NAIROBI, Kenya, May 5 – Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero wants the Senate to recommend the creation of an inter-governmental special fund to the help in combating the pollution of the Nairobi River and sanitation in informal settlements.
Kidero said it should be created under the Cities and Urban Areas Act which allows county and national government to enter into agreements regarding the performance of functions and delivery of services by the capital city.
“The only way to resolve this is through some special funding, out of the ordinary day-to-day budgeting because the county government cannot afford that kind of budget and the Ministry (of Environment) does not have the money to partner with us on this.”
“It needs to be recognised as an emergency, it needs to be recognised as a catastrophe waiting to happen so that we have special funding for sanitation and water service in the informal settlements to reduce pollution,” he said.
The Nairobi Governor who was appearing before the Senate Committee on Implementation said the county lacks resources because of most of the county’s Sh11 billion budget goes towards paying of salaries.
“We get Sh11 billion plus we collect in revenue about Sh13 billion which comes to Sh24 billion. We have 18 billion as payroll costs. There is no money for development, so the answer is no we cannot afford,” Kidero stated.
Environment CS Judi Wakhungu told the committee that the national government was facing challenges in allocating resources but was looking for donors to help implement a five year waste management master plan.
“The donors of course would be hesitant to sign agreements with county governments because of the level of funding it entails. They can only be assured that the funds will meet the required tasks if they sign with the national government because this is traditional partner to provide assurances that they have the capacity and experience to deliver on such projects,” she stated.
The Environment CS added: “That is where the Senate can be very useful to us it’s just a matter of indicating that when it comes to prioritising certain projects especially in the City of Nairobi we need to be supported because if you look at the demographic transitions the population of Nairobi is going to increase”
The Senate Committee chaired by Siaya Senator James Orengo had expressed concerned over the runaway pollution of the Nairobi River and encroachment of the land meant for sewerage services.