, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 17 – Kiambu Governor William Kabogo says public participation is one of the biggest gains of devolution as it gives citizens a chance to participate in governance.
Kabogo noted that while devolution faced various challenges, many county governments had overcome the hurdles to deliver services to Kenyans.
“For now if you get into the grassroots, you will find women saying that our hospitals are very efficient and better off than before and even the smell that used to be there before has gone. Issues to do with provision of clean water was initially at 15 percent but at now we have reached 40 percent,” he said.
The Governor noted that key issues addressed in Kiambu were water provision, youth empowerment, public healthcare improvement, agriculture and roads, services that were earlier not easily accessible to Kenyans.
“There are many gains but there are also some shortcomings. We are here now so that we can dialogue together as individuals, corporate organizations and even those who receive services so that we may bring out the best from our system,” he stated.
He expressed optimism in his government’s commitment, saying that the growth in Kiambu heavily depended on hard work by the county workforce.
“We have passed through many problems in devolution because it was not something that we had done before and that is the reason why it’s important to get feedback from every sector so that we can note how we can ensure that it works,” he said. “I anticipate and encourage debate that will ensure there are fresh ideas which will help the county government by giving it feedback on our performance.”
He stressed the need for Kenyans to fully understand the concept of devolution and participate in it to ensure it succeeds.
“We also want to use this forum to clarify the role of county governments to service the National government and collect insightful data that will inform policy deliberations during the third devolution conference in Meru,” he said.
“The onset of devolution poses enormous challenges to the newly formed county governments due to a variety of structural administrative and political environment. Despite this, the good news is that the people of Kenya have firmly embraced the concept of a devolved system of government.”