By Kablit Kiu Samuel,
It is in turmoil, despair, deplorable, and worst conditions ever. As one travels from Kitale to Lodwar, scenes of hopelessness start appearing: poverty, hunger, illiteracy, drought, scorching sun, insecurity among many worse conditions you will expect to see of a Country that does not have good infrastructure in place.
Turkana has long overdue been sidelined in terms of national development, more so in the construction and maintenance of roads. Since it was constructed in early 1980’s the road has hardly seen maintenance works going on, in fact if any, nothing tangible was done, that has seen it going from a small parch to bigger [potholes] and ones then eventually cracks all along.
It has been a political agenda overtime, Presidents and Ministers and Members of Parliament, both aspiring and serving have had a word for the road since time immemorial, all these to woo voters to vote them in, and once there you will hardly hear them talk of a project that made them get the seats.
Turkana bears the face of hopeless County, the fact that we have bad roads have subjected us to ridicule by the “outside Kenya” and that why if you find a Turkana travelling from Lodwar to destinations past Kitale, they will tell you am going to Kenya. There are no links between “Kenya” and Turkana; the roads cannot be of any importance. The presence of poor infrastructure has provided for alternative means of transport that are only affordable to a select few; for instance air transport. Though the majority cannot boast of this opportunity, those that can do boast about Fly540 and ALS and Lodwar Airstrip has also been uplifted. Before these goodies (I mean uplifting of Lodwar Airstrip, planes), we could read a day’s Newspaper after a day, but at least now we got the privilege to read them as early as even 8.00Am in the morning.
This horrible Kitale-Lodwar road links Kenya and the new State of South Sudan (a country that country needs Kenya now more than ever) in terms of such as development that shall of course mean that Kenya should l have good roads for the country to develop on the same what leaves many with questions more than answers is going by the fact that Turkana has for long time hosted Refugees from Sudan at the Kakuma Refugee camps, we have shared with them our land and provided them with security, amenities such as water and electricity among others. We have shared on their tribulations together, we have shared schools, and hospitals, churches and we have always lived as brothers and sisters.
The government should come to this cry, that even as we hosted them (our beloved southern Sudan brothers and sisters), still we are not benefiting from such as good roads. Instead with the LAPPSET Project that links Lamu-Ethiopia-Sudan-Uganda, we will see the government construct the roads linking the three countries away from touching on Turkana Land, this could have been a good chance to make sure at least the Kitale-Lodwar Road has been upgraded. IT IS UNFAIR!
Finally, let the road be upgraded and we shall see Turkana developed, am glad we have stood to the occasion and am sure with time we shall see this through.
God Bless Turkana County, God Bless you