Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Agriculture and health services devolved to counties

Agriculture and health services devolved to counties

Updated Monday, August 12th 2013 at 21:51 GMT +3
By Rawlings Otieno
The Transition Authority (TA) has published devolved functions of county governments ending wrangles between governors and national government.

In a gazette notice, the functions outlined will enable the county governments take over services from national government.
This was after governors won battle for devolution funds last week.
According to TA, gazetted devolved functions are 11. Governors must implement the functions following signing of county allocation law by President Uhuru Kenyatta last Friday. Each of the 47 county governments will now undertake, among other functions, crop husbandry, including provision of agricultural extension or farmer advisory services, construction of grain storage structures and availing of farm inputs such as certified seeds, fertilisers and other planting materials.
TA puts governors to manage agricultural training centres and agricultural mechanisation stations. Management of the centres and stations shall be transferred after six months to enable requisite structures and mechanisms to be put in place by TA.
Land development services such as construction of water pans for horticultural production for food security and formulation and review of county specific policies will be handled by governors.
The counties will also be in-charge of health services, which will include managing county and sub- county hospitals, rural health facilities, dispensaries, rural health training and demonstration centres.
Local Level
They will also be required to rehabilitate and maintain county health facilities, vehicles, medical equipment and machinery.
“Provided that until alternative inter governmental arrangements are made, all counties shall procure medical commodities from Kenya Medical Supplies Authority except where a particular commodity required is not available at the facility,” reads part of the gazetted functions.
County governments have an enormous task of constructing primary roads linking sub- county headquarters and minor roads linking markets and administrative centres.

These, however, exclude roads being managed by Kenya Urban Roads Authority, Kenya Rural Roads Authority, Kenya Wildlife and Kenya Forest Services.
In addition, they will ensure and coordinate the participation of communities and locations in governance at the local level and assist communities and locations to develop administrative capacity for effective exercise of functions and powers to participate in governance at local level.

The gazette notice explicitly states that the functions have been transferred to the county governments provided that the responsibility of the personnel emoluments related to the discharge of the devolved functions shall be managed by the national government for a period not exceeding six months or as shall be agreed upon between the two levels of government, whichever comes first.


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