President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday launched a Kshs 6 billion Equalization Fund for poor counties that have lagged behind in development. The Kshs 6 billion allocated to the Fund for this financial year amounts to 0.8 per cent of the last audited revenues approved by the National Assembly – a notable improvement on the minimum
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday launched a Kshs 6 billion Equalization Fund for poor counties that have lagged behind in development.
The Kshs 6 billion allocated to the Fund for this financial year amounts to 0.8 per cent of the last audited revenues approved by the National Assembly – a notable improvement on the minimum constitutional requirement of 0.5 per cent.
“We plan to continue exceeding the minimum requirement until we compensate for the time that has lapsed without the Fund,” Kenyatta said.
He disclosed that under the Fund, counties in the Arid and Semi Arid (ASAL) regions will receive between Kshs185 million and Kshs 650 million this financial year.
The Head of State, who was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto, spoke when he opened the Pastoralists’ Leadership Summit at the Samburu Simba Lodge in Isiolo County.
The summit whose theme was ‘Devolved Governance: A call for more Effective Public Participation and Political Action in Pastoralist Areas’ brought together leaders from Isiolo, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit, Turkana, West Pokot, Baringo, Laikipia, Samburu, Tana River, Lamu, Kajiado and Narok counties.
Kenyatta expressed confidence that with proper co-ordination and administration, the Equalization Fund will spark a wave of public investment that will hasten development in the pastoralist counties and ensure equity in national development.
“With the money available, I urge local leaders to immediately begin leveraging the funds to cater to basic community needs in your respective counties and create meaningful change among your constituents,” Uhuru said.
He added: “In word and deed, my Administration has demonstrated unwavering commitment to investing in regions traditionally disadvantaged.”
The President also announced that a Livestock Marketing Authority will be established in the 2016/2017 financial year to help the pastoralist communities reap maximum profit from the sale of their animals.
“We will allocate money in the 2016/2017 financial year to make the Authority operational,” the President said.
Ruto thanked Kenyatta for mainstreaming the development of pastoralist regions in the national agenda.
He pointed out that it is during President Kenyatta’s leadership that devolution has been rolled out effectively benefiting counties that were previously marginalised.
“Pastoralist communities are now part and parcel of the transformation of Kenya,” Ruto said.
Other speakers included the Summit’s President and Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow, the Summit’s Patron and Senator Speaker Ekwe Ethuro and Isiolo Governor Godana Doyo among others.