Environment and Natural Resource Governance – Focus on Turkana
Turkana County is located in North-Western Kenya and is surrounded by West Pokot and Baringo Counties to the South, Samburu County to the South East, and Marsabit County to the East. It also borders South Sudan to the North, Uganda to the West and Ethiopia to the North East.
The county is endowed with many natural resources including sun, oil and minerals like gold. It is deemed to have the largest gold deposits in the country because even from a closer look, there are many areas within the county that people practise mining of gold but on small scales. The county has ten blocks of oil deposits that are now under exploration.
The county is administratively divided into six sub-counties: Loima, Turkana Central, Turkana North, Turkana South, Turkana East and Turkana West. It has 30 wards, 17 divisions and 56 locations that are further sub-divided into 156 sub-locations. According to the KPHC, 2009 results, the county population was 855,399 (52 % males and 48% females). Settlement pattern in the county is determined by climate, soil fertility and availability of infrastructure. The Turkana County Integrated Development Plan (2018-2022) and Environment Policy 2018 identify the following environment challenges:
- poor solid waste management;
- air, water and noise pollution;
- climate change;
- radioactive emissions due to mineral and gas mining;
- over stocking.;
- unregulated charcoal production;
- proliferation of advertising billboards;
- soil degradation;
- prevalence of plastics; and
- non rehabilitation of quarrying and mining sites.