Members of Baringo County assembly (MCAs) have been asked to engage the community in prioritisations of their development projects and allow what has been identified to be implemented without alteration.
.Governor Stanley Kiptis noted that if wananchi are not fully engaged in discussion about what they present during public participation forums they will in future decide to boycott such meetings.
Speaking on Wednesday at Kenya School of Government (KSG), Baringo campus, during a conference dubbed Equity Week organised by Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), the governor said if what has been prioritised is not implemented as indicated by the citizens a time will come when they will not attend such forums.
“I want to appreciate what I saw in Emining recently during a public participation, the citizens indicated to whoever was coordinating that they were not satisfied and they actually set a another date where they came and agreed,” he observed.
He added that failure to implement the projects, people will get dejected and will feel as if they are not part of the development of their area and therefore identification and ownership will fail.
“Let me make this appeal because we are all here and the MCAs who are the patrons that we fully engage the community in whatever we plan to do for them. Please allow that which has been presented during public participation meetings to be actually implemented to the letter,” he urged.
On Equalisation Fund, Mr Kiptis said that despite the county having been included in the list of regions to benefit from the fund so far no money has been received.
He noted that the equalisation fund would enable the county government to provide critical basic services such as water, roads, health and electricity to hitherto marginalised areas to the extent necessary to the quality of those services in those areas to the level enjoyed by the rest of the country.
Mr Kiptis noted that about 80 percent of the county is marginalised as indicated in the Marginalisation Map and therefore calling for the national government to expedite the release of Sh 701 million so far allocated to the region as equalisation fund.
In the daylong meeting that drew participants from neighbouring counties of Elgeyo Marakwet, Nakuru, Laikipia, Kericho, Samburu and West Pokot, governor Kiptis said equitable resource mobilisation and distribution are key factors that can help eradicate poverty, boost development and promote equality throughout the country.
He however pointed out that lack of enough resources has greatly hindered development in the county especially in essential sector like roads, healthcare, agriculture and water which are key drivers in attaining the Big Four Agenda legacy plan.
On health, the county boss said his administration has made great strides towards achieving universal health care (UHC) objective noting that by 2017 the county had no modern intensive care units (ICUs) or even renal units but currently these facilities have been put in place thus enabling patients to access such essential services within reach.
He said that two months ago a Sh 5 million liquid oxygen unit was commissioned at Baringo county referral hospital, Kabarnet, to assist patients with breathing problems.
The Governor said that installation of the oxygen unit will go a long way in helping patients requiring emergency attention especially victims of road accidents, snake bites and conditions like asthma or lung disease who die due to lack of reliable oxygen supply at the county biggest referral hospital.
“This oxygen unit is going to cut down on money used to pay for oxygen and on referrals to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), Eldoret and Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital, Nakuru,” stated Kiptis.
Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) analyst Job Otiwa stated that equitable resources can be achieved by the county governments but there are some barriers such as poor prioritisation, discontent between plans and budget, low citizen participation and high citizen expectations.
The meeting was attended by among others CRA analyst Job Otiwa, county director International Budget Partnership, Kenya (IBP), Dr. Abraham Rugo and Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG) programme officer, Evans Kibet.
By Mercy Mutwol and Joshua Kibet