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County to spend Sh.1 billion in establishment of three key municipalities

Machakos  County plans to inject a total of Sh.1 billion in propping up three key municipal authorities during the 2019/2020 fiscal year.

The  Machakos  Deputy Governor, Eng. Francis  Maliti  who also doubles as the CEC Finance has also singled out health and education as  some of  the dockets that would receive a lion’s share of the county’s budget expected to hit Sh.12 billion. Other  big  winners in this year’s  budget include agriculture, water and sports.

And  to  foot this budget, the county hopes to raise a total of Sh.1.6 billion in local revenue Sh.8.2 billion will come from The Treasury and Sh. 2.2 billion as a conditional grant.

While  making  his  presentation on Wednesday before the whole house of the County Assembly, Eng. Maliti  said the government hoped to spend Sh.8 billion (66 per percent) on recurrent expenditure while Sh.4 billion (34 per cent) would go to development.

“Madam  Speaker, to support the growth of our urban areas, I have allocated Sh.1 billion through the Kenya Urban Support Programme which  aims at improving the drainage and waste disposal systems in our three municipalities namely Machakos, Mavoko and Tala/Kangundo. Through this programme, we will also implement other projects such as street lighting and installation of cabro in the designated  markets,” said Maliti.

And  to ensure delivery of quality health services to the residents, the government has allocated Sh.542 million towards maintenance and equipping  of  facilities at the Machakos Level 5 hospital.

Similarly, a total of Sh.136 million is expected to be used in improving facilities at four level four hospitals and a further Sh.35 million for the completion and upgrading of hospitals and dispensaries at the local areas.

Machakos is among four selected counties currently piloting the Universal Health Care project with a total of 1.1 million residents having been enrolled in the scheme translating to 445, 139 households.

To  improve education standards in the county whose performance has never impressed for years, the government has allocated Sh.120 million to help in educating needy children through bursaries.

Another Sh.35 million will go towards the construction of Early Childhood Development Education centers which has been devolved to the counties.

To improve technical skills and sporting talents among youths, the county hopes to spend Sh.161 million in this area.

A total of Sh.51 million has been earmarked for capitation programme in all vocation training centers with all the 3, 147 youths in Vocational training centers expected to receive Sh.15, 000 to fund their learning.

“Madam  Speaker, in  order to address the problem of youth unemployment, there is need to impart adequate technical skills in our youth necessary  for  industrialization. To this end, I have allocated Sh.51 million for capitation programme in all our vocational training centers. All  the  enrolled  students totaling approximately 3,147 youth will each receive Sh.15, 000 paid directly to the VTC. A policy will be developed  in  future to have at least one youth polytechnic in every ward to better equip our youths with adequate and necessary technical  skills  so that they can be employment creators and not job seekers,” he said.

The  government also hopes to continue playing host to national and international sporting events by upgrading the Masii, Ikombe, Athi River  and Kinyui stadiums to international standards.

To  achieve  this feat, the government is planning to pump a total of Sh.110 million construction works at the facilities. And to deal with the perennial  challenge of water and food scarcity in the county, Sh.235.5 million has been set aside in construction of additional water reservoirs  and improvement of agriculture.

Maliti  said  since Dr. Alfred  Mutua came into office, significant achievements have been attained in harnessing of rain water, including distribution of 1,032 water tanks to primary schools and construction of 12 elevated steel tanks.

In  addition  to  this, the county has allocated Sh.150 million for the construction of one mega dam, 60 water pans and four treatment works.

To  cushion  farmers against high cost of seeds, Sh.17 million has been allocated towards distribution of free seeds and promotion of avocado  and green grams production.

The  government  will  further spend Sh.2 million to purchase motorcycles for agriculture extension officers and another Sh.16 million will go  towards  construction of a rehabilitation of cattle dips and abattoirs.

People   with  Special Needs, youth, the vulnerable and marginalized groups will also benefit from a Sh.160 million grant kitty to help them  come  up  with  income generating activities.

During  the 2018/2019 fiscal year, the County had hoped to raise Sh.1.2 billion from local revenue to finance a Sh.12.2 billion budget with 70 percent of the money going towards footing recurrent expenditure.

Maliti  has  however, defended the huge recurrent spending by emphasizing the spending was still within the requirements of the Public Financial  Management Act  2012.

By  Samuel  Maina

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