• Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

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Why Infotrak is wrong ranking Elgeyo Marakwet among best counties

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By Erick Ludeya

A survey released on Monday by Infotrak gave West Pokot an average score of 87 per cent followed by Elgeyo Marakwet at 83 per cent and Tharaka Nithi (80 per cent).

Other counties listed as best performing counties on development include Embu with a score of 80 per cent, Homa Bay 79 (per cent), Bomet (78 per cent), Kericho (77 per cent), Laikipia and Kirinyaga (76 per cent), Kajiado (75 per cent) and Makueni (75 per cent).

A focus on Elgeyo Marakwet reveals what could have been a shoddy and poorly done survey by Infotrak.

The County was among five counties flagged by the Controller of Budget for having spent zero shillings on development activities by March this year.

While this was attributed to delayed release of funds by the treasury, the county by every means and standard can’t rank among the best performing counties.

The county was ranked as among the best performers in health yet it was only in August this year when it was put on the spot over poor service delivery in the Health Department.

Residents in the county raised concerns about poor services at Iten County Referral Hospital which repodely lacks enough equipment while many remain broken.

The residents have often complained and claimed that some rogue county employees demand for bribes before discharging vital services.

The Referral Hospital as of now can’t adequately handle emergency cases like accidents.

“I was once asked to pay for fuel for an ambulance yet I had a patient who was in a critical condition,” said Festus Kimuron, a resident.

The county is also one of the most hard-hit with increased Malaria cases.

Over the past three months, at least 550 people have been diagnosed with the disease in various health facilities.

The affected areas, include Endo, Lower Sambirir, Arror, Emsoo, Tambach Wards, and parts of Kapchemutwa ward, are under close surveillance, with the low lands of Keiyo South Sub County also being monitored for any potential outbreaks.

In July,governor Wesley Rotich admitted that shortage of essential drugs is one of the major challenges affecting effective delivery of health services in Elgeyo Marakwet County.

The governor Wisley Rotich said while some health facilities don’t get their drugs supply on time, others are supplied drugs that they didn’t order.

“The health facilities order drugs depending on the prevalence of diseases in the area, for instance some will order pneumonia or malaria drugs but instead get drugs they had not ordered for thus they cannot prescribe the drugs required by a patient,” he said.

Elgeyo Marakwet County has generally undergone massive development since the advent of devolution but the county has not had a significant economic shift to uplift the lives of its residents.

The County’s supply chain is still dominated by political and business heavyweights who hail from the county.

The Controller of Budget in her report flagged the county for its high wage bill, which accounted for 40.2 per cent of the revenue for FY 2022/23 of Kshs.6.21 billion thus constraining funding to other programmes.

The County’s approved first supplementary budget for the FY 2022/23 was Kshs.6.26 billion, comprising Kshs.2.26 billion (36.2 per cent) and Kshs.3.99 billion (63.8 per cent) allocation for development and recurrent programmes, respectively. The approved budget estimates represented a decrease of 4.6 per cent compared to the previous financial year when the approved budget was Kshs.6.56 billion and comprised Kshs.2.86 billion towards development expenditure and Kshs.3.7 billion for recurrent expenditure.

In FY 2022/23, the County received Kshs.4.61 billion as the equitable share of the revenue raised nationally, Kshs.203.86 million as conditional grants, had a cash balance of Kshs.1.19 billion from FY 2021/22, and raised Kshs.217.35 million as own-source revenue.

One positive thing for the county is the fact that it generated a total of Kshs.217.35 million from its sources of revenue. This amount represented an increase of 34 per cent compared to Kshs.162.25 million realised in a similar period in FY 2021/22 as per the CoB.

In January, Governor Wesley Rotich secured funding for Sh27 million oxygen piping at major hospitals to increase access to quality healthcare.

The system was to be operable by May but there has been little evidence to show availability of the same.

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