• Uasin Gishu was to collect Sh1 billion in internal revenue but may not achieve half that.
• It's estimated North Rift counties will lose as much as Sh3 billion.
North Rift counties will miss revenue collection targets for 2019-20 by more than 50 per cent due to the effects of Covid-19, flooding and a generally poor economy.
The counties had set annual collection targets but in the last four months revenues have slumped. Counties have shifted focus on controlling the coronavirus.
County assemblies have issued a red alert on falling revenue.
“We have already started the budget cycle for the next financial year but as we end the current period next month, it's obvious we will not raise even half of what we projected for 2019-20," Uasin Gishu Assembly Chief Whip Gilbert Tenai said.
He said the revenue reductions will equally affect the national government and consequently, counties are likely to get less money for 2020-21.
MCAs from the region met in Eldoret where they expressed concern over increasing challenges for Kenyans due to Covid-19. They included West Pokot Deputy Speaker Francis Kirop, his Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Christopher Kimosong, Pokot MCA Robert Komoloi and MCA Tenai.
Also present was Kipkurui Chepkwony, secretary general of the County Assemblies Forum.
For example, Uasin Gishu was to collect Sh1 billion but may not achieve half of that. Counties in the region are estimated to lose as much as Sh3 billion in internal revenue.
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, who is chairman of the North Rift Economic Bloc (Noreb), said they are working with assemblies on how to revive stalled projects.
Uasin Gishu passed a supplementary budget of Sh767 million to help handle Covid-19 and the effects of floods including repair of roads. Chairman of the budget committee Jonathan Ngetich said the assembly had re-allocated funds from travel and non-priority development projects to the health sector.
He said the money would be used to equip hospitals to handle Covid-19 cases and deal with other emergencies.
“This is our first supplementary budget this year necessitated by the Covid-19 crisis, ballooning pending bills and the re-allocation funds," Ngetich said.
Presenting the supplementary budget, he said Sh8 million intended for assembly travel and Sh40 million savings from the recurrent budget have been reallocated.
Sh538 million from the development kitty has also been re-allocated along with another Sh50 million intended for development.
The proposed expenditure of reallocated funds includes Sh449 million on Covid-19 and road maintenance and Sh325 million for various departments. Ngetich said the money would equip hospitals and improve capacity to handle Covid-19.
Assembly Majority leader Josphat Lowoi said they supported the budget because Covid-19 and floods had caused suffering and an emergency kitty was needed.
(Edited by V. Graham)