Turkana County

Education, Sports and Social Protection

The Ministry of Education, Sports and Social Protection is mandated to provide quality education – early childhood and vocational, economic and social empowerment of the marginalized groups, and support the youth through sports. With over 180 early childhood learning centers, a strong foundation of Turkana’s future is established. Through the bursary fund and welfare programmes – sports included, thousands of county residents have benefitted.

The Sector comprises of the following sub-Sectors

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Vocational Training
  • Social Protection
  • Public Relations
  • Sports and Talent Development

 Education, skills, literacy and infrastructure

Pre-school education
Increased investment in Early Childhood Development Centres (ECDCs) has raised the number of children enrolling for basic education in Turkana by over 50 000 children in the past five years. The number of ECDCs has gone up from 662 centres in 2013 to 738 in 2017, 15 of which are in the Kakuma camps and Kalobeyei Settlement. The County Department for Education, Sports and Social Protection reports that over 180 modern ECDCs have been built in the 30 wards that had no pre-school learning facilities previously. Many children were learning in mobile nursery schools, in manyattas or under trees, but this is improving under the devolved system of government. The increased number of ECDCs has reduced the distance a child has to travel when going to school. Provision of teaching materials has also enhanced the learning environment. The Turkana Government is supporting retention at all nursery schools by providing food to all children enrolled at the centres. The new centres and school feeding programme have raised the enrolment of children across the county from 84,832 in 2013 to over 140,000 in 2017.

Primary education

Children in Turkana (6-13 age group) are less likely to access primary education, with only 50% enrolled (53.2% for boys, 46.6% for girls), compared to the national average of 92.5% (94.6% for boys and 90.5% for girls) (Turkana County Government, 2015). Overall school attendance for children in the County is at 39%, which is far below the national school attendance of 70.9% (Turkana County Government 2015). Many children drop out of school due to cost. Other factors include teenage pregnancy, household obligations and inadequate infrastructure (Turkana County Government, 2015). The number of primary schools significantly increased from 315 in 2013 to 389 in 2017, 24 of which are located in the Kakuma camps and Kalobeyei Settlement. This can be attributed to the efforts by Constituency Development Funds (CDFs) to build new schools, faith-based organizations and non-governmental organizations. In the 2016/2017 financial year, the County Government made deliberate efforts to support primary schools with two classrooms in every ward. The number of primary school teachers has also risen considerably since 2013, when there were 1,324 teachers, to 1,701 teachers in 2018. This has improved the pupil-to- teacher ratio to 1 teacher per 102 pupils in early 2018.

Secondary education

The number of secondary schools has increased from 32 in 2013 to 56 in 2017. Of the 56 secondary schools, two are national schools: Turkana Girls and Lodwar High School. The enrolment in the 56 secondary schools was 23,412 in 2017, up from an enrolment of about 4,501 in 2013. The number of teachers has gone up from 110 in
2013 to 392 in 2018. The teacher–student ratio is now 1 teacher for every 59 pupils.

Tertiary education

Turkana is served by Turkana University College, a constituent college of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology. There are two Turkana Learning Centres, namely Kibabii in Lodwar and the University of Nairobi in Lokichogio. The county has one campus in Kakuma under Masinde Muliro University of Science and
Technology. There are two public colleges, namely Kenya Medical Training College and the ECD Teachers College at the Turkana Resource Education Centre. The county also has four private colleges, namely Akicha Early Childhood College, St Clare of Assissi Early Childhood College, Turkana Diocese and Ewala Early Childhood College in Lokori.

Technical and vocational education and training

The county is faced with high dropout rates and low transition rates from primary to secondary school, as well as from secondary school to tertiary institutions. These have been identified as some of the key causes of high unemployment and low skills and literacy levels in the county. It is anticipated that establishing a network of polytechnics with courses for both men and women that provide a range of vocational opportunities will absorb the youth who drop out of school and prepare them for productive employment. Over the last five years, the county has established and equipped six vocational training institutions. In both Kakuma camps and Kalobeyei Settlement, there are more than five vocational training centres extending market-oriented training to both refugees and host communities.

