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Project teams from the seven Symbiocity pilot counties came together to take stock of where the project is in view of the change in leadership in the Counties as well as implementation from of the next phase of the project i.e. the change projects
Ms. Jaqueline Mogeni while addressing the project coordinators, CEC’s urban planning, and their finance and procurement teams said that the benefits of the project need to outlive the project life so that citizens own the benefits of the project. “In essence at the end of the project it is important that the community is involved and signs the completion certificate to show satisfaction with the job done,” she added.
As project enters change project implementation phase the team came together to review status challenges and lessons learnt in order to carry themselves to the next phase. Discussions centered on concrete plans on sustainability of the projects as the projects. Here are some of the plans the Counties have to ensure that the project remains sustainable.
dennis“In Kiminini, the County through the CEC lands fronted the Symbiocity Program into the plans for the year and thus was included in the County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs). Incidentally, the County’s CIDP has borrowed a lot from the workings of Symbio City program and it targets to transform other urban areas in Trans-Nzoia County using the Symbio approach. The County has hired six new sweepers in the proposed region to help assist in waste management, collection of wastes and cleaning the streets. Unclogging exercise kicked off through the Ministry of Works who will be undertaking quarterly maintenance on this. One public toilet constructed by the county to be handed over to the community for management on behalf of the County. It is expected that they will collect revenue and use part of it to operationalize and manage it and maintain the resource centre. The County wants to use the approach in planning other towns within the County”- Dennis Waswa

millicent“In Butere, the team has enjoyed support from the Symbiocity Kenya program especially capacity building on management, communication and Monitoring & Evaluation. The County Government together with the people support the project fully which has been a plus towards its implementation. The County has equally planned for the project in its CIDP thus budgeted for in the budget 2018/19 financial year. The County needs to acquire more land and form a robust Private Public Partnerships to help in managing the small projects in the Change Project and to ensure full engagement of the community and sense of inclusivity. Gazettement of Butere town to a township status will improve management of the region moving forward. The County may also consider having establishing more staff in Butere especially in the urban planning department. This expertise shall ensure that all the planning done during Symbiocity Program shall be implemented to the latter.”- Millicent Cherotich

Onunga

“Every line ministry implementing the project has a line budget to support implementation of the project under operations and maintenance. The Ministry of Physical planning has allocated 7M for land purchases as a development project and 3M under recurrent. The town has project agent Voluntary Champions who are charged with the responsibility of creating awareness and sensitizing the community on the project benefits while advocating for effective community involvement to foster ownership. Collection of fees and charges will be managed by the community through formation from a trust board over sighted by the County and ploughed back into the project. It is expected that the champions will spearhead this. A monitoring and evaluation team from both County and Ahero is in place to ensure program progresses ad planned, engagement of labourers paid by the County line Ministry of Trade and environment and lastly partnerships with friendly agencies and development partners like, KISIP, UNICEF, LVEMP and academia.”- Mr. Onunga Sospeter

Naomi“Nakuru County has partnership with NARUWASCO which is responsible for water supply in the entire county, apart from Nakuru and Naivasha municipalities. NARUWASCO will regulate the water prices and manage the water kiosks which will also serve as information centres on sustainable water use. Funds from the activities (photocopying services, small scale shop and eco toilet) at the water kiosks will be used in operation and maintenance of the kiosks and profit for the registered groups that will be running them. Further, the county government through the department of infrastructure will be maintaining the drainage system that will be constructed. This will promote project sustainability and community ownership of the project.”- Naomi Murang’a

 

Njambi“Kwa Vonza the University Town in Kitui County, the technical staff are the drivers of the project to ensure that institutional memory transverses time even with change of government. We have instituted market committees and in conjunction with ministry of trade (CGoK) training happening. As an Arid and Semi-Arid Area that receives interest from donor, we have encouraged Public Private Partnership to provide technical support.

For spatial planning, development control will be efficiently implemented. The County has embraced quick wins and change project and all projects coming up must have this incorporated.”- Njambi Kiburio

Richard“In Homabay, Kshs. 23 million has been allocated towards implementation of Symbiocity related projects in Mbita Town. We have mainstreamed Symbiocity within the CIDP meaning the departments will be able to use it to bargain for funds towards improvement of the urban areas. We trust that the planned for stalls and cold storage units will generate money through payment of user fees thus generating funds for the County Government of Homabay for facilitating operations and management of the Symbiocity Investments. Homabay County has also mainstreamed solid waste management in its CIDP 2018 -2022 by allocating funds to among other purchase solid waste dumping sites as well as ensuring routine solid waste collection and disposal.” Richard Bonyo

