Turkana County:Stop Conservancies Operation
The meeting held at Uhuru High school, was chaired by Governor Josephat Nanok, who had earlier met with stakeholders including Kraal elders.
Officials from NRT and Tullow Oil, who have been proponents of the conservancies; were also in attendance in the decisive meeting to resolve the conservancy investment in the region.
Also in attendance were Senator John Munyes; MPs Nixon Ngikolong(Turkana East), James Lomenen(Turkana South) and Joseph Samal Lomwa(Isiolo North).
peakers during the presentations made it clear from the beginning that the conservancies were unwanted in the county, with NRT admitting to having overlooked professionals and not involving the county government in the establishment of the conservancies.
The National Environmental Management Authority(NEMA) also accused NRT of failing submitting environmental impact assessment report before they began operations and pointed out that NRT’s activities were illegal.
The Authority said they will write a letter to order its activities to be stopped with the Kenya Wildlife Service(KWS) Chief warden also distancing itself from NRT’s activities saying they are not aware of the establishment and operations of conservancies.
Governor Nanok said NRT will now cede conservancies operations as it touches on the sensitive land issue adding that conservation will now be focused on South Turkana National Reserve under the leadership of KWS and the County Government.
“The County Government and KWS will review the existing MOU to accommodate community involvement in the reserve. KWS has been managing the reserve on behalf of county government under the MOU that was drawn with the defunct county council,”said Nanok.
He said rangers and other resources currently with NRT will be managed through a special arrangement to be defined in the MOU.
“Mobile ranger patrols will emanate from the reserve to wildlife dispersal areas outside the reserve. This now gives us that rare opportunity to develop Kaadegoi (South turkana reserve) but also ensure the fears over land and conservancy are rested,”added Nanok.
The resolutions from the meeting follows concerns raised by members of the public over claims the local community was not involved in the management of the conservancies. The management of conservancies had raised questions with the emergence of claims that it there is a well orchestrated scheme by some people to access community land.