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Health sector scoops lion’s share in county budget

The health sector in Murang’a County is set to benefit hugely from the next fiscal year’s budget, scooping up Sh 3.65 billion, which translates to 35.7 per cent of the county’s revenue.

According to budget estimates for the year 2023–2024 seen by KNA, the total county budget for the year is set at Sh 10.23 billion. Recurrent expenditure has been allocated Sh 7.15 billion, while the remaining Sh 3.07 billion will fund development projects.

The health department has received the lion’s share, as a sizable amount is going towards the development of seven hospitals in the county, including the construction of wards at Murang’a level 5-referral hospital, to the tune of Sh 95 million.

Other allocations in the sector include the construction of Nyakianga hospital (65 million), Maragua hospital (36 million), Kandara hospital (20 million), and constructions of Kenol hospital (50 million), and the renovation of Muriranja (15 million) and Ithanga (10 million).

The department of agriculture, livestock, and fisheries was allocated Sh 904 million, which translates to 8.8 per cent of the total county budget, of which Sh 250 million will go towards providing agricultural subsidies for mango and dairy farmers, while veterinary services like vaccination programmes will receive Sh 20 million.

In efforts to provide safe and clean drinking water for local residents mostly residing in arid and semi-arid parts of the county, the department of Water was allocated Sh137 million, the construction of new boreholes was allocated Sh25 million, the rehabilitation of boreholes was allocated Sh10 million, and the purchase of Water tanks was allocated Sh20 million.

The roads and infrastructure department also received a sizable allocation of Sh 667 million, which translates to 6.6 per cent of the total budget.

Some Sh170 million has been allocated to fund Markets and urban development programme dubbed ‘smart cities’. The development is ongoing, as six cities have been earmarked to benefit from the programme.

The county government allocated Sh820 million to the Education Department, of which Sh130 million has been allocated to Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) to especially renovate and rehabilitate ECDE centres to improve the quality of education. Already, the process has started in this current financial year.

Infrastructure development for Youth, polytechnics, and vocational training has been allocated Sh5 million, and mentoring and training have been allocated Sh10 million.

In a bid to conserve the environment, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources was allocated Sh102 million, of which Sh5 million will go towards the purchase of tree seeds and seedlings and specialized material like energy-saving jikos worth Sh3.2 million.

Waste management was allocated Sh49 million, of which Sh40 million will be used to purchase waste collection vehicles.

Other departments that received a sizable allocation include Public service administration (Sh1 billion), Trade (Sh685 million, 6.7 percent), Sports, youth, and gender (Sh238 million, 2.3 percent), The county Assembly (Sh850 million, 8.3 percent), the county public service board (Sh43 million, 0.4 percent), and Finance and ICT (Sh450 million, 4.4 percent).

The money allocated for administration and planning support was Sh 6 million, which will go towards the construction of a fire station and sub-county offices at Sh 2 million and Sh 4 million, respectively.

In addition, the county has allocated Sh50 million to go towards the automation of services in the county in an effort to boost the collection of local revenue.

The county targets to collect Sh 1.4 billion through local revenue and Sh 7.465 billion through an equitable share disbursed from the national treasury. The budget is expected to be tabled on the floor of the assembly before the end of this week.

By Anita Omwenga

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