Musyoka“The Change project from Ontulili town in Meru County seeks to improve the status of the town through a modern mixed integrated market. In realizing this, the County has identified the development of gateway towns as a strategic aspect towards the realization of the county’s vision of ‘a united prosperous green model county’, with planned interventions including the development of Integrated Spatial Plans and investment in the development of appropriate urban infrastructure. So we will replicate the SymbioCity approach to other gateway towns in Nkinyanga, Keria, Subuiga and Murera. Moreover, we have put in place infrastructure like gravelling the roads, garbage collection to address the needs of the residents around. I believe that sustainability will be based on partnership with relevant County departments, market committee and residents agreeing on how the different components of the facilities will be managed. In fact, the current improvements are already attracting an appetite for private sector investment in the area.”- Jefferson Musyoka

Busia Governor H.E Sospeter Ojamoong emerges the inaugural winner of the Performance for Results trophy after Busia County was named the top county by the World Bank over its high performance in service delivery and prudence public finance management. This was unveiled during the launch of the KDSP Level II grants funding for County Investments worth 1.95B held at the Laico Regency in Nairobi.
Busia County, emerged top after meeting five key results areas in the implementation of the Kenya Devolution Support Program (KDSP) phase I that targeted 13 other counties benefited from a KSh553million conditional grant up from Ksh44million it received in phase I that extended to counties through the Support Programme.
These included prudent public finance management, planning, monitoring and evaluation, human resource and performance management, civic education and public participation, and environmental and social safeguards.
In his opening remarks, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Devolution and ASAL, Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, EGH lauded Busia for their exemplary performance and assured them of the National Government’s continued support to County Governments to make Devolution work and make the implementation of the Big Four Agenda a reality. CS Wamalwa proceeded to present a dummy cheque of KSh1.95 billion to Governors and representatives of the 13 counties.
Busia Governor H.E Sospeter Ojamoong flanked by acting County Executive Committee Member for Finance Phaustine Barasa, CECM for Public Works Okwara Ekirapa, County Secretary Nicodemus Mulaku and Chief of Staff Sebastian Okiring said, that the County will continue to invest funds in projects that focus on the big four agenda mainly health and agriculture, adding that he will personally ensure that there's value for money in implementing these projects.
Nyandarua which finished second received KSh282m with Makueni contented with KSh168m after taking third position.
Other governors present included CoG vice chair H.E Anne Waiguru, H.E Prof Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni), H.E Stanley Kiptis (Baringo) and H.E Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua).

Thursday, 09 August 2018 11:19

NOTHING SHOULD BE CALLED WASTE

It is two weeks after 25 waste management champions in Ahero got trained on how to collect and manage better, solid waste, and many of them are already doing what they learnt. Trader Phoebe Ochieng’, 37, loathes waste but did not know what to do with it. “I would never have imagined that there was income in waste,” she states. Now Phoebe collects waste and separates it to compost what can make manure, and sell what can be reused, like metal, plastic and glass bottles.

The chairman of the newly trained champions, 52-year-old George Oluoch, previously burnt waste, but has since learnt better ways of disposal. “Since I started separating waste, I’ve realised that there is a lot that I can sell. Indeed nothing should be called waste,” he states. The group coined the slogan, “my environment, my responsibility”, to ensure that all residents of Ahero effectively dispose of their waste.

Another champion, Caroline Abwao, attended a similar training in the past, but could not sustain championing of proper waste management. The approach was wrong, she says. “The SymbioCity Approach is better as we, champions, are members of the community,” she says.

The champions will jointly lead waste management in Ahero. They will train and demonstrate to the community waste separation, composting and reuse. They will show residents how to clean and dispose of market waste, every Wednesday, after Tuesday market days. “The biggest challenge we face is ignorance. No one wants to be associated with waste. Many people undermine those who collect waste,” another champion, Michael Ogolla, 30, shares.

For two years, Michael has generated compost fertilizer for his crops. But now he wants to increase the amount of manure to sell. He plans to train and work with fellow youth to collect agricultural waste from Ahero Market and from neighbours’ homes.
Training of the 25 waste management champions is a step towards better collection and management of solid waste in Ahero. According to the assistant pilot coordinator for SymbioCity Kenya Programme in Ahero, Sospeter Onunga, the new waste management system aims at reducing the volumes of waste to the landfill.

Thursday, 09 August 2018 09:56

UNCLOGGING AHERO DRAINAGES

Not so long ago, a road that runs parallel to Ahero Market was impassable. Businesses crowded the roadside and many temporary shop structures balanced riskily above a septic sewer line behind the market wall. Whenever it rained, the sewage mingled with storm water, flooding the shops, overflowing the roads and draining into River Nyando. Hygiene was deplorable and residents stared terrible communicable and infectious diseases in the eye.

