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More than half of counties spend zero on projects

Wednesday January 15 2020

Road construction

Road construction in Nyeri County. More than half of the counties spent nothing on development in the first quarter to September 2019. FILE PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NMG 

LYNET IGADWAH
By LYNET IGADWAH
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More than half of the counties spent nothing on development in the first quarter to September, hurting job creation and infrastructure projects in the devolved units.

The latest data from the Controller of Budget (CoB) shows that 25 of the 47 counties failed to spend on items like road revamp, water and sewerage networks in the period when the total spending by all devolved units on projects stood at Sh1.94 billion.

This is a 45 per cent drop compared to the Sh3.51 billion governors spent on development activities in a similar period a year ago.

“Development expenditure amounted to Sh1.94 billion, representing an absorption rate of 1.1 per cent and a decrease from two per cent attained in the first quarter of FY 2018/19 when total development expenditure was Sh3.51 billion,” said acting CoB Stephen Masha.

Development spending is critical to building infrastructure like roads and sewerage works and putting money in private hands through demand for raw materials, which ultimately creates new jobs.

County authorities are the biggest buyers of goods and services at the grassroots, meaning that reduced spending on projects has a negative impact on job creation and cash in circulation.

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During the period under review, Baringo, Bomet, Busia, Garissa, Homa Bay, Isiolo, Kajiado, Kisumu, Laikipia, Lamu, Mandera, Meru and Migori did not spend a coin on development activities.

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