The constitution of Kenya 2010 establishes one of the most revolutionary changes in the country’s history with the establishment of the two tier governance system with a national government and 47 county governments. The constitution envisages that county governments shall spearhead development at the county level with a view to bridge the developmental disparities that have existed in the country since independence. Needless to point out therefore, County governments have been tasked with specific functions under the constitution, key among them agriculture, health, trade, roads, county planning so as to spur growth and create employment.
Pursuant to the specific mandate in the Constitution 2010, the County Government is required to prepare County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) that outlines the development goals covering a period of five years. The CIDP is the first for Baringo County as it is in the other Counties and will cover the period 2013-2017. It replaces the District Development Plans, which were used to guide development with the focus at the District under the former constitutional dispensation. The Baringo CIDP has been prepared through an inclusive and a wide consultative process required by Article 10 of the Constitutiuon.
Under the constitution of Kenya 2010, National and County Governments are distinct but interdependent. The County Government is composed of the Governor, County Executive Committee and County Assembly. The County Executive Committee is expected to supervise the administration and delivery of services to the County citizenery as well as conceptualize and implement policies and county legislation. The County Assembly is a legislative organ and will play an oversight role on all County public institutions including the urban areas.
The County Government responsibilities and functions are specifically spelt out under the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution. Currently, not all functions in the fourth schedule have been transfered to the county governments. The County Government of Baringo will ensure that it has the capacity to undertake all the functions as stipulated in the fourth schedule by the end of the transition period. This will include: prudence financial management practices; build strong institutions of management of county affairs; and training and capacity building of county government staff and the County Assembly. These will be done under the legal framework established to support county governments where several laws on devolution have been enacted including; The Urban Areas and Cities Act 2011; The County Governments Act 2012; The Traansition to Devolved Government Act, 2012; The Intergovernmental Relations Act 2012 and The Public Finance Management Act, 2012. Other relevant laws that have been enacted in the different sectors to support implementation and operationalization of devolution include; the National Government Coordinating Act, 2012, and the County Governments Public Finance Management Transition Act, 2012.
Programmes that focus on the youthful population, who account for the highest proportion of the population, especially addressing youth unemployment, will be implemented during the Plan period. Attention will be given to provide knowledge and skills with a bias on entrepreneurship with affordable credit to enable them engage in production of goods and services. Besides, the County Government is expected and will expand middle level colleges in the county to take advantage of opportunities in the industrial sector as the county moves towards industrialization. In addition, programmes and projects that support the agricultural sector, which is the main economic activity in the county, will be aimed at transforming farming to make it more competitive and increase production per unit.Raising the profitability of farmers will not only boost the livelihoods of the county residents, but also attract the youth to join the sector, helping to also address unemployment among the youth. The County Government will also start programmes aimed at diversifying economic activities in the county. This includes value addition to agricultural produce and establishing tourism sector and a circuit in the North Rift Region.
The County Government will work to attract investors in the county. Specific initiatives to establish and create an enabling environment to attract direct investments in the county will be implemented. Key projects especially the infrastructural projects will be marketed to investors to be implemented under the Public Private Partnerships. This will also address the financing gaps for projects in the county.
Finally, I call upon the residents of the County of Baringo to commit towards the development process outlined in this Plan. This is the beginning of a new phase that will see the transformation of the county, improve the quality of life of the residents and as such all the stakeholders in the county must work together to ensure that the Plan’s objectives are realized.
H.E. Stanley Kiptis
Governor, Baringo County