Thankfully the SymbioCity Kenya Project in Ahero has since persuaded the traders to relocate to safer sites. The project is improving drainage in the town, to reduce flooding, and enhance the flow of clean water into the river. River Nyando runs across the town and flows under a bridge on the highway.

Canals that run along the highway are also being cleaned and waste has been removed from illegal dumping sites. A green park is forming across the market, along the river, at a place that was formerly a dumping site. It is hoped that such improvements will inspire the community to support improved waste management, the creation of a more economically supportive green park, and overall order in the town.

Meanwhile, the traders who moved from the sewer line and others who are yet to be relocated from informal stalls along roads and the highway await the new market stalls and shed that the project plans to put up. “There is a lot of hope in Ahero as the SCK project takes shape. Residents are already seeing the benefits of the project. Going forward, we hope for more cooperation,” shares Charles Ogada, the chairman of the SCK technical working group for Ahero.

The County Government, through the County Executive Committee Member for Environment in Kisumu County, Salmon Orimba, has also promised to build a sewage treatment plant in addition to improving the sewer line in Ahero Town. Ahero will also have a large waste sorting plant complete with skips to ensure that waste is transferred to the landfill daily.

The Council of Governors hosted a delegation from the Namibian National Council Standing Committee on Habitat. Led by its top leadership, Committee Chairperson Hon. Sipapela Cletius Sipapela and Vice Chairperson Hon. Betty Beatrice Kaula, the delegation were in a fact finding mission in the country to find out ways of promoting balanced urban development so as to come up with ways of tackling housing shortages and an increase of urban slums at an alarming rate in Namibia.
On receiving the delegation, CoG CEO Ms. Jacqueline Mogeni, welcomed them and briefed them about the Council and its activities through its Secretariat. She commended the delegation for having chosen to learn from one another and that the Council regarded Namibia highly in that it had invited the Namibian Prime Minister as the Chief Guest during the 4th Devolution Conference held in Naivasha in 2017.
In his opening remarks, Head of delegation and Chairperson of Namibian National Council Standing Committee on Habitat, Hon. Sipapela Cletius Sipapela noted that Namibia being a young democracy was keenly interested in learning from Kenya, adding that the country had entrenched a 50- 50 Policy representation had to be on equal gender measure. In terms of governance structure, Sipapela elaborated that Namibia had a bicameral system whereby the National Assembly and National Council are one of its top level institutions.
Vice Chairperson Hon. Betty Beatrice Kaula, in her remarks said that although the country was a Unitary State, with three systems of power, Namibia had 14 regions similar to Counties with 121 Constituencies with 57 Municipalities (districts) and village Councils, was yet to fully reach devolution level.
Ms. Kaula, reiterated that in Namibia, Regional Governors are Presidential appointees and represent the central government in a given region as established under regional County Act of 1922, unlike Kenya where they are elected appointees of the people. This has proved challenging in that appointment of Governors limited implementation of some of the initiatives in comparison to being elected and that Namibia do not have a sort of an association like CoG that brings them together.
On issues of Urbanization, Hon. Lotto Kuushomwa, a member of the committee said both Namibia and Kenya face similar challenges in their various urban areas this is despite the stringent efforts by relevant organs to ensure the balance of resources especially in terms of service delivery.

Tuesday, 07 August 2018 11:42

IMPROVING HEALTH SERVICES IN THE COUNTIES

County Executive Committee Members in charge of health held their monthly coordination meeting on 30th and 31st July 2018 in Naivasha with CECs in charge of Health from the 47 counties, representatives from NHIF, Ministry of Health, KEMSA and UNICEF in attendance.
The agenda of the meeting was to sensitize the CECs on NHIF operations, get feedback from the counties, update the counties on the UHC Program and the Health Benefits Package, orientation on the Kenya Health Sector Strategy 2019-2013 and partnership framework, draft MoU between Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) and Governments to discuss matters on Human Resources for health in counties.
The Health Benefits package advisory panel continues to develop what can be describes and the minimum package to every Kenyan even as we move towards Universal Health Coverage. The panel at this point is moving to engage with county assemblies in order to increase awareness on UHC agenda and ownership by county assemblies and enactment of county laws and allocation of adequate funding for health. However, there is need for public education to Kenyans on UHC agenda and how they will benefit. Adequate legislation must also be enacted or amended to support the UHC agenda.
Health is one of the fully devolved functions and for Universal Health Coverage to work effectively, County Governments must align their systems and structures towards its implementation. In agreement to this, the Council of Governors and counties will engage more in strengthening county systems for better management of NHIF facilities that is key towards achievement of UHC.
NHIF us currently tasked with educating the public on their products and services for the benefit of Kenyans and will work closely with County departments of health to educate Kenyans at the grassroots. Currently, NHIF is strengthening their systems to be more responsive to claim reimbursements e.g. capacity building of staff at facilities, speed up processes of reimbursements, issuance and effectiveness of cards after registration and County departments of health should do systems and processes analysis to identify gaps for strengthening in preparing quality assurance, adequate documentation for submission of claims for reimbursements.
The CEC’S were on also taken through the Kenya Health Sector Strategy 2019-2023, partnership framework, Community Health Policy where CECs were requested to give their feedback and Draft MOU between Faith Based Organizations (FBOs) and County Governments as well as engage with KEMSA on issues of medical supplies.

