ABOUT THE COUNTY GOVERNMENT
The history of Nakuru County is colourful and splendid. The county’s rich history is joined at the hip with that of the entire nation.
When the Kenya-Uganda railway line was constructed, although heavily criticized as the Lunatic Express or a road to nowhere, it had a profound impact in the creation the nation today known as Kenya.
As the nation grew, Nakuru Town also developed out of the activities of the railroad as it was one of the major stopovers that encouraged growth of business centres along the railway from Mombasa en route for Kisumu.
Nakuru County was among the area that was annexed as white highlands, where many colonialists chose to settle.
From then on, Nakuru quickly transformed into a big town which later was to become the headquarters of the Rift Valley Province, serving as the nerve centre for other 14 counties in the region.
Actually it is very much easy and convenient to get to any part of Rift Valley or the entire nation from Nakuru. From Nakuru Town to other regional headquarters in the country with the exception of Mombasa is two and half hours’ drive.
This quality makes Nakuru County the pearl of Rift Valley and indeed the entire nation.
The County sits at the centre of the great road from Mombasa to Nairobi all the way through Nyanza opening Kenya to East and Central Africa, thus Nakuru is strategically located and favorable for investors, a factor that gives this county a great impetus for great socio-economic growth.
Major Towns in Nakuru County
Nakuru Town, the headquarters of the county, is the fourth largest urban centre in Kenya after Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. In addition, it is the fastest growing town in East and Central Africa according to a recent study by UN-Habitat.
Other major towns in Nakuru are Naivasha, Molo, Gilgil, Njoro, Maai Mahiu, Subukia, Dundori, Salgaa, Mau Narok, Bahati, Rongai and Olenguruone.
Naivasha is ranked number one non-capital investment destination in Africa as well as the fourth investment destination in Africa after Dar es Salam, Kampala and Kigali.
The stature of Naivasha as a robust investment hub is set for a higher notch with the plans of creating a dry port in Naivasha as a result of the construction of SGR phase two which covers Nairobi and Naivasha.
The Area of Nakuru County, Agricultural Potential
Nakuru County covers an area of 7, 495.1 Km2. This includes 5,039.40 Km2 of arable land, 852.1 Km2 of non arable land, 202 Km2 of water mass (that basically covers lakes Naivasha, Elementaita and Nakuru) as well as 679.6Km2 of gazatted forest. This implies the county’s land mass size on average is equal to three counties whose area is slightly over 2, 000 Km2.
Agriculture is the lifeline of the economy of Nakuru County as 70% of the 7,495.1 Km2 of the county’s land which translates to 5, 039.40 km2 is arable and highly productive land.
It is very much possible for farmers in Nakuru County to have two seasons per years as the the county has a bimodal rainfall pattern with a high of 1800mm and a low of 500mm. Nakuru County usually has long rains between March, April, May and June, while short rains occur between October and November.
Location, Administrative Units, Population
Located in the south eastern part of the Rift Valley Province, Nakuru County borders 7 counties with Baringo to the north, Laikipia to the north east, Nyandarua to the east, Kajiado to the south, Narok to the south west with Bomet and Kericho to the west.
Administratively, Nakuru County is subdivided into eleven sub-counties and fifty 55 wards. Nakuru County’s population is multicultural and profoundly diverse. The population comprises of all major tribes of Kenya who have coexisted peacefully together for many many years.
The Kenya Census of 2009 established that at the time, Nakuru County population was 1, 603,325. With a population growth rate estimated at 3.05% today the county has an approximated population of 2, 046, 395, comprising of 1, 026, 924 males and 1, 019, 471 females.
This high population growth rate has created a predominantly youthful population. 51.87% of this population is aged less than 20 years and 71.63% of the population is less than 30 years of age.
Consequently, the County Government of Nakuru is promoting the growth and expansion of the infrastructures of public service so as to meet the social and economic needs of the youth as well creating favorable environment for investment so as to generate employment opportunities to the labour force which currently is 1, 128, 338 persons.
As noted earlier the main economic activity in Nakuru County is farming. Nonetheless, the county’s ecological system is robust and Nakuru residents depend on it for other economic activities such as tourism, energy and many other beneficial economic activities.
Nakuru County is endowed with a huge capacity geothermal power production. Going by the amount of geothermal power produced at Olkaria to the national grid, Kenya is now the world’s eighth largest producer of geothermal power worldwide. There are opportunities to invest in equipment for power generation through GDC.
At Menengai a pilot project has established that it is possible to invest in direct steam use from geothermal wells for milk processing plants, heating fish ponds and greenhouses as well as powering laundry.
Naivasha has been earmarked by the national government for the establishment of an industrial park. The industrial park is meant to be near energy production point so as to cut on power costs.
This initiative is highly welcomed as it will lead to the development of infrastructure that will not only support business growth, but also immensely contribute to the improvement of quality of lives.
Building, Construction Industry
As Nakuru County turns to be the fastest growing town in East and Central Africa, building and construction industry proportionately expands at the same rate.
This rapid growth rate in construction projects has increased currency velocity in the county resulting in the establishment of numerous construction related industries over and above employment opportunities to thousands of people.
Major attractions in the county are Lake Nakuru National Park, Lake Naivasha, Hell’s Gate National Park and Menengai Crater. Lake Nakuru National Park hosts among other wildlife the big five; lion, rhino, leopard, buffalo and elephant.
