Deputy President William Ruto has assured members of the Turkana community that the Government was committed to addressing challenges hindering exploration of oil in the area.
Mr Ruto said Turkana County would also benefit from 20 percent of the oil exploration proceeds while the Turkana community will be given five percent in the allocation of the national government share.
“I want to assure you that we are addressing issues pertaining to oil. 20 percent of the proceeds will come to Turkana County, five percent will benefit Turkana community and the rest will be used to improve roads,” said Mr Ruto.
Speaking in Kakuma grounds after launching the construction of Lodwar-Lokitang Junction and Lokitang Junction-Kalobeiyei River roads, Mr Ruto said security has been improved to ensure peaceful exploration of oil in the area.
“Don’t worry with the issue of oil. The Government is working with leaders to solve problems associated with oil exploration,” said Mr Ruto.
He went on: “We will protect you on matters of security because it is our responsibility as the Government to protect its citizens.”
The Deputy President was accompanied by Governors Josephat Nanok (Turkana), Salim Mvurya (Kwale), Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua) and Joseph ole Lenku (Kajiado).
Others were MPs James Lomenen (Turkana South), Joyce Emanikor (Women Rep, Turkana) and Daniel Nanok (Turkana East).
At the same time, the Deputy President said the Government would improve roads in Turkana County as part of its infrastructural development across the country.
Mr Ruto said improvement of roads in Turkana County would go a long way in improving connectivity between Kenya and South Sudan and thus address challenges including insecurity along the border areas with its neighbors.
Speaking in Kakuma grounds after launching the Lokitang Junction-Kalobeiye River road yesterday, Mr Ruto said the area would benefit from approximately Sh 45billion towards the development of infrastructure including the Kitale- Lodwar-Nadapal road.
Mr Ruto said Jubilee’s agenda on improvement of roads, connection of electricity, provision of water services and improvement of security would bring Turkana County at par with the rest of the country on matters of development.
He said development initiatives would help dissuade the notion among the locals that ‘Turkana is not Kenya’.
“We are committed as Government to build infrastructure for Turkana as part of our efforts to improving the lives of its people,” said Mr Ruto.
The two roads Lodwar-Lokitang Junction and the Lokitang Junction-Kalobeiyei River are jointly financed by the Government and World Bank Group at a cost of Sh 8.3billion and Sh 8.4billion respectively.
The Lodwar-Lokitang Junction- Kalobeiyei River (A1) road project forms part of the larger Biharamulo-Mwanza-Musoma-Sirari-Isebania-Kitale-Lodwar-Lokichogio-Nakodok-Juba transport corridor of the East African Community’s regional Trunk network.
The leaders said they would work with the national government in solving the problem of insecurity in the area.
“As we thank the national government for the projects its launching in our county including roads, electricity, we want to assure you that we will work together in addressing the problem of insecurity,” said Governor Nanok.
He said county governments have resolved to work closely with the national government as the only way to achieve the much-needed development at the grassroots.
MP Lomenen urged the Government to ensure the problem of insecurity was solved to pave way for the development of the area.
“The Government’s efforts to provide water, improve roads and connect houses with electricity will only be successful if there is peace,” said Mr Lomenen.
In reference to the Kakuma Refugee Camp, Mr Lomenen said communities hosting refugees should also benefit from good and services refugees were enjoying.
“Communities hosting refugees should also get the special treatment the refugees are being given. We can’t allow foreigners to benefit more than the local communities,” said Mr Lomenen.
Mr Ruto said Sh1billion had been set aside for water projects in the area.