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Roba speaks tough on derailed ASAL counties equalization fund

Mandera Governor Ali Roba has asked national government to increase revenue allocation to marginalised counties in the Northern Kenya region.
Roba who spoke during a Building Bridges To Unity Task Force workshop held in Mandera town on Wednesday noted the North and North Eastern region of Kenya is historically underserved and is performing below national average on development indicators.
The governor said poverty levels were at 70%, compared to 45% national average.
“The road networks are poor to nonexistent; electricity access is at 7%; only 45% of households have access to water and, only 26% have access to improved sanitation” he said in a written memorandum.
He said the Equalization Fund was meant to help plug development inequity gaps but lamented bureaucracies within the national government system have curtailed the release of equalization fund to counties.
“Since in the current system we have lost ten years out of the twenty-year sunset clause, it is imperative that some enforcing provisions in law must be made. There is need to adjust the Sunset clause because the shelf life of the law is almost halfway and the marginalized counties have not received the funds hence have not benefited from the fund. We demand ring fencing of these funds and express disbursement of allocations to help improve infrastructure, water, health and educational facilities as spelled out in Article 204 of the Constitution,” said a furious Roba.

By Dickson Githaiga

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