Youth polytechnics

There are two operational polytechnic schools: one public youth polytechnic, Lodwar Youth Polytechnic, and one private polytechnic in Kakuma called Don Bosco Vocational Training Centre. The County Government has also built a number of youth polytechnics which are yet to start operating.

Adult and continuing education and non-formal education

Access to education for adults, who are illiterate, remains a critical issue. Data from 2006 show that 90,6% of adult men and 89.1% of adult women had not accessed education opportunities and were illiterate (KNBS, 2007). Investment is required to expand opportunities for adult learning within the county. This trend is likely to have
reduced due to the expansion of educational institutions, but access to education for adults remains a critical issue in the county. Greater investment will facilitate expansion of learning facilities in Turkana County.

In collaboration with stakeholders, Turkana County is operating an informal education programme with over 170 candidates that sat for KCSE in 2017 and 246 KCPE private candidates. Two back-to-school programmes, one targeting youth who have dropped out of formal school and another targeting children out of school (street children) in Lodwar town, have been implemented with partners.

The Diocese of Lodwar has two non-formal learning centres namely Mercy Centre in Lokori and St. Patrick’s Nomadic Centre in Lokitaung. There are a number of mobile schools in the county.

The department has the following priorities

  • Install ECDE centers with Energy-saving stores as well as supply them with cooking pots and utensils.
  • Renovate and furnish ECDE centers to secure and improve on conducive learning environment.
  • To improve conducive learning environment at DICECE through equipping the institution with learning and instructional materials.
  • Improve management of VTCs through provision of motorbikes.
  • Renovate youth polytechnics.
  • Purchase of assorted assistive devices for PWDs.
  • Construction of multipurpose social hall for PWDs in sub Counties.
  • Construction of sports stadium at Ekalees sports complex (Flagship project).

The department has achieved the following

  • Install ECDE centers with Energy-saving stores as well as supply them with cooking pots and utensils.
  • Renovate and furnish ECDE centers to secure and improve on conducive learning environment.
  • To improve conducive learning environment at DICECE through equipping the institution with learning and instructional materials.
  • Improve management of VTCs through provision of motorbikes.
  • Renovate youth polytechnics.
  • Purchase of assorted assistive devices for PWDs.
  • Construction of multipurpose social hall for PWDs in sub Counties.
  • Construction of sports stadium at Ekalees sports complex (Flagship project).

Trade, Gender and Youth Affairs

The Ministry of Trade, Gender and Youth Affairs is one of the ten ministries in the County government mandated to execute and implement the activities that are geared towards improving the socio-economic development of Turkana people. As a ministry, our mission is to be a leader in spearheading a vibrant trade that is participatory and conducive, as this will be an avenue for poverty reduction and socio-economic wellbeing of the business community. Our dream is to scale to the heights of making Turkana a business hub where investors –both local and international, can invest and create wealth and employment opportunities to the people of Turkana and the region at large, since the objective of devolution is to promote social and economic development.

The department has the following objectives

  • To promote trade, broaden export base and markets as well as undertake county branding.
  • To provide efficient support service-delivery for industrial and enterprise development.
  • To stimulate Industrial development through value addition and creation enabling environment for investment
  • To provide standards for industrial products and support of MSMEs
  • Promote co-operative sector development and improve governance and management for co-operative societies
  • To enhance empowerment and participation of youth and other vulnerable groups in all aspects of national development.
  • To promote socio-economic empowerment of men and women and enhance participation in community development.
  • To mainstream gender in all government and private sector and promote equitable socio-economic development between men and women, boys and girls.
  • To promote gender equality and freedom from discrimination in accordance with article 27 of the constitution of Kenya 2010 and Vision 2030

The department has achieved a lot including:

