Vihiga tests waters with Sh500m ward fund deal
This follows a deal between the MCAs and the Executive. The fund comes a month after a two-day bonding session between Governor Wilber Ottichilo and MCAs in Eldoret.
Vihiga County is set to come under the scrutiny of Controller of Budget after it rolled out a Sh500 million Ward Development Fund following a deal between the MCAs and the Executive. Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo had in the past rejected county budgets that include such funds, saying they are neither anchored in the County Government Act nor the Constitution.Lately, however, Ms Odhiambo has released guidelines that allow counties to set up WDFs as long as the MCAs stick to their oversight role and allow the Executive to implement projects.
The 25 Vihiga MCAs will now oversee the implementation of the projects financed at the ward level under WDF, which mirrors the National Government Constituency Development Fund.Each ward has received Sh20 million MCAs identified projects in a series of public participation forums.The projects include access roads, health facilities and early childhood development and education (ECDE) classes.The fund comes a month after a two-day bonding session between Governor Wilber Ottichilo and MCAs in Eldoret.The fund, proposed in various counties had been seen as a duplication the National Government Constituency Development Fund.
The County Government Act also bars MCAs from implementing projects, a role it assigns to the Executive. But the ward representatives argued here that the fund implements functions already devolved under the law.MCAs said on Tuesday the move would help them fulfil their campaign pledges.MCAs Eric Odei (Gisambai), Gladys Analo (Busali), Victor Ijaika (Lugaga-Wamuluma) and Douglas Beru (Shamakhokho) said the projects are in line with the objectives of devolution.Mr Odei said three new ECDE classrooms are being put up at a cost of Sh4.5 million in Gisambai. He said he had also launched a Sh6 million Kapchamwani-Lwombei road.“We have also started renovating Mawe water projects in Gidimo and Galona at Sh1 million. We are in the process of completing stalled Gamei dispensary at Sh1 million,” said the Gisambai MCA.Both Mr Odei and Ms Analo said they had disbursed Sh9 million in bursaries to more than 1,800 needy children.Ms Analo said her ward was undertaking 10 water springs projects at a cost of Sh1 million to boost the supply of clean water.“We are also constructing five ECDE classrooms in Mwiriza, Chavogere, Bugina, Chamakanga, Kivuye and Busweta,” she said. “We are also establishing three greenhouses in Lotego as well as building dispensaries in the ward.”