MPs set to disburse Equalisation Fund to 14 counties

Turkana women carry carcasses of animals they have lost due to a biting drought near Lokitaung, Turkana. The county will get the largest share of the Sh12.4 billion currently in the Equalisation Fund. PHOTO | TONY KARUMBA | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Equalisation Fund was created by the 2010 Constitution to improve services in the most marginalised parts of the country.
  • Most of Turkana’s allocation will be spent on water (Sh605.1 million) and the rest on roads (Sh320.1 million) and health facilities (Sh125 million).
  • Other counties that will get large amounts of the cash are Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit and Samburu.

MPs have formally begun the process of sharing out the Sh12.4 billion meant for 14 counties categorised as marginalised and whose health care, water services, roads and electricity need massive injections of funds to improve.

This follows the introduction of the Equalisation Fund Appropriation Bill, which is sponsored by the Budget and Appropriations Committee of the National Assembly.

Turkana County will get the largest share of the Sh12.4 billion currently in the Equalisation Fund, the Bill states.

The county has been allocated Sh1.05 billion in the Bill, which was formally introduced in the National Assembly on Tuesday afternoon.

PRIORITY PROJECTS

Most of Turkana’s allocation will be spent on water (Sh605.1 million) and the rest on roads (Sh320.1 million) and health facilities (Sh125 million).

However, that money will not be under the county governments or MPs, as the Treasury thwarted MPs' attempts to have the fund managed at the constituency level.

It did this by stating in the regulations approved by MPs that ministries would decide how the money would be used.

But MPs from the 14 counties had their way by forcing the Treasury to change the priority projects.

The Sh12.4 billion accrued from the allocation to the Fund in the last financial year and Sh6.4 billion in the current.

The Bill is the legal means through which the money will be shared among the 14 counties identified by the Commission on Revenue Allocation as marginalised.

BASIC SERVICES

“The sum shall be deemed to have been appropriated as from July 1, 2016 for the basic services under Article 204 of the Constitution, the Public Finance Management Act and the Equalisation Fund Guidelines,” says the Bill sponsored by Budget Committee chairman Mutava Musyimi.

Other counties that will get large amounts of the cash are Mandera (Sh967.6 million), Wajir (Sh929.8 million), Marsabit (Sh886.2 million) and Samburu (Sh869.7 million).

On the other end of the scale, Lamu will get the lowest amount (Sh722.2 million). Others that will get significantly lower allocations for their projects are Isiolo (Sh746.9 million), Taita-Taveta (Sh751.7 million), Kilifi (Sh763.5 million) and Garissa (Sh783.5 million).

Others are Kwale (Sh795.3 million), Narok (Sh809.5 million), Tana River (Sh859 million) and West Pokot (Sh866.1 million).

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