DECENTRALISING SERVICES

Kakamega leads in fully devolving to village level

The county government now has three levels of administration, namely subccounty, ward and village units.

In Summary
  • Governor Wycliffe Oparanya on Monday launched training for 8, 000 members of the 400 village councils.
  • Article 176(2) of constitution 2010 allows county governments to decentralise their services.
Newly recruited members of community councils during their training at Matungu Polytechnic in Kakamega county on Monday, January 4, 2021
Newly recruited members of community councils during their training at Matungu Polytechnic in Kakamega county on Monday, January 4, 2021
Image: HILTON OTENYO
Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya at Matungu Polytechnic on Monday, January 4, 2021
Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya at Matungu Polytechnic on Monday, January 4, 2021
Image: HILTON OTENYO

The Kakamega government has completed establishing structures that ensure involvement of the people in decision-making in line with the principles of devolution.

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya on Monday launched training for 8, 000 members of the 400 village councils that will co-ordinate development at the grassroots.

The county government now has three levels of administration, namely subccounty, ward and village units.

Article 176(2) of the Constitution 2010 allows county governments to decentralise their services.

"Every county government shall decentralise its functions and the provision of its services to the extent that it is efficient and practicable to do so," it says.      

Kakamega county becomes the first devolved unit to have Community Area Councils that will serve under the Community Area Units as the lowest level of administration. It will be a benchmarking destination for other counties.

Speaking at Kholera County Polytechnic in Matungu, Oparanya said the councils will engage the communities to find out their development priorities and supervise county projects.

He said the councils will focus on the five key areas of health; education and governance; roads and infrastructure; water and environment; and agriculture, livestock and fisheries.

Those present at the function included county secretary Jacinta Aluoch, Public Service executive Rodah Masaviru, Roads executive Geoffrey Omulayi, chief officers Dominic Muteshi, Phitalis Masakhwe  and Jeremiah Namunyu, MCAs and other senior county officers.

Oparanya cautioned council members against engaging in corruption and asked them to use their mandate to enhance service delivery at the grassroots.

"Your work is to represent the wishes and issues affecting people in your area. Don't dare engage in corruption or matters that will affect your work," the governor said.

Meanwhile, the county government has signed an MoU with Commodities Fund to manage the Sugar Development Levy on its behalf.

Oparanya said that the MoU was in preparation for the delayed revival of troubled Mumias Sugar Company.

He said the funds will be used for cane development to encourage farmers who had uprooted the cane to resume sugar cane farming.

"Commodities Fund will manage SDL on our behalf. We are starting the preparations early so that by the time the company is fully revived we have enough cane to support the factory," Oparanya said.

 "Government to government programme will be easier to manage and that is why we have asked Commodities Fund to manage these funds," he said.

Mwancha Okioma, the Commodities Fund board of trustees chairman, said his organisation will reach out to cane farmers to urge them to grow cane and lend them funds for cane development.

"We are willing to support the revival process of Mumias Sugar Company. We will assist in cane development programme so that we have enough cane for the factory," Okioma said.

Edited by Henry Makori