County functions have received a huge boost after Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA) expanded health, water and roads budget in a bid of ensuring resources follow responsibilities assigned to the devolved units.
The CRA increased allocation for water and conservation 78 per cent to Sh15.9 billion and boosted the health budget by 28 per cent to Sh117.2 billion.
The allocation for road construction was also increased by 9.8 per cent from Sh49.4 billion to Sh59.2 billion.
CRA chair, Dr Jane Kiringai said the national government should send money to counties to cover devolved functions including the Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
“The current government policy on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) came into being after devolution. The national government has piloted the programme in five counties over the last two years,” Dr Kiringai said.
“UHC will largely be implemented and realised at the county level. Given that heath is a concurrent function, the MOH budget on UHC policy implementation should be split between the national and county governments.”
CRA said resources that have been used to fund the purchase and maintenance of modern specialised medical equipment over the last six years should also be channeled to counties when the contracts expire.
“The national government has provided for an allocation of Sh6.1 billion under the MES in FY 2021/2022. Once the contractual obligations under this scheme are over, this grant should be allocated to county governments as part of the equitable share. The funds will be used by the county governments to finance health operations and maintenance of equipment,” Dr Kiringai said.
County governments have been pushing for more resources to meet devolved functions and fund developments projects.
The political blueprint, Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) calls for increase of resources to the counties by at least 35 per cent of the last audited accounts.
The blueprint also seeks clarity between the two levels of government by calling for the complete transfer of functions from the National to County Governments.