  • Theministry has conducted several enterprise development trainings for business community in 25 wards within the larger Turkana County.
  • The ministry has also conducted 2 cross border trade engagements with the neighboring countries of Uganda and Ethiopia and this has seen good trade relations with the neighboring countries. It’s also proposing to open up a market at the border of South Sudan
  • The ministry has facilitated the development of 23 business producer groups and two of these groups participated in the export promotion council export in Eldoret, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania)
  • Seven (7) modern physical markets infrastructure have been built across the county in the following areas- Lokori, Kalemung’orok, Katilu, Nakurio, Turkwel, Kalokol and Lowareng’ak
  • The ministry is also refurbishing the inherited market stalls from both the national government and the defunct municipal council and this enlist Lodwar markets, Lokiriama, Lokichar, and Kakuma
  • In the wake to promote trade and investment – had the 1st ever Trade fair and investment conference in October 2015 at Ekales Center in Lodwar town.
  • The ministry participated in the several Meetings Incentives, Conference and Exhibitions (MICE) this is a product of KICC that aims at decentralizing meeting and conference to Counties. Turkana has been identified by KICC to be a beneficiary of this product and has an MOU with the later.

Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources is one of the ten ministries in the County Government of Turkana. It is mandated to execute, implement and support projects and activities that are geared towards the promotion of tourism, preservation of culture and conservation of natural resources in the county. This entails facilitating good governance for sustainable development of exceptional tourism products, rich cultural heritage of the Turkana people and natural resources (wildlife, rangelands and forests).

Museums, heritage and cultural sites

In 1984, the world-famous remains of ‘Turkana Boy’ was found in Nariokotome. He is 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. Recently, a monument and a brass replica of the skeleton were installed at the excavation site. The oldest-ever traced stone
tools with an estimated age of 3.5 million years serve as another example of the many significant archaeological discoveries in Turkana that have made international headlines.

Tourism centred on arts and culture contributes to the county’s local economic growth by providing diversified and sustainable means for creating jobs and attracting revenue and investments. Creative industries further provide direct economic benefits to the county through tourism and consumer purchases.

Finance, and Economic Planning

Department of Finance has Five (5) directorates headed by the directors. These are Accounting, Procurement, Revenue, Administration and Resource Mobilization.

The department has 273 staff including those on Contract. Revenue Department has the largest number of employees within the department. Deputy Director Treasury, Deputy Director Revenue, Director and Deputy Director Resource mobilization offices have been established.

The Department of Finance derives its mandate from the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and other related subordinate laws including Public Management Finance Act 2012, and County Government Act 2012. Some of the Powers include, but not limited to;

  • Issuing guidelines to accounting officers of the County Government or Public Officers employed by those entities, with respect to the financial affairs of that government, and monitoring compliance with those guidelines
  • Ensure County Government entities operate a financial management system that complies with National standards as prescribed by the Accounting Standards Board.

The department’s pivotal role in the coordination of development planning, mobilization of public resources and ensuring effective accountability for use of the resources for benefit of Turkana County.

The department has established an elaborate network through its established department’s, and sector institutions, to effectively deliver on its mandate.

The Turkana county treasury is responsible for providing accurate and timely information regarding the county’s financial affairs in the treasury.

The department has the following functions

  • Resource mobilize and Implement Financial and Economic policies in the county while also ensuring there is compliance with accounting standards as prescribed by Accounting Standards Board.
  • Managing County Government’s public debt and other obligations & developing debt control framework.
  • Consolidating Annual appropriation accounts and other financial statements of the County Government  and Custodian of the inventory of County Government  Assets
  • Ensure proper management and control of, and accounting for the finances of the County Government  and its entities in order to promote efficient and effective use of county budgetary resources
  • Maintenance of proper records for CRF, CEF and other public funds administered by County Government
  • Issue circulars and monitoring County Government  entities in implementation of the budget each FY
  • Strengthening financial and fiscal relations between the National  Government and County Government  in performing its function
  • Reporting regularly to the County Assembly  on the implementation of annual county budget

It has achieved the following

  • Operationalize the procurement, revenue and accounts units, and decentralized them to each sector, leading to a more efficient delivery of services.
  • Improved conformity to accounting and control measures IFMIS, PFM (hardware and software) in the County Treasury for better reporting, compliance with law and improved efficiency.
  • Established and maintained an asset register that ensures the use of more accurate data in financial reporting.
  • Full mapping of all the Accountants and Procurement officers to the IFMIS and subsequent training on the system use and on e-sourcing

Health & Sanitation

The Ministry of Health Services & Sanitation is one of the ten ministries in the County government mandated to deliberately build a progressive, responsive and sustainable technologically-driven, evidence-based and client-centered health system for accelerated attainment of highest standard of health to all Turkana residents.

