Thursday, 07 December 2023 12:25

GOVERNORS, DP GACHAGUA CLASH OVER EL-NINO FUNDS: COUNTIES SIGN IPAs FOR KEY PROJECTS

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The Council of Governors has refuted claims by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua that County Governments have received approximately kshs. 10 billion for El Nino preparedness and mitigation, saying no funds have been sent to counties. “We take the position that such public utterances are against the spirit of cooperative and collaborative Governments as envisioned under the provisions of Article 6(2) of the Constitution. In such times, we call upon the two levels of Government to come together in order to intensify response strategies to mitigate against the complex risks arising from the heavy rains and flooding in addition to the existing humanitarian challenges” noted the Council of Governors Chair H.E Anne Waiguru while addressing the press on 22nd November 2023.

This pronouncement came even as the Deputy President, while addressing the Development Partners Forum at his Karen residence, stated that County Governments were expected to use emergency funds in their coffers or reallocate money within their budget for intervention and mitigation measures against El Nino. This contradicts his earlier assurances that adequate funds had been disbursed to the counties.

Governor Waiguru further added that Counties were owed a total of Kshs. 62.58 Billion from the equitable share, a situation that has further compounded El –nino response and mitigation measures in devolved units. Nandi Governor Stephen Sang echoed these sentiments adding that the heavy rains had left innocent victims dead, thousands of families displaced and property of immense value destroyed.

As at 4th December 2023, 27 counties were owed Ksh.19.64 billion for October 2023 allocations and 47 Counties were owed Ksh.32.76 billion for November 2023 allocations. The total arrears amount to Ksh.52.40 billion. The governors’ press briefing was preceded by the signing of Intergovernmental Partnership Agreements (IPAs) for the County Aggregation and Industrial Parks (CAIPs) projects by 18 County Governments and the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry.

The CAIPs project, to be completed within 3 years, is envisaged to reduce post-harvest losses, boost production, aggregation, value addition, market linkages and industrialization, promote entrepreneurship and create millions of jobs. “This project will accelerate inclusive and sustainable development of industries that will drive the country’s socio-economic growth and improve the lives and livelihoods of the people we serve. We will work in collaboration with the National Government, private sector and other investors to facilitate the implementation and realization of CAIPs,” noted Governor Waiguru further making a clarion call to all stakeholders to work in collaboration and cooperation with each other in order to better serve the people of Kenya.

Similarly, County Governments and the Ministry of Health on 24th November 2023, signed IPAs on provision of community health services in a bid to support the attainment of Universal Health Coverage. This agreement provides a framework for the financing of community health services for a period of 3 years and further strengthens partnerships between both levels of government in provision of quality healthcare services to all Kenyans.

Pursuant to the agreement, the National Government shall transfer Kshs. 250 million to each County Government as conditional grants in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act while County Governments shall allocate matching funds to the tune of Kshs. 250 Million to the project.

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