social media were dominated by Turkana Oil stories and the Turkanas gained fame from that instant.
Even as we celebrate the many Gold fields, granites, ALOE VERA, the fish in Lake Turkana among others that we boast of as a county, little is yet to be enjoyed by the common Eturkanait (ordinary Turkana), that mama (mother) and that mzee (old man) in places like Lomil, Kibish, Kaputir and Urum. These common Eturkanait have never gotten a share of what is in their land.
Turkana needs a resource manager; someone who can see what we have and come up with measures on how well the resources will help our people. Thank God at least the Katiba (Kenya Constitution) brought in a nice position at the right time, we shall need to have a good governor who shall enable and manage the resources well for the benefit of our people. For example someone who will put measures to construct a fish processing industry in Lodwar town so that the fishermen will have the fish-industry at their door step, and the market shall with time increase to even attract investors not only form other parts of Kenya but also form International spectrum.
The governor is someone, we hope, who shall improve the Aloe Vera business, which is vastly spread all over the county. The plant is considered one of the most valuable plants since medicines are made out of the same. A factory should actually be established to process the many products ranging from Soaps, perfumes and drugs among others that cure many diseases, that way we shall create employment opportunities for our youth and the massive jobless population and hence reducing dependency ratio while increasing productivity.
A blessing has come our way to counter droughts and hunger. OIL. It is time measures are put in place to oversee how well the Oil will be of benefit to us, how funds realized from oil-sales shall be shared between the county government and the Central government, mark you 80% of the total funds should remain with the county government and 20% sent to the central government. In addition to these measures, ways should be looked into to ensure that there are no environmental problems that the mining and exploration exercise will bring to us.
A county with good infrastructural systems is bound to grow economically. Turkana has got one of the poorest road systems in the world, let alone in Kenya. We really need to see now that Oil has been discovered in Turkana, the Government should first construct in Turkana a good road before further exploration and drilling of Oil or otherwise we shall protest.
I wish Turkana county all the best and I know many blessings are coming our way, am seeing our GDP rising to 80%.