Thursday, 02 May 2019 12:24


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On 25th March 2019, Excellency Governors came together to discuss the progress and gaps in the Kenya Urban Support Program (KUSP) , the design of Kenya Informal Settlement Improvement project II (KISIP II), Kenya Devolution Support Programme (KDSP) and the Affordable Housing Agenda.
The Kenyan Urban Support Programme (KUSP), is a programme supported by the World Bank that seeks to support the implementation of the Kenya Urban Programme (KenUP), which is the Kenya Government’s Development Strategy aimed at strengthening the Kenyan National Urban Development Policy (NUDP).
KUSP addresses the basic steps as provided for in KenUP which are; the establishment of urban governance as well as management structures, providing funding to the County Governments to allow those urban structures to fulfil their mandates, provide capacity development support to Central Government notably the State Department of Housing and Urban Development and in overall seeks to emphasize the pivotal role urban areas that are supposed to be playing in terms of development, prosperity and modernization.
The Kenya Informal Settlement Improvement project II (KISIP II), is a programme whose objective is to improve the living conditions of people living in selected informal settlements in selected urban centres with the aim to improve access to land and basic services in informal settlements in Kenya. The programme covers 15 municipalities namely; Eldoret, Embu, Garissa, Kakamega, Kericho, Kisumu, Kitui, Machakos, Malindi, Mombasa, Nairobi, Naivasha, Nakuru, Nyeri and Thika.
Some of the discussions on KISIP II include; the need to expand the scope of the program to incorporate informal settlements outside urban areas, Capacity building of counties to design and implement World Bank funded programs, nomination of the KISIP 2 Program Formulation Team and the need for respect of institutional mandates as per Kenya’s constitution.
On the other hand, Kenya Devolution Support Program (KDSP) focused on the delayed transfer of funds from County Revenue Accounts to Special Purpose Account and additional funding to the Counties.
Charles Hinga, Principal Secretary in charge of Housing got a chance to make a presentation to the Excellency Governors on the Affordable Housing Programme (AHP). This is an initiative by the government as one of the pillars under the Big Four Agenda which ensures that low and middle –income households have access to decent and affordable housing units.
AHP will be financed and executed by both the private sector, National and County Governments and once the Houses are built, the Housing Fund will purchase the Units from the private developers and offer them to the beneficiaries and for this reason, the 47 County Governments role will be to identify suitable land for putting up these facilities and develop the supporting infrastructure.
After fruitful deliberations, the following resolutions emanated from the discussions;
i. Counties to comply with environmental social, financial management, procurement and contractual management requirements under Kenya Urban Support programme (KUSP) and aspire to deliver transformative projects that have impact, citizen centric and are integrated to ensure adequate and quality urban service delivery.
ii. That world bank to urgently review the project design in line with the new Urban Areas and Cities Amendment Act 2019, among other considerations to take into account concerns on equity ,fairness and promotion of growth of smaller towns.
iii. Counties should absorb the disbursed UDG on critical Urban Infrastructure and service delivery to benefit the people of Kenya and to expedite absorption to allow next release of disbursement.
iv. County Governments to develop a grievance redress mechanism to clearly outline how residents can raise their concerns and resolve them at the County level.
v. The Council of Governors to advice Counties on the mode of implementation of the Urban Areas and Cities Act noting the new changes on composition of municipal boards , qualification and the revised population threshold for municipalities.
vi. That the National treasury to immediately release the Urban Institutional Grant in the next two weeks. The funds have been delayed for over a year.
vii. That World bank, Council of Governors and Ministry to work together to refine the design of KISIP 2 to address the foundational causes of slums, to reconsider the restriction that the informal settlements must be in an urban area and prioritize on urban poor.
viii. That the Ministry to Urgently release level 1 Grants for the Kenya Devolution support programme for the FY18/19 and also counties to provide reporting for level 1 and 2 Grants and prepare for the third ACPA in June/July 2019.
ix.That County Governments to open special purpose accounts for Kenya Devolution Support Programme (KDSP).
x.That the National Treasury to allow counties to access county funds in situations where there is delayed disbursement of conditional grants.

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