West Pokot County Assembly on Tuesday became the first in Rift Valley to adopt the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill.
Leader of Majority Thomas Ngolesia tabled the motion and it was seconded by Leader of Minority Peter Lokor.
Mr Ngolesia said the proposed changes in the Constitution will be beneficial to the county which has been marginalised for long by previous regimes.
The county assembly members cited the equalisation fund, increment of county funds from 15 per cent to 35 per cent, five per cent ward development fund, the gender issue, additional constituencies, and formation of a youth commission as some of the issues which encouraged them to accept it.
They said the BBI report should be delinked from 2022 politics, hence they opted to put aside their political differences in passing the BBI Bill.
“It is a historic day in our county. We shall get one more constituency among the 28 new ones. The wars between governors and members of county assemblies will be resolved. Sh5 billion will be added to county funds,” he said.
He added: “The wards will benefit a lot from the 35 per cent funds. We shall also get five per cent of the funds for wards. This is the beauty of BBI. Our county has been marginalised for a long time and we need more funds to develop.”
He said they have put measures in place to popularise the initiative in the area.
“The report is not about 2022 and it should not be politicised,” said Mr Ngolesya at a session attended by Governor John Lonyangapuo and Pokot South MP David Pkosing.
Mr Lokor said they had done public participation and many residents supported the document.
“We need civic education for our people to understand the contents of BBI,” he said.
Nominated MCA Elijah Kasheusheu dismissed allegations of MCAs being bribed, saying BBI will enable youths from the arid area to get employment opportunities.
“Many youths are jobless and, with the BBI, we shall have a say in planning and decision making. We have passed BBI because of its positive parts,” he said.
Nominated MCA Agnetta Kolepo said that BBI will save women from marginalised counties who have been side-lined for long.
Speaker Catherine Mukenyang said every member was given an opportunity to express themselves.
"Most of the members were willing to contribute despite the limited time. My duty is to sign the certificate of acceptance of the report. No MCA was intimidated and they had to put politics aside and debate the Bill soberly.
She added that other county assemblies should allow room for public participation before the Bill is tabled on the floor of the house.