Kitui County Marginalized Areas to get Ksh539m

By Ronald Ng’eno

Marginalized areas in Kitui County have been allocated Ksh539 million to lift up basic services such as health, education and access roads. This comprises Ksh265m for financial year (FY) 2021/2022 and Ksh274m for FY2022/2023. This was revealed to the Kitui County Commissioner Erastus Mbui during a visit by the Commission on November 10, 2022. The amounts are contained in the County Allocation of Revenue Act’s (CARA), 2022 Third Schedule.

During the visit, the CRA Team informed the County Commissioner that CRA is developing a Third Policy Identifying Marginalised Areas. This is in line with its mandate to determine, publish and regularly review a policy in which it sets out the criteria by which to identify the marginalised areas for purposes of the Equalisation Fund (Article 216(4), Constitution of Kenya, 2010).

CRA Chairperson Dr Jane Kiringai Meeting Kitui County Commissioner Erastus Mbui and Deputy County Commissioner Gura Mwamachi

The County Commissioner informed that most areas in Kitui County (outside the town of Kitui), are marginalised. The Equalisation Fund Board has now been constituted as most parts of the county and will enable the community to address marginalisation.

CRA Team Met with County Commissioner Erastus Mbui and his team

The major challenge facing Kitui county is access to water. Being water scarce, residents have to travel several kilometres in search of water. This is despite the Tana River passing through the county; not much irrigation or water harvesting is evident.

Meeting Kitui Governor and Kitui County Executive

The CRA team also met with H.E. Dr Julius Malombe, Governor Kitui County in which they appraised him of the new areas in Kitui County identified by the Commission. The governor and his team concurred that the areas the Commission had picked for its proposed Third Policy are indeed marginalised, basing this on their knowledge and experience in the region.  They observed that most of the areas identified had also been classified as food insecure areas as per a recent report from the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA).

CRA Chairperson Dr Jane Kiringai hands over a CRA publication to Kitui County Governor H.E. Dr Julius Malombe, 10.11.22

Levels of Poverty in Kitui County

  1. Mwingi North – 81.3%
  2. Kitui South – 74.2%
  3. Kitui East – 73.4%
  4. Mwingi Central – 73.3%
  5. Kitui Rural – 50.4%
  6. The remaining sub counties are below 50%.

Extent of water shortage places Mwingi North at the top in terms of water need.

In addition to the areas the Commission had identified, there are additional areas that the County felt were marginalised and should be added to the list of marginalised areas. These areas are in Ngomeni Ward, Mwingi North:

  • Kasiluni
  • Mitemysi
  • Madongoi

The Commission committed to looking into this and visiting some of them during their visit.

CRA Team with Kitui County Executive, 10.11.22

Visit to Kitui County Government Flagship Projects and Marginalised Areas

  1. Visit to Kitui County Textile Centre (KICOTEC)

The Commission visited Kitui County Textile Centre (KICOTEC), which is the first ever garment factory by a County government in Kenya. The firm currently manufactures uniform for the General Service Unit (GSU) of the Kenya Police Service as well as Chief’s uniform. However, the company is yet to break even. There are also delays in payment of salaries to employees due to financial constraints.

CRA Chairperson Dr Jane Kiringai with a KIKOTEC employee, 10.11.22

2. Visit to Uiini sublocation

Lack of water, teachers and classrooms in schools and poor roads Uiini sub-location.  This is one of the new areas proposed by the Commission in the Third Policy Identifying Marginalized Areas.

For example, Mikomani primary school students use mud classrooms. Students in these classes are affected by the weather and the school lacks a trained teacher.

Grade-5-6-and-7-classrooms-at-Mikomani-Primary-School-Kitu-South-sub-county

Grade 5 students in their classroom at Mikomani Primary School, Kitui South sub-county

3. Visit to Ikime sublocation

Ikime sublocation is located in Ngomeni Ward, Mwingi North Sub County. The main challenge is lack of water, which affects the whole region, but especially the village of Magombo. In addition, there is a local group called the Kaponokia who do not go to school or take their children to hospital. Roads in the area impassable when it rains.

Ikime has a security problem, due to attacks from neighbouring camel herders, who steal residents’ farm produce.

Hand-dug well on the floor of River Thugu in Ikime sublocation, Ngomeni Ward, Mwingi North

4. Visit to Mandongoi sublocation

In Mandongoi sublocation insecurity has persisted due to attacks from camel herders. The residents lack water, health facilities and access roads.

Shallow borehole in Mandogoi sublocation, Ngomeni Ward, Mwingi North

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