President Uhuru Kenyatta has expressed his commitment to ensuring devolution succeeds, days after MPs slashed allocation to counties to Sh291 billion from Sh299 billion.
State House spokesperson Manoah Esipisu on Sunday said the government is dedicated to ensuring devolution’s success and its commitment was backed by implementation efforts indicated by the President.
He said devolved functions were handed over to the counties well ahead of schedule and the national government provided funds in terms that exceeded the prescribed criteria.
“Constitutionally, the county governments are to be given at least 15 per cent of the total Budget. Currently, 42 per cent of the Budget is allocated to the counties,” said Mr Esipisu in Nyeri County.
He echoed President Kenyatta’s position that devolution has been a success.
“For instance, here in Nyeri County, Sh13 billion has been transferred to the county from the national government since 2013,” he said.
Mr Esipisu also announced that the President will meet governors while presiding over the fourth Annual Devolution Conference in Naivasha, Nakuru County.
“Discussions will be on the strides that have been made since 2013 when devolution was implemented. This is always an opportunity to take stock and review progress thus far in implementing devolution,” said Mr Esipisu.
He, however, said governors should address the health crisis in the country since the sector was devolved and that the national government “is just showing empathy by trying to solve the ongoing doctors’ strike”.
Citing some of the projects the government had funded in Central region, he backed the assertion that the Jubilee administration had ensured devolution was a success.
In Othaya, for instance, the government has constructed the Othaya water and sewerage project that serves 109,000 people and has been constructed at a cost of Sh850 million, said Mr Esipisu.
In Mukurweini, the Mukurweini water project serves 104,000 people and has been constructed at a cost of Sh598 million.
He said the first phase of the upgrading of Kinunga-Kamuyu road has been completed at a cost of Sh127 million whereas roads such as the Mweiga-Brookside-Kimathi University and the Naromoru-Munyu-Karisheni are ongoing and will be complete later in the year.
In relation to energy, he said, 370 primary schools are now connected to the grid, whereas on matters education, 136 primary schools are covered under the digital learning plan.
In Laikipia County, the government has funded the construction of the Nyahururu water and sanitation project at a cost of Sh1.5 billion, said the spokesman.
The government, he added, is also funding the construction of Rumuruti water supply to serve more than 40,000 people in Laikipia West constituency.
Mr Esipisu added that the government had funded the construction of 685 roads in Vihiga, Kakamega, Trans Nzoia and Bungoma counties at a cost of Sh37 billion.
“The 94-kilometre Matungulu-Nambale road has been constructed at a cost of Sh256 million, whereas the 82-kilometre Emuhaya-Butere-Kwhisero-Mumias East road has been constructed at a cost of Sh246 million,” said Mr Esipisu.
In Kakamega County, digital learning has been introduced in 400 primary schools, out of 880 and a total of 480 teachers have been trained in the county for this.
He said 804 primary schools in Kakamega were on the grid, which means only 76 schools were yet to be connected to electricity.
“In Kakamega County, a total of 76,190 households had been connected to the grid as at January 2017 up from 31,773 households in 2013,” said Mr Esipisu.
In terms of health care, Kakamega Leve Five and Malava Level Four are fully equipped under the Managed Equipment Services at a cost of Sh460 million and Sh380 million respectively, he said.