Access to health services in the county has improved in the last four years. The doctor-population ratio stands at 1:20 000 compared to 1:70 000 in 2013, while the nurse-population ratio is 1:2310 compared to 1:5200 in 2013. The average
distance a person needs to travel to the nearest health facility dropped from 50 km in 2013 to 35 km in 2017. A majority (81.7%) of the population seek care from public clinics. In Turkana North, nearly 10% seek assistance from mobile clinics, the highest proportion in the county. Lodwar County Referral Hospital has a new intensive care unit, among other upgrades.

Nutrition Status

malnutrition, and skin, eye and ear infections (Department of Health and Sanitation, 2017). Malnutrition is one of the most critical issues for Turkana County to address in terms of its development ambitions and ensuring youth achieve their cognitive and growth potential. Global acute malnutrition (GAM) has been consistently high in the county since 2010, exceeding the WHO emergency thresholds of 15 percent. The trend shows no obvious recovery from the persistent shocks resulting from drought, floods and conflict.


The County Government only collects 0.2% of the community waste. This contributes to water, soil and air pollution and poses a health threat to communities. A sustainable waste management strategy is urgently needed in Turkana especially in line with rapid population growth
and expansion of urban centres. The County Government, through the Department of Lands, Energy, Housing and Urban Areas Management, has designated solid waste disposal sites and garbage collection has been strengthened, but waste disposal within Turkana County remains weak. The county does not yet have an elaborate liquid waste management system.

Lands, Energy, Housing and Urban Area Management

The Ministry of Lands, Survey, Housing, Physical Planning & Urban Area Management is one of the ten ministries in the County government mandated to formulate the County’s Land Policies and Regulations for effective land governance. As a ministry, our mission is to establish a system that promotes security of tenure, equitable access and control of land for sustainable socio-economic development of the people of Turkana County.

The County Government is pursuing partnerships with development actors to enhance energy access in the county. A priority is to maximize the utilization of available resources
including hydroelectric power, solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, and sustainably sourced wood fuels. Renewable energy development is a priority for Turkana. To improve the sector, there are several dimensions that need to be addressed, including developing a coherent policy framework, awareness raising and information exchange, robust resources data, enhanced technical skills, and energy storage. The recent discovery and access to oil resources has greatly influenced the energy sector.

Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries

The Ministry of Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries is mandated to improve livelihoods of the county residents through sustainable development and management.  Pastoral Economy is unquestionably the largest livelihood provider is the vast rural areas of the county thus innovative extension services are frequently carried out. Mainly by the shores of Lake Turkana, fishing is an important income generator while agriculture, concentrated along River Turkwel and irrigation schemes, continues to play a significant part in getting the county food secure.

Agricultural production is dominated by cereals. Households generally consume crops produced and sell the surplus for cash. Subsistence farmers grow sorghum, maize, cowpeas and green grams. Other crops include date palm, mangoes, local vegetables, kales, spinach, bananas and tomatoes. Crop production is restricted by the availability of water, soil nutrients, skilled labour, pests and diseases. The agricultural sector is often limited by poor transport, communication, storage and processing infrastructure (Turkana County Government, 2015). Food is imported from Kitale and Uasin Gishu counties, since most pastoralists do not practice crop farming.


Livestock in Turkana include goats and sheep, cows, camels, donkeys and poultry (mainly chicken) and pigs. Most of the breeds are indigenous. Products from livestock include milk,
beef, mutton, donkey meat (known locally as epong), hides and skins, bones, hooves, eggs and poultry meat. The quantities produced annually are: milk 10 million L, beef 286 million kg,
mutton 162 million kg, poultry meat 363 115.5 kg and 3 million eggs. The values of these products are estimated at: KSh165 million, KSh172 million, KSh130 million, KSh24 million and
KSh45 million respectively.

Public Service, Administration and Disaster Management

The Ministry of Public Service, Decentralized Administration and Disaster Management has a critical role of Supervision & Coordination of government ministries.

