Meru plans to spend Sh860m on county officials’, staff houses
A whopping Sh400 million will go towards buying litter bins across 70 markets. The county will spend Sh100 million for establishment of a radio and TV station.Agriculture department to spearhead planting of one million avocado and a million macadamia seedlings in more than 12,000 acres of land.
Meru County plans to spend Sh860 million on governor, deputy governor and speaker’s residences as well as a staff housing scheme in the next five years. According to the draft Meru County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) 2018-2022 — which is set for public participation next week — the speakers residence will cost Sh60 million while that of the governor and his deputy need Sh300 million.Another Sh500 million will go towards providing quality and adequate housing for county staff.The county assembly will spend another Sh300 million on construction of an office block and a 50 seater restaurant by 2020.
The CIDP indicates that 14 departments will require up to Sh95.7 billion to finance various projects, pay salaries and other expenses.Water and irrigation sectors are expected to gobble the biggest chuck of the budget with Sh23.8 billion, followed by roads, Sh20.3 billion, health Sh10 billion, Agriculture, Sh9.4 billion, finance and economic planning Sh6.4 billion while education takes Sh5.8 billion.The county flagship projects include processing of bananas and potatoes Sh700 million, free milk programme Sh500 million, gender-based violence rescue centre Sh200 million, annual cultural extravaganza Sh250 million, cultural centre Sh100 million, and Meru youth service Sh900 million.Others are roman road paving technology Sh810 million, 1000-megawatt wind and solar energy Sh300 million, special economic zones Sh600 million, industrial parks Sh400 million, satellite markets Sh100 million, cancer centre Sh1.3 billion, urban development Sh500 million and construction of dams and drilling boreholes Sh12.2 billion.The county also hopes to set up processing plants through public-private partnerships.Under education, the county government plans to spend Sh1.5 billion on development of technical and vocational training.In agriculture, the county wants to improve food security in semi-arid areas by spending Sh800 million to buy green grams from farmers through the County Investment and Development Corporation.By the end of five years, the department expects to have spearheaded the planting of one million avocado and one million macadamia seedlings in more than 12,000 acres of land.It also wants to increase miraa income to Sh9.5 billion by 2022 while increasing production of green grams to 25,000 tonnes annually. Milk production is expected to rise to 30 million litres while income is to rise to Sh1.2 billion.The county will also spend Sh100 million for establishment of a radio and TV station.The county government also wants to spend Sh300 million to put up a star-rated hotel at the Meru National Park and eco lodges at Nkunga forest to promote Meru as a major tourist destination.Provision of clean water through dams, reservoirs, community projects, small dams and sewerage systems will gobble Sh7.9 billion by the end of the term.A whopping Sh400 million will go towards buying litter bins across 70 markets to enhance proper disposal of waste.However, the county will only manage to raise Sh60.2 billion from the regular revenue streams leaving a deficit of Sh35.5 billion.“A substantial amount of the Sh35.5 billion shortfall will be addressed through increased revenue collection enhanced by automated collection system, funding proposals based on transformative projects and specific sector projects that clearly depict expected outcomes submitted to development partners and public private partnerships, loans and grants applications, inter-county development programmes and use of innovative financing instruments such as Development Bond,” The plan reads.Mr Murungi states that the projects and programmes are expected to add value and transform the county in the next five years.