Kakamega County will spend Kes 17.37 billion in the 2023/2024 financial year, representing an increase of 5.47 per cent from the 2022/2023 approved budget.

Kakamega County Executive Committee (CEC) Member for Finance and Economic Planning Livingstone Imbayi says the budget appropriations have taken into account the county priority programmes outlined in the County Integrated Development Plan 2023-2027 and the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period 2023/2026.

“We shall focus on infrastructure development, employment creation and improving service delivery,” he said.

During public participation in county budget estimates for the 2023/2024 financial year organized by the County Assembly, the CEC said tough economic challenges have resulted in unmet revenue targets at both county and national governments.

He said the 2023/24-2025/26 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) budget has prioritised expenditure on completing county flagship projects spread across the various sectors to ensure citizens benefit from those projects.

During the meeting chaired by the Principal Fiscal Analyst Mrs Beatrice Songole, MCA and two representatives from each of the 60 wards, the budget draft estimates show the health sector has gained the most by getting 26.75 per cent of the total budget with the County Public Service Board getting the lowest allocation of 0.46 per cent.

Public members cited the imbalance in the appropriation of funds to various ministries that are directly linked to the source of livelihood of the ordinary person.

The representatives called for the need to develop an agricultural, rural team to follow up on distributing subsidized fertilizers and seeds to farmers.

However, they hailed the increase in the ward bursary fund, which is a major boost for the needy students in the Education sector.

The bursary fund was doubled from Kes120 million in the last budget to Kes240 million.

However, Education stakeholders suggested that a school feeding programme ought to be established to benefit learners.

The public also expressed the need to digitalize the education sector by equipping ICT departments with Internet and the ECDE centres to provide more teachers to facilitate better learning conditions.

As part of the review, the public further suggested that the county internally source manpower and contractors for the proposed projects.

The Ministry of social services youth and Sports was advised to emphasise establishing a sports academy to promote and nurture young talents from all the wards.