A well- managed disaster risk reduction will likely elicit a resilient, resistant and safe community; high level of community survivability to any hazard event; high community readiness to any hazardous event; create a cohesive community organization to manage disasters and continuously build the community capacity to reduce the impact of these events and by extension eliminate and reduce vulnerability to disasters.

The department has achieved the following among others

  • Construction of thirty (30) ward offices.
  • Purchase of thirty (30) ward admin vehicles.
  • Purchase of seven (7) sub county vehicles.
  • Purchase of seven(7) emergency response vehicles
  • Purchase of five (5) motor-cycles to ease logistical and administrative support services at the headquarters
  • Installation of vehicular HF radio equipment(12)
  • Civic education and public participation programme.
  • Capacity development of staff at various level
  • Training of county administrators on experimental leadership and command course
  • Designing and introduction of county administrators uniform
  • Regular emergency response through general food distribution.

Infrastructure, Transport and Public Works

The Ministry envisions providing better services to all county residents by Providing quality mechanical transport and plants services to enhance development and maintenance of roads and other related infrastructural works with view to support realization of the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP). The ministry is mandated to Construct, maintain and manage county roads networks as stipulated in the fourth schedule of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and to provide services to other departments in design, documentation and project implementation. The ministry comprises of the directorate of Administration, Infrastructure, Transport  and Public Works.

Turkana County has a total road network of approximately 9,000 km. Of these, 504.5 km are bitumen and the rest are dirt or gravel roads. A total of 5,100.2 km of roads in the county
were reclassified by Kenya Roads Board in 2017 (2,131.2 km as national roads and 2,969 km as county roads). Three international roads link Turkana to Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia. There is a further road under construction into South Sudan (Kitale – Nadapal), and the petroleum mining operations have also opened new access roads and improved
existing roads within their operating zones.


Turkana County is not connected to any rail network, however the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) is expected to pass through the county. The project envisages a 1,720 km standard gauge rail connection between the Kenyan coast and Juba in South Sudan, passing through Lodwar in Turkana County.


There is only one commercial airport in Lokichogio and 22 airstrips across Turkana County. The Lodwar airstrip is tarmacked but the rest are levelled ground. Five commercial airlines operate daily flights to Lodwar. This has significantly enhanced access to the county.

Water Services, Environment and Mineral Resources

The Constitution 2010 of Kenya chapter four gives what is popularly known as the Bill of Rights. Under section 43 it says every person has right to clean and safe water in adequate quantities. Furthermore the Fourth schedule gives the duties of Water Services as water and sanitation and storm water management systems in built- up areas. Section  42 also talks of Right to Clean and Healthy environment, which includes the right to the environment to be protected for the benefit of present and future generation, Mining section is a new section which has been created to enhance the exploration and exploitation of Mineral resources in the County for the Benefit of all.

The Ministry of Water, Environment and Mineral Resources is one of the ten ministries in the County government mandated to improve livelihoods of the people through development of Water infrastructure, rehabilitation of dilapidated water systems as well as promotion of environmental management and development of a viable mining industry capable of tapping into the un-explored mineral reserves in Turkana County. The Ministry has three main directorates namely; Water Services Environment and Mineral Resources and Gas.

This subsector includes water supplies for domestic and livestock use, Conservation and protection of Catchments. In supplies for domestic water, development of water infrastructure such a boreholes, shallow wells, springs, rock catchments are key while construction of water pans has been key to livestock water supply although construction of big dams is currently gaining popularity due the amount of water impounded and stored in these large and medium size dams. This department mandate also includes sanitation and hygiene. In fulfilling its mandate, the department has a number of functions that are core to its activities and are geared to ensuring that the department fulfils its mission and achieves its vision. The core functions of the department are key to the county’s development goals and are the basis for developing policy priorities. They include the operation and maintenance of water supplies and utilities,  conservation, control and protection of water catchment areas, which are largely found in forests and other ecosystems; rural and urban water development and supply especially ensuring water supply in rural pastoralist communities, provision of water for livestock and irrigation. Another critical function is wastewater treatment and disposal and rural sanitation and hygiene.












Last Update: December 20, 2021  

December 2, 2021 574 DEBORAH  Turkana County
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