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UN, Turkana County build Sh245m one-stop center at Kakuma

By Fred Kibor | December 8th 2020
By Fred Kibor | December 8th 2020

A Sh245 million one-stop shop for government services will be established in Kakuma.

The County Government of Turkana signed the deal for the planned centre with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The centre, dubbed ‘Biashara-Huduma centre’ under the private sector module, is part of the strategic objectives of Kalobeyei Integrated Socio-economic Development Programme (KISEDP) that will make it easier for small business owners to access services and information provided by various government agencies under one roof.

KISEDP is a multi-stakeholder plan informed by the Global Compact on Refugees to enhance the socio-economic environment and increase livelihood opportunities for refugees and host communities.

Finance, Economic Planning and ICT County Executive Emathe Namuar, who led in signing the tripartite agreement in Lodwar, said the deal was the latest partnership between the county government and the subsidiary of the World Bank Group.

“The partnership between Turkana County Government, IFC and UNCHR in establishing a Biashara-Huduma Centre in Kakuma will not only boost trade, but also enable the attainment of Article 35 of the Constitution of Kenya on access to information,” said the county official.

He said both the county and national governments will look at the sustainability issues and ensure access to other pertinent government services like registration of persons, police clearance certificates and KRA services. This will reduce on transport to access the same services 120km away in Lodwar.

UNHCR Country representative Fathiaa Abdalla said the five-year project was aimed at making all services available under one roof.

“All business facilitation services, both by the county and national governments to the refugees and the host community in Kakuma and Kalobeyei areas will be available at the centre, slashing man-hours wasted on the queue significantly,” said the UN official.

IFC Africa Manager Michel Botzung said the institution will offer technical advisory services to the county government in running the one-stop centre.

Turkana Director of Trade James Lokwale said the county government has already offered a building currently serving as a Citizen Resource Centre to be converted into a one-stop centre.

“Half of businesses in Turkana County are operated by both locals and refugees at Kakuma and if efficiency is fast-tracked, then we expect the economic landscape to change for the better.”


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