The Water, Forestry and Mining Committee in collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Sanitation held a consultative forum on the National Water Policy 2018 on 27th July 2018 at Lake Naivasha Sawela Lodge which was attended by the Chair of the Committee, H.E Kiraitu Murungi, Vice-Chair of H.E Dr. Wilber Ottichilo and CECMS, Chief Officers and Directors in charge of Water, Environment and Natural Resources.
The objective of the meeting was for County Governments to provide inputs into the Draft Water Policy. Some of the key issues raised included the need for consultation and collaboration between the two levels of government. The following were resolutions from the meeting:
•Ministry of Water and Sanitation to consider the memorandum submitted by COG on the National Water Policy.
•The National Water Policy Steering Committee to review submissions from COG and incorporate into the National Water Policy.
•The Ministry to organize another meeting with the Council of Governors to review the Policy.
•Need to fast track implementation of the Water Intergovernmental Coordination framework
•The Ministry to write to the regional Water Boards to collaborate with Counties in implementing project at the Counties
•The Ministry to write to Water Resource Authority on consultation with Counties on water abstraction permits and management of water resources.

The Frontier Counties Development Council in collaboration with Water Sector Trust Fund and USAID/ AHADI on 10th and 11th July held a meeting with Governors from the Frontier Counties for purposes of signing an MoU with them for implementation of water related projects.
All the 9 Governors from the frontier Counties (Mandera, Marsabit, Wajir, Garissa, Lamu, Tana River, Turkana, Isiolo and West Pokot) signed the MOUs with the Water Sector Trust Fund.
The Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) are mandated to promote, coordinate and facilitate the active and extensive participation of all sectors to effect the socioeconomic development of its member counties through a holistic and integrated approach to promote and strengthen inter-regional linkages to ensure the increased viability of the Frontier county-wide and/or Frontier county-specific programs and projects.
As per the MoU that was signed it offers investment opportunities in areas of Rural water and sanitation, Urban water and sanitation, Water resource management, climate change and disaster management, Result based and commercial financing as well as Research and special programmes.
The MOU also outlines acceptable partnership frameworks of how WSTF will work with frontier counties. This framework includes capacity building of county staff on diverse water issues, funding legal entities at the county level on water and sanitation & water resource projects, transparency, accountability, equity and will mainstream good governance, gender, climate change mitigation, HIV/AIDS, and inclusion of people living with disability while targeting underserved area.
Some of the roles expected from the beneficiary counties include screening and selecting eligible projects from legal entities for funding to WSTF amongst others.
West Pokot County becomes the ninth County to join FCDC. Speaking during the meeting, HE Prof. John Lonyangapuo expressed his joy to join the Council stating that the County of West Pokot is set to benefit through the projects under the FCDC as well as the collaboration between the Counties.
HE Prof Lonyangapuo and the Count Government of West Pokot will host the next FCDC meeting in Kapenguria, West Pokot County on 12th September 2018, where member Counties will provide progress on the projects as per the MOUs signed.

