Turkana County News
Turkana County is located in north—western Kenya and borders Marsabit County to the east, Samburu County to the south-east, Baringo County and West Pokot County to the south. Lodwar Town is the county’s headquarter.
Turkana County Government is one of the 47 county governments formed by the County Government’s Act in 2012 as prescribed in the Act and in the 2010 Constitution of Kenya. With its capital in Lodwar, the County Government of Turkana is a government for the people of Turkana and whose interests and aspirations are those for the people of Turkana.
At 77,000 sq. km, Turkana County is the second largest county, covering more than 13% of Kenya’s surface. This vast land in the northwest of Kenya is an awakening economic giant, for beneath its surface lie huge oil deposits that are currently being explored and will see extraction in an industrial scale during the years to come – a windfall for a county with a population of slightly over 1 million.
Moreover, Turkana boasts plenty of wind, sun, flowing water and underground steam for geothermal power which could make it literally a powerhouse in sustainable energies.
Culture of the People of Turkana County
The Turkana culture is vivified by a unique wealth of dresses, hairstyles, jewellery, sayings, tales, songs, craftsmanship and knowledge. There are view places remaining in Africa of today where you can witness a traditional culture of such beauty and integrity. The Turkana culture is vivified by a unique wealth of dresses, hairstyles, jewellery, sayings, tales, songs, craftsmanship and knowledge. A visit to Turkana Land offers you the chance to experience the fascinating pastoralist way of life.
Attractions in Turkana County
This is the world’s largest permanent alkaline desert lake located in the north-western part of Kenya and covering an area of 6,405 square km. Its northern tip crosses into Ethiopia and is fed by three rivers – the Omo of Ethiopia, the Turkwel and the Kerio. The lake is also called the Jade Sea because of its azure-green colour from algae in bloom.
Lake Turkana became known after Count Teleki’s expedition struggled over incredibly barren and inhospitable terrain and reached its shore on 6th March 1888. Teleki named his discovery Lake Rudolf to honor the Crown Prince of Austria. In 1975 the Kenya Government changed the name to Lake Turkana to honor the lakeshore people.
- Sport fishing
- Island hopping
Central Island National Park
The island park in Lake Turkana is 5km2. Central Island has three scenic crater lakes – Crocodile, Flamingo and Tilapia and an active crater.
How to get there
- Road: 800km from Nairobi to Lake Turkana, then take a boat from Sibiloi National Park or from Lodwar. Access from Nairobi is on the main Nairobi – Moyale road or from Maralal to Loiyengalani through Baragoi and South Horr.
- By Air: Two airstrips at Sibiloi
Three crater lakes – Crocodile Lake, Flamingo Lake and Tilapia Lake and an active volcano.
The museum on a hill overlooks Lake Turkana. Opened in 2008, it focuses on the lives of the eight communities living in the area and on the natural environment in this harsh country. The eight communities are Turkana, El-molo, Rendille, Samburu, Gabbra, Watta, Boran and Dassanash (Merillle).
The site with a museum lies on the eastern shores of Lake Turkana. Koobi Fora is one of the world’s leading pre-historic sites for the study of human evolution. In 1972 the area was gazetted as Sibiloi national park and is a World Heritage Site since 1977.
Sand Dunes in Turkana
The sand dunes are best enjoyed in a four-wheel drive adventure to an oasis surrounded by palm trees. The dunes measure over 40 feet high with breathtaking sceneries.
Three Crater Lakes
Crocodile Lake, Flamingo Lake and Tilapia Lake and an active volcano.
“An oasis in the desert”
At Eliye Springs Resort time becomes timeless as every moment goes by unnoticed. This is an amazing destination to get lost in as you reconnect to you inner-self, surrounded with date palms that provide the much-desired shade.
