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The law requires every county government in Kenya to produce a five-year planning document known as County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP). Today, we are focusing on that plan for Turkana County in Kenya.

The county is majorly made up of Turkana People who are pastoralists. However, there are Kenyans from other counties such as Kikuyu, Luos, Kisii, Kalenjin, and Kamba among others doing business or working for government, UN agencies and other organizations based in Turkana County. 

The population of Turkana County was expected to grow to 1,122,207 by 2017. The county has a youthful population. The fertility rate is estimated to be 7 children per woman in Turkana County. 


Under this section, I provide a snapshot of the health sector plans as provided in the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP 2018 – 2022). 

  • There are 13 hospitals, 19 health centres , 177 dispensaries and 168 community health units;
  • There are 5 health units serving refugees +& host communities in Kakuma camps and Kalobeyei Settlement;
  • Doctor to patient ratio stands at 1:20,000 compared to 1:70,000 in 2013;
  • 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;
  • Turkana County aims to increase number of medical staff to at least 21% by 2021;
  • Turkana County has a total of 2,270 Community Health Volunteers (CHVs)
  • – CHVs play a major role in antenatal care in villages;
  • Number of active CHVs is 55% due to poor motivation
  • Immunization coverage is estimated to currently be at 92.8%
  • Maternal mortality rate is over 1,000 per 100,000 live births;
  • Access to contraceptives has risen by 19.4% from 11% in 2013;

Education Sector 

The education sector plays a central role in development of any region of the world. 

  • Number of ECDE has increased from 662 centres in 2013 to 738 in 2017; 15 of which are in Kakuma Camps and Kalobeyei Settlement;

Primary Education 

  • (6-13 age group) 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). School attendance for children in the County is at 39%, which is far below the national school attendance of 70.9%. 1,701 teachers in 2018. This has improved the pupil-to-teacher ratio to 1 teacher per 102 pupils in early 2018; 

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. 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.

Governor’s Second Manifesto

Empowerment of youth, women, minorities and people with disabilities;

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) GOALS

Health and Well being – Goal 3

In Turkana County, Maternal mortality is over 1,000 per 100,000 and 23% of children suffer from stunted growth. Immunization level below the national level of 80% (WHO levels) and the distribution of health facilities does not meet WHO standards (required at 5 km apart). One in 10 women in Turkana County are acutely malnourished (9.4%), and these women have poorer birth outcomes and are more likely to deliver undernourished babies (UNICEF 2018) There are numerous causes for difficulties in achieving good health and well-being. These include issues related to low health professional staffing, distance to hospitals and inadequate access to health facilities, low immunization rates, high rates of home deliveries, inadequate referral systems, high rates of tropical water and insect borne diseases, communicable diseases, and lack of clean water and adequate sanitation. Loss of productivity of pastoral landscapes due to land degradation among other causes leads to inadequate incomes and loss of productive assets and low dietary diversity in vulnerable households. High illiteracy rates are also a contributing factor.

 Quality Education – Goal 4 

In Turkana, illiteracy affects 80% of the population. Key issues include inadequate education facilities, low teacher to pupil ratios, low enrollments, as well as low retention and transition rates. Education is viewed as a critical factor in ensuring the capacity to address multiple sustainable development goals, however, there are numerous issues that hinder education including cultural practices (that limit girls’ education or encourage early child marriages), poverty levels, conflict and insecurity, and malnutrition leading to poor cognitive performance, among others. Evidence shows that the education of girl children is in the top ten practices to address climate change.

Gender Equality – Goal 5

Turkana County has a high gender inequality index of 0.65, higher than the national government average. Women carry out the majority of the labor in Turkana County with work including farming, family care, cooking, firewood collection, water collection, etc. As is the case, across Kenya, many women and girls in Turkana face discrimination as a result of cultural practices and unequal rights to economic resources. There is low access to education, especially for teenage girls. Issues of violence are prevalent and forced marriages affect school age girls. Girls are often held back from their education. While women are taking on roles in county level decision making, there is a need to ensure women and girls are empowered to have effective representation and participation in social, political and economic spheres, adding their voice to governance issues. Harmful cultural practices are an obstacle to their maximum participation in this; forced child marriages and gender based violence are key examples.


  • Expand, scaling up ongoing investments and development
  • Invest in school infrastructure and establish scholarship Trust fund and increase the allocation of the skill development bursary
  • Increased investment in early childhood development centres (ECDCs)
  • Provision of nutrition rich foods e.g. fortified flour, milk, lentils, green grams etc

Turkana County plans to spend at least Ksh. 7,739 million under the CIDP 2018-2022 on health and sanitation with the largest chunk of Ksh. 4,460 million expected to be allocated towards preventive and promotive healthcare services.

Education Sport and Social Protection 

A total of Ksh. 14,364 million is expected to be spent on this sector out of which Ksh. 8,930 million expected to be spent on ECDE.


Sector activity




Early Childhood Nutrition

Support Programme

To provide adequate nutrients for children 0-7 years old with rich nutrition that will enhance the child’s learning capacity. This involves provision of high nutritional grains e.g. green grams, lentils, fish, fortified flour with essential vitamins, enriched milk etc

2 500

Sub-county hospitals upgrading

Turkana county has 10 sub county Hospitals. These are not meeting standards in terms of infrastructure, Human resources, equipment and levels of specialized services offered. The intention is to upgrade them to level 4 status. The effect will be reduce number of referrals toLodwar County Referral Hospital (LCRH) distances covered & improve diversity of specialised services offered.


Human resource for health

Turkana health workers population not meeting the Kenyan recommended staffing norms and W.H.O standards currently we are operating at 8% of recommended WHO staffing standards. As more health facilities continue to be constructed the need for human resources for health increases


County referral hospital upgrading

LCRH is operating as level 4, the intention is to upgrade it to level 5, through upgrading of infrastructure, etc. to be graded as an internship/teaching centre


Universal Health care – Social insurance cover (NHIF) for 80000 families in the first 5 years

Per the Governor’s Manifesto and the “Big Four” of Vision 2030, universal healthcare to reach the most disadvantaged will be undertaken.


Expansion, upgrading and rehabilitation of health infrastructure

The objective is to ensure that health facilities are up to standard and serving disadvantaged populations


Multi-sector coordination mechanism to address acute and chronic malnutrition through establishment of high–impact nutrition specific and sensitive flagship projects in each sector; A multi-sector coordination mechanism anchored in the department of Agriculture designed along the Kenya food and nutrition security policy defined to spearhead the projects in each sector

Address acute and chronic malnutrition of women, children, elderly and other disadvantaged groups.









Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE)

Construction of new ECDE model centres and six per ward


Sports stadiums (Lodwar, Lokichar and Kakuma) UNHCR and PPP

To establish and operationalize a sports stadium that will help address sports talents gaps and their training facilities being composed of stalls/stands, field track, gymnasium, sports arena, latrines, talent academy, admin block, ablution block, tartar carpet, stand by generator, fencing, sports equipment etc.


Establish Turkana Higher Education Loan Scheme (THELS) – Under the Office of the Governor

To provide adequate bursary in a sustainable manner for the current and future generations






Immunization coverage



Skilled deliveries



Exclusive breastfeeding



Average distribution of facilities

12 km

4 km

Increase access , retention and transition of ECDE pupils





A total of Ksh. 172,263 million is required in order to implement all the plans in the Turkana County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP 2018-2022). Out of which the health and Sanitation sector will need Ksh. 18,020 million to ensure residents of Turkana enjoy their right to health. Finally, the education sector projects and plans will require Ksh. 14,364 million by the end of 2022. 

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