- By Thomas Ochieng API Kenya
The United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS) has launched a three-year project dubbed ‘Strengthening Human Security in the Border communities of Turkana in Kenya’. The main aim of the project is the issue of addressing human security concerns of pastoralists living in extreme hardship and vulnerability to numerous threats in Turkana County in the Northern Kenya. The funding and execution of the project is the Government of Kenya, the consortium of many non governmental organizations under the United Nations.
The focus of the project is aimed at strengthening the resilience of the dominant livelihoods in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) of the Northern Kenya that too often faces disasters and other natural calamities, with impetus of providing alternative coping mechanisms through a multi-faceted approach in offering interventions in the livelihood, food security, education and health sector.
Speaking during the launch of the project in Nairobi, the Kenyan Minister for State for Northern Kenya and other arid eras, Mohamed Elmi underscored his ministry’s commitment towards the numerous interventions geared towards the improvement of the livelihood of the Northern Kenya by the United Nations and its partners. “This noble project in Turkana comes at an important time in Kenya when the country is geared toward decentralization of power and resources to the county levels with emphasis on the Historical injustices in allocation of resources a key ingredient” He at the same time urged the people of the Turkana county to take advantage of the new constitutional dispensation and elect committed leadership at the county level who will complement such noble project as the one he was launching.
The UN resident Humanitarian coordinator and the country UNDP head Aneas Chuma welcomed the participation of the multi sectoral stakeholders in the project and in the same breadth lauded the partnership and assistance from the Republic of Japan. Also present at the launch to show solidarity with the project was the Turkana members of Parliament led by Joseph Nanok Assistant minister for Forestry and Wildlife and MP Ekwe Ethuro who pledged to give the project the political backing, with the latter calling for the establishment of a permanent UN office in the region. “With the discovery of oil deposits in the county of Turkana,the United nations should invest in human resource and civic education campaign that is geared towards stabilizing the region and having a permanent presence” Said Nanok adding that the world community should try make Turkana oil a success story in Africa.
The UNTFHS project in Turkana offers a very unique funding source that will be integrated with the local needs and aspirations taking into account the active participation of all stakeholders in the region.