Kenya: Health, Education to Suffer As Coast Counties Allocate Them Peanuts

Pupils outside a classroom at Mangororo Primary School in Ganze, Kilifi County on May 11, 2019.

Coast region counties face tough times after basic services such as healthcare, education, water and sanitation were allocated meagre amounts in the next financial year.

The worst affected are Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale where the bulk of resources have been allocated to recurrent expenditure at the expense of basic services.

CEILINGS

In Kilifi, the public health department which deals with provision of health services has been allocated a paltry Sh400 million as opposed to the Sh3 billion which will go towards general administration, planning and support services.

The maternal and child health sector was allocated Sh35 million while curative and rehabilitative services will get Sh155 million.

Despite the county experiencing severe water shortage, the water and sanitation department has been allocated only Sh599 million out of which ward development projects will receive Sh190 million while Sh240 million will go towards salaries. Another Sh168 million will go towards administration costs.

Speaking in an interview; water, forestry and natural resources executive Kiringi Mwachitu said the county had been forced to cut the water budget from Sh990 million in the last financial year to Sh240 million due to a government ceiling. "These reductions are as a result of ceilings placed on us by the national government. That is why we have also reduced our expenses on staff salaries and other administrative costs by Sh8 million, from the Sh177 million last year to Sh168 million," he said. In Kwale county's Sh9.1 billion budget, Sh5.1 billion will go towards recurrent expenditure with development getting Sh4 billion.

WATER

The health sector will get Sh2.5 billion out of which Sh1.9 billion is recurrent expenditure. Development projects will get a paltry Sh505 million.

In Mombasa, residents attending public participation sessions had called on the government to prioritise availability of clean water, health and education.

But out of the Sh13 billion budget, Sh9 billion will go towards recurrent expenditure with development getting only Sh4 billion. The county government has allocated Sh3.2 billion towards the health sector but a big chunk of the money will go towards recurrent expenditure which has been allocated Sh2.9 billion with a paltry Sh251 million going towards development.

The water and sanitation department was allocated a paltry Sh433 million. The agriculture and fisheries sector was allocated only Sh486 million with Sh245 million going towards recurrent expenditure. An Old Town resident, Mr Hassan Mohammed, said the county needs to install water storage facilities to curb shortage.

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