The Council of Governors in partnership with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and UN Women jointly organized a briefing workshop on the Development of the County Specific Gender Datasheet on 30th July 2018 at the Silver Springs Hotel, Nairobi. The workshop’s objective was to finalize on the preparations for data collection on gender statistics by the County Statistics Officers and the Research Assistants.
The workshop brought together representatives from the counties led by the Gender CECMs Caucus Chair Hon. Stanley K. Baliach - Nandi County, officials from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, National Gender Equality Commission, UN Women and Council of Governors.
In his opening remarks, Hon. Stanley K. Baliach, the Chairperson of the County Executive Committee Member (CECM) in charge of Gender Caucus and CECM Nandi County called upon all stakeholders involved to champion the need to have more County-specific disaggregated data on the allocation and uptake of affirmative action funds as an indicator of socio-economic development. In addition, he emphasized that the data on County leadership would help monitor trends in electoral patterns so as to allow involvement of more women in elective leadership posts.
The data collection exercise will involve compilation of existing data on gender from 10 County Governments in coordination with the County Statistics Officers and 30 research assistants chosen from the selected Counties namely Bomet, Baringo, Kirinyaga, Kitui, Kilifi, Turkana, Marsabit, Kisumu, Kakamega and Meru.
The County Specific Gender Datasheet which is in line with the CoG-UN Women Letter of Agreement, is meant to capture key demographic gender statistics in order to facilitate better planning by all stakeholders on gender mainstreaming.
Ms. Sheilla Masasabi, the UN Women Kenya Country Office Officer stated that development decisions must be anchored on accurate data for evidence based planning globally, through which Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has put its support for in Kenya. Despite being the lead agency on gender equality and empowerment, she added that there were still challenges that needed to be addressed by the datasheet especially in terms of socioeconomic development namely: weak policies, technical challenges in data handling and lack of access to data to inform development programmes in the country.
The County Statistics Manager at the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Mr. Elias Nyaga spoke on the legal backing of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and the various data sources and outputs. In addition, he pointed out critical data parameters that included scrutinizing data through the Bureau’s quality assurance process including accuracy, completeness and validity.
The workshop agreed on the following key resolutions that would help produce refined templates for final review by the technical team: rolling out the agreed refined templates to the CSOs, KNBS to verify all secondary data sources available in official statistics and remove all unnecessary data. Rosemary Kongani was chosen as the technical lead to oversee this exercise. There will be an induction with the users of the templates to ensure consistent interpretation and measurement of indicators. Additionally, they will expand the current team of experts to include monitoring and evaluation unit, the national information management systems unit, KNBS technical leads in labor, governance and health in order to tap into their technical expertise in measurements related to their subject matter.

The Council of Governors in partnership with the State Department of Gender Affairs and UN Women convened an induction workshop for CECMs and Chief Officers in charge of Gender on 9th - 10th and 11th-12th July respectively at Hotel Royal Orchid, Azure Towers, Nairobi.
Council of Governors Chairman of the Educations, Gender, Youth, Sports and Social Services committee H.E. Paul Chepkwony in his remarks encouraged the CEC’s and COs to facilitate the development of progressive policies on gender equality and women empowerment in their respective County Governments. He affirmed the commitment of the County Governments towards the full implementation of SDG 5 on Gender Equality and the country’s commitment at large in numerous international, regional and domestic commitments on women empowerment.
Council of Governors Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Jacqueline Mogeni, appreciated the financial and technical support from UN Women in strengthening gender mainstreaming efforts and institutionalizing the gender function in the County Governments.
The four day workshop focused on introducing the County Officers to gender mainstreaming programs run by the National Government and development partners as well as building their capacity to implement gender programming in the County Governments.
Mid-Decade Assessment (MDAs) including the Office of the Controller of Budget, National Treasury, Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) Secretariat, and National Gender Equality Commission highlighted the need for access to equal opportunities for socio-economic development to strengthen gender equality programmes in the country.
The workshop also built the capacity of the County Officers on interventions in gender based violence through strengthened engagements with the stakeholders and the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals in the County Governments
Amongst the issues to be addressed in subsequent forums are discussions on the proposed Joint Gender Intergovernmental Structure which will see the harmonisation of intergovernmental engagements on gender mainstreaming.

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Establishment of an export processing zone in Taita Taveta will promote value addition and boost use of local raw materials,  Governor Granton Samboja has noted. The County is set to benefit from a five hundred million dollar grant from China for...

Taita Taveta to Revive Farmer Cooperatives

Taita Taveta farmers have been urged to revive cooperatives to ensure that they benefit from their farm produce. Speaking during an awareness creation meeting on weights and measures with Challa and Njukini farmers in Taveta Sub County, the County...

The Grand Return of Kisumu Governor Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o

Residents of the lakeside city of Kisumu turned out in their droves to accord their beloved Governor a grand reception at the Kisumu International Airport following his brief absence from his home county of Kisumu as he had gone for three months...

The Gura Hydro Power Project

Governor Mutahi Kahiga on 14th February visited the Gura Hydro Power Project in Othaya. The mega project that is worth 1.7 billion shillings is saving tea farmers 30-40 million shillings which is spent annually on power bills. The Gura Hydro Power...

Wajir County to partner with National Government

H.E Amb. Mohamed Abdi Mohamud led Wajir County leadership in paying a courtesy call to Deputy President H.E William Samoe Ruto at his Karen residence. They deliberated on ways to partner with the national government in terms of developing the...

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