Members of Kakamega County Assembly on Tuesday afternoon approved the proposed County Budget Estimates for the Financial Year (FY) 2020/2021 of Kshs. 15.5 Billion of which Kshs. 8.72 Billion will cater for  Recurrent expenditure while Kshs. 6.80 Billion goes into  Development programs.
Presiding over the session, Speaker of the County Assembly, Rt. Hon. Morris Indakwa Buluma said the session was a unique one following the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic that saw only a few Members of County Assembly (MCAs) allowed in the Chambers to deliberate on the Budget report.
Out of the Development budget allocation, the ministries of Agriculture, Health Services, Transport and Education were the main beneficiaries with each getting Kshs. 1.07B, Kshs1.06B, Kshs. 1.64B and Kshs. 0.65B respectively.
Followed closely by  the Ministry of Social Services, Youth & Sports with a Development allocation of Kshs. 0.64B.
While presenting the Budget in the House, the chairperson to the Budget and Appropriations committee, Hon. Willis Opuka told members that his committee had noted with a concern the trend at which conditional grants meant for the County had drastically reduced since the inception of Counties in  the 2013/2014 FY.
The County has been receiving grants but the County Assembly has never received detailed reports on the same for accountability,” said Hon. Opuka, adding that in the 2020/2021 FY,  grants have reduced across the board by 30%.
Under Health Services Ministry, Kshs. 180M was allocated for construction of the County Teaching and Referral Hospital with Kshs. 655M being under conditional grants.
Ward-based projects have been factored in 3 key ministries.
In the Ministry of Transport, Kshs. 300M was allocated for the 10KM per Ward Roads with each Ward getting Kshs. 5M.
County Youth Services has been allocated Kshs. 350M, each Ward receiving Kshs. 5.8M and Electrification was allocated Kshs. 100M to acquire  2 transformers per Ward.
Health Services has been allocated Kshs. 57M for National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) meant to cater for Universal Access to Health care.
Education Ministry has been allocated Kshs. 175M for construction of Early Childhood Development Education Centres (ECDEs) with each Ward getting Kshs. 2.92M.
 Ward Bursaries were  allocated Kshs. 2M per Ward totaling to Kshs. 120M.
The Ministry of Agriculture in consultation with Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research     (KALRO) has set aside Kshs. 5M to distribute day-old chicks on subsidy basis to farmers.
According to the Budget Committee report on the Budget Estimates, plans are underway to build more cattle dips and renovate existing ones in Likuyani Sub-County at a cost of Kshs. 1.5M.
Under farm mechanization, Kshs. 30M has been allocated to procure small horsepower farm equipment from India while Kshs. 10M will  facilitate normal operations like repairs and wages for machine operations.
In support of the Budget report, the Majority Chief Whip, Hon. Dickson Ombayo and the chairperson to the committee on Finance and Economic Planning, Hon. David Ikunza applauded Education Ministry’s move to roll out pilot program on ECDE Centres feeding program ,which will take Kshs. 10M.
The two County legislators, however, urged the Ministry to move with speed and develop a scheme of service that will see ECDE teachers get remunaration.
Other legislators who supported the Budget are; the immediate former Leader of Minority, Hon. David Ndakwa, Hon. Bonface Osanga, incoming Minority Whip, Hon. Benson Mulinya, Hon. Harrison Shikuku, Hon. Lystone Ambundo  among others.
In his remarks, Hon. Ndakwa said the Budget had factored people’s concerns and was worth supporting since it meant good for Kakamega County residents.
The committee further recommended that information on geographical location of projects was necessary to ascertain equitable resource allocation, openness and accountability as stipulated in  Article 201 (a) of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.

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