Nominated Senator Mary Seneta has questioned the county’s constitutional budget mandate in the allocation of funds to un-devolved functions of government.
Seneta said some of the functions allocated money in this year’s budget is questionable and does not support the spirit of devolution as provided by the law.
“We expect all the devolved functions of the county to receive a lion share of the budget instead of adding more money to functions of the national government,” she said.
Seneta’s remarks are expected to cause the attention and reaction of Governor Joseph Lenku who is expected to tour Oloosirkon/Sholinke and parts of Kitengela Wards on Saturday.
On several occasions, residents of Sholinke have complained of bad roads and the unpleasant smell emitted from the overflowing dumping site that serves the entire Kitengela in their area. There are also issues of alleged bad roads that lead to quarries in Nkurrunka areas.
Seneta raised the issue on Thursday night, less than 24 hours after the assembly passed the FY 2019/2020 estimates with a double bursary allocation in an Sh9, 086,033 budget.
The budget also pegged allocation for development at 35 per cent of the total budget, whose highlights were read to the assembly by budget appropriation committee chairman, Henry Kimiti.
The estimates saw the health department get 25 per cent of the budget share.
Seneta advised the county government to concentrate on, and fund fairly, all the devolved functions such as water and agriculture which have the capability of empowering the people financially.
Seneta said the county is a water scarce region and the executive should be concerned about seeking new water resources and improving the existing ones that are threatened by depletion.
“Water is life, and this is the reason why the people of this county, and especially the residents of Kitengela and Oloosirkon/Sholinke wards are worried about their future in a region that its water sources are not guaranteed,” said the legislator.
The executive allocated Sh513 million for Agriculture and Livestock, while Sh605 was allocated to Water and Irrigation.
Seneta said the amount allocated for agriculture and water and irrigation is too “small” and will not make an impact in the lives of the people.
“Allocating Sh513 million to agriculture and Sh605 million for water is laughable. The water sector requires a complete paradigm shift because our people in urban towns require working water systems,” she said.
She also raised the issue of dumping site in Oloosirkon ward which she claims had been allegedly mismanaged to the extent that waste freely flows into a seasonal river at its base.
She said the Export Processing Zone recently handed over the management and supply of water to the county government but the regional government does not have the capacity to put up new billing systems.
“The water now require new pipes and metres, so as to be able to serve the intended purpose. This can only be possible if the water department is allocated enough money,” she said.
The legislator said more focus should be emphasised on agriculture in county budget making so that farmers can be assisted with subsidies in the buying of fertilizer and farming machinery.
“Our farmers across the county have a desire to produce enough food for the market, but the conditions are not favourable in terms of rains and the cost of production. This is where the county government should come in handy and help farmers,” said the legislator.
Looking at this FY 2019/2020 at a glance, ward development fund received 750 million while Sector projects received Sh3, 216,795,220.
The office of the governor was apportioned Sh267, 859, 648, county public service Sh102,757,156, education, youth and sports was allocated Sh1,009,581,811 in the budget estimates.
Other allocations are; medical services (Sh2.5 billion), gender, social services (Sh150 million), road transport and public works (Sh906 million), public service (Sh536 million) and finance and economic planning (Sh2.1 billion).
Trade and co-operatives (Sh257 million), lands and physical planning (Sh454million) and county assembly will receive (Sh820 million).