The County Government of Busia is currently hosting delegates from international donor community and United Nations (UN) at Breeze Hotel in Busia to deliberate on Devolution and other UN funded programmes in the County.
Addressing the Press after the opening ceremony, Busia Governor, Sospeter Ojaamong noted that, the main objective of the conference between his government, devolution donors and UN agencies was to audit donor support since the advent of devolution in 2013.
“We are here on a two-day meeting to take stock of what we have been doing in the current phase one of devolution funding from our donors who include Italy, Finland and Sweden, and UN Agencies like UNDP, Unicef and UN Women,” said Ojaamong.
The United Nations Devolution Program (UNDP) has been running for the last four years with Busia being among the beneficiaries, having received over Sh800 million through KDSP.
Some 14 counties across the country have benefited from the program including Busia, the only one from the Lake region.
Ojaamong added that the meeting was very essential as it will help in analyzing the gains and challenges achieved so far as they chart the way forward on devolved functions and how to improve revenue collection.
The governor noted that Busia has witnessed a significant improvement in terms of revenue collection since the introduction of cashless systems, with the transport sector realizing over Sh41,950, from the previous average of Sh25, 000, reflecting revenue hike of 40 per cent.
“Despite numerous efforts by my government to improve revenue collection by introducing a cashless system, we still need to put in more effort, thus the need for donor support. We have plans to construct two trailer parking sites at Mundika and Malaba to help boost our revenue,” he added.
Deputy Representative of Unicef in Kenya Jean Lokenga said the objective of the Donor Mission to the country was to take stock of what the donor community have done and help the county in Public Finance management.
“The main aim of the programs is to help Busia County manage its finances, more so boost revenue collection to enable it sustain itself from the revenue collected. We will continue to partner with Busia and other 13 counties on Health, Nutrition, Agriculture and education to address the poverty index,” said Lokenga.
He added that malnutrition affects the general health and well-being of the child hindering their development and education adding women, youth and children carry the burden of poverty not only in Busia but in other counties as well.
“Matters affecting nutrition should not be addressed in isolation but in line with other sectors. I would like to applaud the achievements of the County government of Busia so far in health and nutrition,” he added.
By Absalom Namwalo