LTWP rehabilitates community clinic in Laisamis

LTWP rehabilitates community clinic in Laisamis

Residents of Korr Location in Laisamis Constituency will no longer be forced to travel for a long distance to access medical facilities.

Earlier this week, the Buriaramia Dispensary was officially handed over to the Buriaramia community after a refurbishment, which included installation of a solar power system, a refrigerator for vaccines, renovation of medicine stores, provision of equipment for the wards and the installation of an additional water storage system.

The renovations were carried out under the Lake Turkana Wind Power’s (LTWP) Winds of Change Foundation together with Vestas Wind Systems (Vestas). “Winds of Change” is the foundation covering LTWP’s Corporate Social Responsibility program. Currently, the initiative works in partnership with the County Government, local leaders, NGO’s and community based organization’s to improve the livelihood of the communities in this part of Marsabit County.

Speaking during the handover ceremony, Phylip Leferink, LTWP’s General Manager, said, “The refurbished health center is the result of a long relationship established between the project and the communities. The government has done a lot in ensuring that there is sufficient supply of medicine and personnel in the clinic, however it was hectic for the resident nurse who has to make a daily trip to a clinic 5KM away in order to access the refrigerated medication.

Basically, what we did as LTWP was to collaborate with the local leaders and other players to enhance the health service delivery for this particular community”, he further explained.

On their part, Jacinta Murunga, Vestas Kenya CSR Manager, said, “Vestas has installed turbines in 75 countries across the globe and for all of our projects engaging with the local community is pivotal. Lake Turkana Wind Power is no different and we are thus very happy that our community engagement has allowed us to support the refurbishment of the Buriaramia dispensary”.

Lake Turkana Wind Power Limited and Vestas are currently setting up a 365 turbine wind farm in Sarima, Loiyangalini Division, Marsabit County. When operating at full capacity, Lake Turkana Wind Power is expected to add 310 megawatts of clean energy into Kenya’s grid, enough to power more than two million households.

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ENHANCING EMPLOYABILITY

 

This pillar focuses on access to education and development of skills for the labor market. In 2015, WoC provided books and pens to 18 primary schools. WOC also distributed 500 desks to 23 primary in South Horr, Arge, Mercy, Namarei, El Molo bay and other parts of Laisamis constituency.

 

WoC has identified the extension of Sarima School, the construction of facilities at Nyiro boys and Nyiro Girls School as key focus areas for the education pillar in 2016. WoC will also continue to support the provision of teaching materials to local primary schools.

 

WoC is in discussions with the Marsabit South Technical Institute to determine the nature and type of investments it can make to support development of vocational skills in Laisamis. This is expected to boost tertiary education as well as enhance future employability in the area. This project will be launched during the operational phase of the wind farm.

 

WoC is also planning to set up a scholarship fund for secondary and vocational education in the area.

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ENHANCING ACCESS TO HEALTH

 

The expansive but sparsely populated project area, coupled with years of under-investment in the sector has resulted in limited access to health services by the local communities. WoC support to health focusses on enhancing access to health services by upgrading physical infrastructure and during operation of the windfarm, partnering with stakeholders to support targeted outreach programs.

 

WoC has supported the improvement of health facilities at Burri-Aramia dispensary (solar lighting, vaccine freezer, shelving for medical supplies and furniture including examination ward and delivery beds and patient toilets among other items.)

 

WoC has also contracted a local organization – Community Empowerment Development Initiative Marsabit (CEDIM) to undertake HIV/AIDS sensitization campaigns. CEDIM has trained 17 Community Health Workers (CHWs) and attached them to existing government run health facilities to sensitize and educate the local population on matters around HIV/AIDS. In2015, WoC carried out a three-month HIV/AIDS awareness and testing campaign in around the wind farm site.

 

In future, WoC plans to support Marsabit County in the upgrading of facilities at Laisamis health centre and other health centres in the area.

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PROVIDING WATER

 

Due to the arid nature of Marsabit, water is a scarce commodity. LTWP has spearheaded the rehabilitation of several water boreholes and water supply points. The water points that have been rehabilitated include; Arge, Laga el fereji, Namarei, Kutider-Korr, Gatab III and El Molo.

 

WoC has installed a solar driven reverse osmosis system in Sarima village. In addition, WoC has built watering troughs in different parts of the constituency, to ease provision of water to livestock. There were no reported livestock deaths due to droughts in 2015 following construction of watering troughs in the dry season grazing area around Gatab.

 

WoC has also installed solar driven pumps to rehabilitated boreholes that had pump problems. On completion of the LTWP’s construction phase, 11 boreholes will be handed over to the community.

 

In 2016 WoC plans to build a 100,000 litre storage tank at Gatab III to ensure that there is adequate supply of water to the community and their livestock during periods of drought. WoC will also lay a 7-km water pipeline in Arge, to bring potable water to two villages of over 3,000 people in Arge.

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OTHER COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

 

WoC has rolled out a road safety campaign along the recently upgraded C77 public road between Laisamis and Sarima. CEDIM is the local partner implementing this activity, and they have already recruited and trained 12 people from centers and villages along the Laisamis-Sarima road to act as road safety educators.

 

In support of peaceful and secure communities, WoC has built accommodation for the Administration Police and extended the existing Police office in Loiyangalani.

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