Turkana Boy Skeleton Monument finding site in Nariokotome
In 1984, the world-famous Turkana boy was found in Nariokotome, a 1.5-million-year-old, near complete Homo erectus skeleton. Homo erectus is generally regarded as a direct ancestor of Homo sapiens sapiens – present day humans. Since recently, a monument and a brass replica of the skeleton can be visited at the finding site. The oldest ever traced stone tools with an estimated age of 3.5 million years, is just another one of the many significant discoveries in Turkana which made it to the international headlines.
Dubbed “The Cradle of Mankind”. It lies on the northeastern shore of Lake Turkana about 800km from Nairobi. The semi-desert ecosystem was established to protect its petrified cedar forest, wildlife and the unique prehistoric and archaeological sites linked to the origin of man.
The park is waterless except for the alkaline lake. It is nonetheless rich in wildlife such as zebra, giraffe, hippo, crocodile and numerous bird species such as flamingos, pelicans and ducks. Other attractions are the preserved wildlife fossils, which include the Giant Tortoise and the 20-foot long crocodile.
How to get there
- By Air: There are two all weather strips.
- Gates: One gate
- Roads: High-clearance 4WD is essential all year round. Travel in convoy is recommended.
The lake is a three-day continuous drive from Nairobi via Marsabit and North Horr. The other route is Maralal via South Horr. lt’s best to take a few extra days to enjoy stops enroute. Alternatively travel by road from Nairobi to Kalokol on the lake’s western shores, via Kitale and Lodwar. From Kalokol, boat hire services are available across the lake to Allia Bay.
Scorching hot and arid (especially December-March). June and July are the coolest months. May-September very strong winds blow most of the day. Rainfall is less than 250mm per annum.
Origin of man: Koobi Fora museum and research base
- The tempestuous ‘Jade Sea’
- Petrified forests
- Prolific birdlife
Zebra, Grant’s gazelle, Reticulated Giraffe, Beisa oryx, topi, Greater kudu, hippo, lion, cheetah, leopard, Striped hyena and Silver-backed jackal. The world’s largest Nile crocodile population breeds on Lake Turkana’s Central Island.
Where to Stay
- Loyiangalani (south tip of Lake Turkana)
- Oasis Lodge
- Lobolo Tented Camp
- Palm Shade (bandas and campsite).
- Self — Catering Accommodation
- Allia Bay Guesthouse: offers 3-double bedrooms, solar generated electricity and furnished indoor sitting, dining and kitchen.
- National Museum of Kenya, Koobi – For a research base and campsite.
- Lake Turkana Lodge.
Two public campsites:
- Turkana campsite
- Koobi Fora Campsite
- Game drives
- Archeological safaris
- Bird watching
Economic Activities in Turkana County
The main economic activy in Turkana County is livestock keeping. Livestock reared include Cattle, camels, donkeys, sheep and goats. Most of the animals are sold to the Kenya Meat Commission particularly during severe drought.
Fishing is practised in Lake Turkana, mainly by the El Molo community, with Nile perch and Tilapia being the main fish species found in the lake. Most fish are dried in the sun before being sold to brokers who come to the lake shores from Kalokol and Lodwar.
Basket weaving is also a major income generating activity in the county, especially among women in Lodwar and other urban centres.
Turkana is poised to become the oil-rich county of Kenya due to the recent discovery of commercially viable oil in by British oil firm, Tullow Oil. This great discovery is expected to attract all sorts of businesses and investments into the county.
Turkana County Jobs opportunities for all qualified personnel and those who would wish to work with Turkana County government. Jobs in Turkana County are posted on the county website.
Jobs in Turkana County are awarded in a free, fair and transparency manner in the need to fight corruption in the country.
To access these Turkana county jobs advertisement click the link: Turkana County Jobs for the latest job opportunities in the county.
Turkana County Tenders
Turkana county tenders are awarded in a free, fair and transparency manner in the need to fight corruption in the country.
To access tenders in Turkana county click the link: http://www.turkana.go.ke/ for the latest job opportunities in the county.
Turkana County Governor and Deputy Governor
The current governor of Turkana County is Hon. Joseph Nanok and the deputy governor is Hon. Peter Ekai.
