By Andy Munyoki.
Kitui holds a second round of successful public participation forums in less than two months, increasing citizen inclusion and involvement in the development of their county.
Validation forums for development projects identified for implementation by local residents at their respective villages through the Community Level Infrastructure Development Program CLIDP, Sand Dams and the Pro-Poor Bursary Support Programmes took place in each of Kitui County’s 40 Wards on Friday.
The public participation meetings convened by Dr. Julius Malombe’s led administration at every Ward headquarters brought together village representatives – 2 each (male and female) for the sole purpose of confirming whether the projects to be tabled for validation as well as target beneficiaries for the bursary programme represent the true voice of the residents of their respective villages as identified during the village forums.
CLIDP: Each ward got an equal allocation of 9.5M for absorption through CLIDP with residents required to prioritise low value projects for implementation.
Priority was however given to the completion of stalled _ECDE classrooms and health facilities initiated through the programme but still stand incomplete today during the identification.During the village forums, residents identified at least 5 priority projects which cost less than 2M each for implementation by June 2023.
The beauty of CLIDP is in the identification of its projects and their subsequent implementation which is a preserve of local contractors.The ultimate goal of the programme is to promote equitable development across all the county’s 247 villages.
Worth noting is the distribution of CLIDP funds where 70 % of a ward’s budget is shared amongst its villages while the remaining 30 % is channelled to the implementation of larger and more impactful ward-wide projects.
[It is this 30% that was being shared during today’s ward level forums with the 70% having being distributed evenly during yesterday’s village level meetings.]Pro-Poor Bursary Support Programme:The county government has reserved a total of Kes 120Million for the support of needy learners this financial year.
The fund which has since recorded a whooping 80% increase from 40M to 120M after Dr. Julius Malombe took the reins of leadership of the county aims at keeping needy learners in school.Out of the fund’s 120Million, a total of 72% (86Million) will go directly into the payment of school fees subsidies for needy learners while a 25% (30Million) will support small infrastructural projects in schools and the remaining 3% (3.6Million) will be spend on administration of the programme.
Through the fund, university and college students will receive Kes 10,000 each while those in vocational institutions of learning will receive Kes 5,000 to support their education.
Students in National Secondary Schools will receive Kes 20,000 while those in County Secondary Schools and Day Schools will receive Kes 10,000 and Kes 5,000 respectively.Sand Dam Programme: The County Government aims to construct a total of 2,400 Sand dams (Ming’eeto) with an average of 60 dams per ward.
The identification of these dams was previously done through a collaboration of the County Government and SEKU (South Eastern Kenya University) but their specific location is to be provided by the locals.
When developed, the sand dams will enhance food security through provision of water for multiple uses i.e. domestic, livestock, small holder irrigation and re-greening of the environment.
The available budget of Ksh Kes 120Million set for spending in the program this financial year can only support 3 Sand Dams per ward so each village is required to select only one Sand Dam not costing above 1M for construction.
Dr. Julius Malombe’s administration is hosting these public participation forums so as to fully inform and involve local communities in the identification, implementation and operationalisation of county projects and programmes going forward.