It is that time again when you engage in the county planning and budgeting process. I hope you have started engaging in the formulation of the Annual Development Plan in your county. Here in Nairobi we are in pursuit of an ideal Annual Development Plan (ADP). All 47 counties are required by the law to develop ADPs every year (check Article 126 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012). Every County shall prepare an Annual Development Plan in accordance with Article 220 (2) Constitution of Kenya 2010.
Contents of County Annual Development Plan (CADP)
- Strategic priorities for the medium term that reflect the county’s priorities and plans;
- A description of how county government is responding to changes in the financial and economic environment
- Programmes to be delivered with details for each programme;
- Payments to be made on behalf of the County government, including details of any grants, benefits and subsidies that are to be paid;
- A description of significant capital developments;
- A detailed description of proposals with respect to the development of physical, intellectual, human and other resources of the county, including measurable indicators where those are feasible.
Concerns, issues flagged from Nairobi County ADP 2019/2020
1.0 Mukuru Special Planning Area (SPA)
The Mukuru Special Planning Area (SPA) has been allocated Ksh 5 million. This is a drop in the ocean. The Nairobi County Annual Development Plan CADP 2019/2020 does not provide reasons for the choices made in this case. There is no clear narrative on how this insufficient resources will be spent considering that this is a mega project that needs plenty of resources. Nairobi City County should focus on clearing the obstacles which lies along the way.
According to Physical Planning Act 1999, the Director by notice in the Gazette, may declare an area with unique development potential or problems as a special planning area for the purposes of preparation of a physical development plan irrespective of whether such an area lies within or outside the area of a local authority.
Instead of the City County commencing any projects in the special planning area, the resources allocated towards this function should be spent on ensuring that the certificate of leasing the area is transferred from the private investors to the state. This is currently deemed to be an obstacle to development in the area.
As indicated in the CIDP and Annual Development Plan 2019/2020, there are many competing wants for land use in Nairobi. Land is in limited supply compared to the numerous needs for land. This calls for proper preparation for any government project to succeed.
2.0 Renewal of Old Estates in Nairobi
According to the 4th Schedule, social protection is a national function and as a result, Mji wa Huruma should be constructed and supported financially by the national government.
Affordable and social housing
Enumeration of people in the old estates that have been earmarked for renewal or upgrading. There is lack of clarity on social and affordable housing. Right now Nairobi City should be investing in conducting enumeration of people in the earmarked old estates in Nairobi.
In 2019/2020, Nairobi City is planning to launch the Park Road affordable housing projects to be among the projects to be developed in other informal settlements.
In the health sector, residents raised their concerns noting that Nairobi County should ideal focus on prevention to reduce on cases that need curative care. They noted that most residents suffer from lifestyle diseases which can be solved by behavioral change such as providing facilities and infrastructure which enable residents to live a healthy lifestyle. For instance, there is need for pedestrian and bicycle lanes in the city to make it possible for more residents to ride bicycles to work which will have a great impact on their health. This strategy has worked miracles in countries such as Cuba where there are fewer cars than people.
On curative programme the residents of major informal settlements have called for establishment of cancer centers to deal with increasing number of cancer cases and hence the need for screening and subsequent treatment.
There was a strong feeling that instead of installing an elevator at Pumwani Hospital which is already compliant with facilities for people living with disabilities and the resources that have been proposed for construction of a perimeter wall around Langata Cemetery (Ksh. 28 million) should be reallocated towards addressing more urgent needs such as provision of medicine at all primary health care centers around the capital city.
Education and Social Services Sector
The Nairobi residents noted with a lot of concern that youth promotion and empowerment does not get adequate resources as expected despite them being used actively during the campaign period. At the planning stage, counties and national government talk fondly about allocating adequate resources for youth empowerment but in the actual budgets the resources are inadequate to say the least. For instance, Nairobi County allocated just Ksh. 3.7 million for Youth Empowerment and Promotion for Financial Year 2018/2019.
According to Nairobi County Annual Development Plan 2019/2020, in the calendar year 2018 approximately 3.8 out of 4.9 million Nairobi residents (77.5%) will be aged between 0-34 years of age. These are classified as youths in Kenya. Therefore, it makes no sense to allocate this huge number of youths just Ksh. 3.7 million for their development and promotion.
Expenditure on National Government Functions
Nairobi County as always is planning to spend on bursaries for secondary school students. This is a popular budget vote despite it being a violation of the 4th Schedule of the Constitution. We all know that secondary education is a national function until and otherwise there is a written transfer of this function as required by the law.
Water and Sanitation
The residents of Nairobi informal settlements were surprised to learn that there is no mention of expansion of the existing water infrastructure in Nairobi City. Instead, the Annual Development mentions the drilling of boreholes, rainwater harvesting and the water kiosks.