IOM Kenya's Senior Operations Officer and Programmes Coordinator, Michael Pillinger, in December 2014 held talks with the Deputy Governor of Turkana County, Peter Lekoel, during a 2-day familiarization tour of IOM projects in Turkana County.
Pillinger and the Deputy Governor discussed ways to deepen IOM’s cooperation with the County Government towards assisting the vulnerable communities in the County.
“We stand to be guided by the Turkana County Government, to indicate how IOM’s technical and operational support can best complement and serve the County and the people of Turkana,” he said during the talks.
On his part, Mr. Lekoel expressed his desire to see a closer working relationship between the County and IOM and hailed the various programmes IOM is implementing on the ground. Some of the projects, he visited in his maiden visit in Lodwar included the fish market, basketry shed and Lodwar youth polytechnic where IOM sponsored students are undertaking vocational skills training. In Kakuma he toured the vocational training centre, the peace centre, treated borehole, car wash and the now popular community radio station, ‘Ataneyeche FM’.
“I had the opportunity to visit projects being implemented by IOM in Turkana County in support of the vulnerable populations which we serve. I am glad to see that the interventions undertaken by IOM, each in their own unique way, are having a very positive impact on the livelihood of individuals and their families,” said Mr. Pillinger.
During his interactions with beneficiaries he lauded the projects and their positive impact on the people and also stressed the need for sustainability.
“I was equally impressed by the fact that the projects have stood the test of time because they are sustainable and IOM is keen to keep up with this momentum. Yet, we must realize that there are many people still in need of assistance and our efforts to support them, their families and societies, must continue in this same direction and with the same inspiration and tireless effort,” he added.
During the tour, Pillinger was accompanied by Head of Migration Crisis Response Unit, Ahmed Sharif.
Pillinger joined the IOM Kenya mission in September and will have overall responsibility for overseeing IOM Operations and Programmes in the Kenya Country Office.