There are numerous opportunities for investment in meetings, incentive travels, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) in Nakuru County, more so in Naivasha.
This is because the International Congresses and Conventional Association (ICCA) has ranked Naivasha the 34th destination for international congresses and convention. MICE contributes Ksh 4.55 billion to the national economy and going by the ranking of Nakuru County nationally on MICE, a substantial share of this revenue ends up in Nakuru and there are more opportunities for this.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ANS: Public participation is one of the key national values and principles of governance espoused by the new Constitution, under Article 10(2) (a). It therefore follows that common citizens should seek active involvement in the implementation of devolution.
These responsibilities can be pursued by:
- Contributing towards the development of legislation needed to fully make devolution work.
- Pressing County Assembly and implementing agencies to adhere to the stipulated time schedules, standards and regulations for the enactment of the required laws.
- Monitoring the conduct of leaders and public institutions in line with the provisions of the Constitution, and mobilizing and maintaining public pressure for action on institutions and leaders that disregard the Constitution.
- Protecting and demanding all the human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Constitution.
- Scrutinizing all public appointments and elections.
- Ensuring that all individuals selected or elected to hold public office or positions in implementing agencies or State offices are suitable as stipulated in Chapter Six on Leadership and Integrity in the Constitution.
- Offering themselves for election or nomination for positions of leadership that they qualify for.
- What is the structure of the County Government of Nakuru and what actually is it role towards the people?
ANS: The County Government is made up of the executive, public service and the county assembly of Nakuru. The main aim of the County Government of Nakuru is envisaged in the aspirations of the people of Kenya when they adopted a devolved dispensation which is to involve the people in the governance process. Additionally, to allowing for better supervision and implementation of policies at the level which they are felt by the mwananchi.
Specific functions of the County Government are captures in schedule four, part two of the Kenya Constitution 2010 and they are as follows:
- Agriculture, including-
(a) Crop and animal husbandry;
(b) Livestock sale yards;
(c) County abattoirs;
(d) Plant and animal disease control; and
- County health services, including, in particular
(a) County health facilities and pharmacies;
(b) Ambulance services;
(c) Promotion of primary health care;
(d) Licensing and control of undertakings that sell food to the public;
(e) Veterinary services (excluding regulation of the profession);
(f) Cemeteries, funeral parlours and crematoria; and
(g) Refuse removal, refuse dumps and solid waste disposal.
- Control of air pollution, noise pollution, other public nuisances and outdoor advertising.
- Cultural activities, public entertainment and public amenities, including-
(a) Betting, casinos and other forms of gambling;
(c) Liquor licensing;
(e) Video shows and hiring;
(h) Sports and cultural activities and facilities; and
(i) County parks, beaches and recreation facilities.
- County transport, including-
(a) County roads;
(b) Street lighting;
(c) Traffic and parking;
(d) Public road transport; and
(e) Ferries and harbours, excluding the regulation of international and national shipping and matters related thereto.
- Animal control and welfare, including-
(a) Licensing of dogs; and
(b) Facilities for the accommodation, care and burial of animals.
- Trade development and regulations, including-
(b) Trade licences (excluding regulation of professions);
(c) Fair trading practices;
(d) Local tourism; and
(e) Cooperative societies.
- County planning and development, including-
(b) Land survey and mapping;
(c) Boundaries and fencing;
(d) Housing; and
(e) Electricity and gas reticulation and energy regulation.
- Pre-primary education, village polytechnics, home craft centres and childcare facilities.
- Implementation of specific national government policies on natural resources and environmental conservation, including-
(a) Soil and water conservation; and
- County public works and services, including-
(a) Storm water management systems in built-up areas; and
(b) Water and sanitation services.
- Fire station services and disaster management.
- Control of drugs and pornography
- Ensuring and coordinating the participation of communities and locations in governance at the local level and assisting communities and locations to develop the administrative capacity for the effective exercise of the functions and powers and participation in governance at the local level.
ANS: Article 176 provides that there shall be county governments for each county consisting of a county assembly and county executive. The membership of the county assembly is provided for under Article 177 while the membership of the county executive is provided for under Article 179.
According to Article 36 (1) of the County Government Act, 2012; the County Executive Committee has three main functions which include: supervision of the administration and delivery of services in the county and all decentralized units and agencies in the county; performing any other functions conferred on it by the Constitution or national legislation; and carrying out any function incidental to any of the assigned functions. Article 37 of the same Act, also confers the role of urban area and city planning to the ‘county cabinet’.
- What is the role of the County Assembly?
ANS: As per Articles 185, 207, the legislation contemplated in Article 220(2), guided by Articles 201 and 203; additionally, to article 212 of the Kenya Constitution 2010; the key roles of the County Assembly can be deduced as Legislation, Oversight and Representation.
- What is the formula that the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) uses in the sharing of funds to counties?
CAi = 0.45PNi + 0.26ESi + 0.18PIi + 0.08LAi + 0.02FEi + 0.01DFi
CA=Revenue allocated to county
i = County: 1,,2………47.
PNi =Revenue allocated to a county on the basis of Population Factor.
ESi = Revenue allocated to a county on the basis of Equal Share factor. This is shared equally among the 47 counties.
PIi= Revenue allocated to a county on the basis of Poverty Factor.
LAi= Revenue allocated to a county on the basis of Land Area Factor.
FEi= Revenue allocated to a given county on the basis of Fiscal Effort.
DFi= Revenue allocated to a given county on the basis of Development Factor.