How Rift counties will share Sh13bn Equalization Fund

Njuguna Ndungu

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung'u. 

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

At least 11 counties from the Rift Valley are set to benefit from a Sh13 billion Equalization Fund for development projects in marginalized areas of the region.

The kitty will also benefit 23 other counties from across the country.

Counties in Rift Valley that will get a share of the Sh13 billion stake include Baringo, Nakuru, Turkana, Samburu, Laikipia, Narok, West Pokot, Bomet, Kericho, Elgeyo Marakwet and Kajiado.

Turkana, West Pokot, Narok and Samburu will get a lion's share of the amount.

Turkana will receive Sh1.53 billion, West Pokot (Sh 1.37 billion), Narok(1.03 billion) and Samburu (Sh873 million).

Hundreds of marginalised communities will benefit from the total of Sh13,893,791,644.

The Equalisation Fund is provided for under Article 204 of the Constitution, to provide basic services including water, roads, health facilities and electricity to marginalised areas.

The Article provides that 0.5 percent of all revenue collected by the national government would be allocated to the fund.

Initially, the funds were meant for the 14 least developed counties, especially those in the arid and semi-arid areas of Northern Kenya.

However, the Commission on Revenue Allocation(CRA) changed the formula and expanded the number of beneficiaries.

In Baringo County, for instance, a total of 96 sub-locations have been identified to benefit from Sh800 million of the Equalization Fund, to enable the marginalised areas to be at par with other developed regions of the country.

CRA Chief Executive Officer James Katule said Tiaty East and West will get the lion’s share of Sh421.8 million of the funds allocated to Baringo for the 2023/2024 financial year.

Mogotio and Marigat sub-Counties will get Sh135 and Sh111 million, respectively, while Baringo North will receive Sh71.6 million for the implementation of basic social services like water, roads, health, and electricity.

"Baringo and the other new counties were included,  after missing out on the first policy, where 14 counties benefited.

"The projects in the counties that will be identified and implemented through the equalization fund kitty, will be under the supervision of the county commissioner, who will act as a representative of the national government in partnership with the county government," revealed Mr Katule.

Among the marginalised sub-Locations identified to benefit from the kitty are Baringo North (8), Baringo South (12), Mogotio (18), Baringo Central (2), and Tiaty, which will have a lion’s share of 56.

In Narok County, some 89 sub-Locations categorised as marginalised areas are set to benefit from the Third Policy of Equalisation Fund.

The areas were identified from the data provided by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), collected in the 2019 censors, that ranked the villages as marginalized.

Some of the areas include; Nkorrikori in Narok West and parts of Suswa.

Marginalised areas in Kajiado county have been allocated Sh952 million from the kitty, to uplift basic services such as road infrastructure, water, health, education and electricity.

The CRA identified 64 sub-locations in Kajiado Central, West and South as marginalised, with residents in those areas lacking access to basic services.

The areas include; Impiro, Lorngosua, Torosei, Enkaroni and Ilmarba.

In Nakuru County, six sub-locations will benefit from the kitty.

They include; Kapcholola and Kiptunga in Molo sub-county, Tachasis (Njoro), Tinet (Kuresoi South), Majani Mingi and Kokwomoi (Rongai).

The areas have been experiencing poor access to clean water and electricity among other social amenities.

Laikipia will get Sh 160million, Bomet (Sh 25.84million),Kericho(81.8million) Elgeyo Marakwet(Sh 24million) and Nakuru(Sh 8.6million).

Bad roads

A lot of the tea produced in Kericho goes to waste during the rainy season because of bad roads. 

Photo credit: File| Nation Media Group

Others from other parts of the country include; Mandera(1.01billion),Wajir(982 million), Marsabit(Sh 631million), Tana River(Sh 594million),Carissa(Sh848million),Kilifi(726million) among others.

The National Assembly and the Senate last year unanimously passed the Equalisation Fund (Appropriations) Bill, 2023, before it was assented to by President William Ruto, paving way for the release of the funds by the Treasury to the devolved units.

Since its establishment, the fund entitlement stands at Sh54.03 billion but only Sh26.29 billion has been allocated and Sh12.40 billion disbursed in 2018.