Bungoma County has today signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) to enhance planning at county level and support the operations of the finance ministry.
MacDonald Obudho the Director General of KNBS said that he was grateful that the county leadership was willing to discuss matters of statistics.
Obudho said that it was not easy to enforce statistical change when devolution was new. “The first set of statistical abstracts was done under my coordination and by then I was the Director of Population and Social Statistics,” Obudho stated.
He stated that though a number of counties had produced statistical abstracts at county level, they had signed an MOU with only three counties.
“We signed an MOU with Makueni County last year, Mombasa this year and Bungoma is the latest one,” Obudho said.
Obudho said that the constitution in the fourth schedule provided for statistics at county level and at national level.
“Statistics at county and national level are provided for in the constitution,” he stated.
Obudho said that counties were given space to generate statistics for use at county level but KNBS was in charge of statistics at national level.
“We cannot succeed at national level if counties have a problem in generating their statistics at county level,” Obudho said.
Obudho said that statistics were there to demonstrate where the county government wants to go and how to reach there.
He gave Vihiga County a thumbs up in terms of using the GIS technology. He said that the Vihiga county boss Wilberforce Otichilo has used the technology to advance the county because the world is currently heading towards GIS technology.
“I happened to attend a meeting in china on statistics and a lady happened to use the example of GIS technology in china and that’s where we hope to see Bungoma County in the next few days,” Obudho said.
He said the ministry had launched the Kenya Strategy for Development for Statistics which will help them pick a strategic plan related to statistics from all users to reduce wastage of resources.
“The strategy is already working in Nairobi, Machakos, Uasin Gishu and Mombasa but we are hoping to see the strategy plan working in Bungoma,” Obudho said.
Bungoma county governor Kenneth Lusaka said he was ready to accept the statistical plan in the county to help in running the operations of the county government transparently.
“Statistics is important in planning, we have the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) which is a super plan that defines our development plan for over 5 years and for that we need statistics,” Lusaka said.
He further said that statistics would help in determining the population so as to get proper funding allocations to balance development.
Lusaka said that Bungoma County needed statistics to enhance smooth implementation of the scholarship programme. He said together with his team they are very determined to overtake other counties on matters of statistics.
By Bronley Kidari