Turkana County number 023 is located in North Western Kenya and is the only County sharing international boundaries with three countries; Uganda to the West, South Sudan to the North West and Ethiopia to the North East.
Its capital is Lodwar town.
According to the 2009 Kenya Population and Housing Census, the population for Turkana County was 855,399 people with a population density of 6.9 people per Km2. Age distribution was; 0-14 years at 46.0%, 15-64 years at 51.6% and 65+ years at 2.4%.
Tourist attractions in the County are Lake Turkana National Park, which is attributed to Lake Turkana, the world’s largest permanent alkaline desert lake located between Turkana and Marsabit Counties and covering an area of 6,405Km2. Its northern tip crosses into Ethiopia. It is fed by three rivers – the river Omo of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Turkwel and Kerio rivers. The lake is also called the Jade Sea because of its azure-green colour from algae in bloom.
Another attraction is Loiyangalani Desert Museum which is situated on a hill overlooking Lake Turkana. It was opened in 2008 and focuses on the lives of the eight communities living in the area; Turkana, El-molo, Rendille, Samburu, Gabbra, Watta, Boran and Dassanash (Merillle) and the natural environment in the harsh climate of the region.
Central Island National Park is an island park in Lake Turkana covering 5Km2. It has three scenic crater lakes – Crocodile, Flamingo and Tilapia and an active crater.
The County experiences desert climate characterized by warm and hot seasons. December to March is the hottest with scorching hot sun while June and July are the coolest months. Between May and September very strong winds blow most of the day. It experiences unreliable rainfall ranging between 300mm and 400mm per annum.
The total length of all classified roads in the county is 2,646.4Km with bitumen surface covering 319.2Km, gravel surface covering 296.7Km and 2030.5Km being surface.
Education and Literacy
As at 2007, the County had 202 Primary schools with an enrolment of 122,883 pupils and a teacher to pupil ratio of 1:51. There were 19 Secondary schools with an enrolment of 48,004 students and a teacher to pupil ratio of 1: 27.7.
The county has several two Tertiary Institutions.
The County has 3 Commercial Banks and 2 Micro-finance institutions.
There are a total of 127 health facilities spread across the county. The county has 3 District Hospitals, 2 Sub-District Hospitals, 91 Dispensaries, 6 Health Centres, 19 Medical Clinics, 3 Health Programs and three others.
Notable Hospitals include Lodwar, Katilu, and Lokitaung District Hospitals.
Prevalent Diseases: Malnutrition.
With the adoption of the new constitution in 2010 which ushered in the devolved system of governance, the Governor is the Executive authority in the County together with his Deputy, the Senator is to represent the County at the Senate and through the affirmation of women and youth rights, the Woman Representative is to represent the County’s women and youth issues at the National Assembly.
GOVERNOR: JOSPHAT NANOK
DEPUTY GOVERNOR: PETER LOTETHIRO EMURIA
SENATOR: MALACHY CHARLES EKAL IMANA
WOMEN REPRESENTATIVE: JOYCE AKAI EMANIKOR
Turkana County has six (6) constituencies divided into 30 electoral wards. Turkana West has the highest wards with 7, Turkana North has 6, Turkana Central and Turkana South have 5 each, Loima has 4 and Turkana East has the least with 3 wards.
The main economic activity in the County is pastoralism characterized by livestock rearing. Others are farming of sorghum and drought resistant maize, trade, fishing, weaving, and tourism.
The recent discovery of oil has brought in a fresh focus on Turkana County and the entire region as a whole with the economic status of the County expected to change forever after the drilling of the oil commences in the near future.
Other natural resources include gold and saltlicks.