The Department of culture and social services comprises of two main sub-sectors of culture and social services with distinct but complimentary functions.
Department of culture is mandated with preservation of the rich cultural heritage to build prosperity and cohesion among the diverse groups through activities such as cultural festivals, art work, talent promotion, traditional games, building archives and a Museum to preserve ( still ) cultures.
Currently, the department has established a human resource-cum Head office that is working on documentation of various cultural activities for the varied communities as well a resource centre for showcasing and record keeping at the County headquarters.
The department signed memorandum of understanding with national museums of Kenya as a blue print to regulate the operations of NMK in the County and as a result the department commissioned the project on the Desert Museum in loiyangalani at the shores of Lake Turkana.
Social Services target groups like women, children, persons with disabilities and older citizens (persons above the age of 60).
These are mostly groups (persons) who have been marginalized in the past and are vulnerable unless measures are put in place, the department intends to empower women, advocate for children’s rights, and empower persons living with disabilities and older persons by sourcing funds for them as a support measure.
The County is greatly endowed with resource features that have remained unknown to the world and that there is need to open up and promote the areas and resources to gain the real values of these gifts. The zones of the festival that encompass The Lake Turkana, The Islands, The Lake Flora and Fauna, Sibiloi National Parks, Khoobi Fora and its associated heritage sites as The Cradle of Mankind, Vast plains of volcanic rock out crops, breath taking Chalbi desert which is the only true desert in Sub-Saharan Africa, naturally designed sand dunes of North Horr and many of such phenomenon have made the festival site absolutely relevant.
The depart organize and host the annual Marsabit Lake Turkana cultural festival every year since 2013
Marsabit-Lake Turkana Cultural Festival initially Lake Turkana Cultural Festival is an annual community programme of the communities and The County Government of Marsabit. The programme goes back to the year 2008 when it was started through the initiatives of a local committee of Loiyiangalani town that lies on the eastern shore of Lake Turkana.
Though the motivations of its founders were limited to the local area and residing communities due to their resource and donor factors, the annual community programme has grown through multiple folds beyond dreams.
Marsabit County Government as her endeavors gave it a whole new perspective in developing the county and causing a positively changed and/or transformed society in all facets of economic development with emphasis on social-cultural transformations.
Through the event, the County has been credited with being the most culturally diverse in Kenya; being a home to fourteen culturally and identity distinct native communities namely: The Gabbra,Borana,Rendille,Burji,Somali,Waayyu,Garre,Konso,Sakuye,Sidamo,Samburu,
Turkana, the Dassanach and the El-Molo .
Cultural infrastructure Developments
The department has worked on establishment and renovations of essential facilities and infrastructure that were in poor state or not there before the county came to place,Major face lift was done at the site in loiyangalani to give the event an international standard and renovation of the desert museum.
The cultural diversity experienced in the county has made the department to construct social halls, handcraft centers and baraza parks in various parts of the county to facilitated social cultural activities within the targeted areas.
Social halls are community meeting place targeting women, youth and other organized social groups. The halls are going to be important in the dissemination of information especially on devolution and used during public participation on development matters.
Organized women and youth groups are facilitated to manage the halls to make the beneficial for the community and sustainable. The department constructed handcraft canters in strategic areas of high potential in producing handcrafts. The centres will improve and encourage community handcraft development by providing market and offering training that improves on quantity and quality of their products
Culture and social services department is the fabric that brings together over 14 different communities that stay in Marsabit County, and provide social programs that empower people in the county to participate in their social cultural development.