Constituencies in Turkana County
- Kwanza Constituency
- Endebes Constituency
- Saboti Constituency
- Kiminini Constituency
- Cheranganyi Constituency
Turkana County Wards
Details about Turkana County Wards will be updated soon…
Turkana County Governor and Deputy Governor
The current governor of Turkana County is Hon. Josphat Koli Nanok and the deputy governor is Hon. Peter Ekai.
Major Towns in Turkana County
Lodwar Town – Lodwar, the capital of Turkana County, is the biggest town in north-western Kenya. The town is where Kenya’s first president, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, and other political prisoners were detained for two years during the colonial period.
Lokichogio Town – Lokichogio is located about 30km from the Kenya-South Sudan border. The town hosts UN offices and several Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) like World Vision, Oxfam-GB, among others.
Other major towns in Turkana County include Lokitaung, a remote outpost near the Ethiopian border; and Kakuma, which hosts the Kakuma Refugee Camp.
Financial Institutions in Turkana County
The commercial institutions in Turkana County include Kenya Commercial Bank, Equity Bank and Post Bank. The county has several micro finances serving the local residents among them KWFT, Kadet Micro-Finance, Elimu Sacco and Turkana Teachers Sacco.
Facts About Turkana County
Turkana County is located in north western Kenya bordering Marsabit county to the east, Samburu county to the south east, and Baringo and West Pokot county to the south, to the South-west
Area (Km 2): 68,680.3 Km 2
Climate/Weather: Warm and hot climate, unreliable rainfall pattern ranging between 300mm and 400mm per annum
Road Network: Bitumen Surface (319.2 Km), Gravel Surface (296.7 Km), Earth Surface (2030.5 Km)
Key National Monument(s): Lake Turkana National Park
Turkana County Population
Population: 855,399 (Male – 52 %, Female – 48 %)
Population Density: 6.9 people per Km 2
National Percentage: 2.2 %
Annual Growth Rate: Not Available
Age Distribution: 0-14 years (46.0%), 15-64 years (51.6 %), 65+ years (2.4%)
Number of Households: 123,192
Turkana County Government
County Capital: Lodwar Town (proposed)
Number of Constituencies (2010): 3 (Turkana North, Turkana Central, and Turkana South)
Registered Voters: 116,816
National percentage: 1.0 %
Number of Districts (2009): 6 (Turkana Central, Turkana North, Turkana South, Turkana West, Turkana East, Loima)
Number of Local Authorities (2010): 2 (Municipal council of Lodwar, County Council of Turkana)
Economy of Turkana County
Poverty Level: 95% of population live below poverty line
Age Dependency Ratio: 89.4
Resources: Natural (gemstones and saltlicks, gold – dormant, wildlife, Lake Turkana, Turkwell Dam)
Tourist Attractions: Lake Turkana National Park, Loiyangalani Desert Museum
Financial Services: 3 Commercial Banks, 2 Micro-finance Institutions
Main Economic Activities/industries: Livestock farming and trade, fishing, weaving, and tourism
Agricultural products: Sorghum, Maize
Education in Turkana County
Number of Institutions (2007): Primary (202), Secondary (19)
Primary: Enrolment (122,883)
Teacher to Pupil Ratio: 1: 51
Secondary: Enrolment (48,004)
Teacher to Pupil Ratio: 1: 27.7 (Public Schools)
Tertiary: At least 2 Institutions
Adult Literacy Classes: Enrolment (562)
Health in Turkana County
Health Facilities: District Hospitals (3), Sub-District Hospitals (2), Dispensaries (91), Health Centres (6), Medical Clinics (19), Health Programs (3) Others (3)
Doctor to Population Ratio: 1:52,434
Infant Mortality Rates: 60/1000
Under Five Mortality Rates: 12/1000
Prevalent Diseases: Malnutrition
Notable Hospitals: Lodwar, Katilu, and Lokitaung District Hospitals
Turkana County Website
Turkana County Contacts
Details about Turkana county contacts to be updated soon,