Governor want rural roads construction devolved

Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya in an earlier event. He now wants county governments to be allowed to build and manage rural roads. [Duncan Ocholla, Standard]
Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has asked the national government to transfer rural roads to the counties.

Speaking in Malanga village in Malava on Saturday, Mr Oparanya said counties had the capacity to handle more functions.

"The national government has continued to hold on to the very important role of roads infrastructure as residents continue to suffer at the grassroots. Counties should be allowed to build and manage rural roads," he said.

"As a result, counties have to borrow funds from the national government and other sources to improve roads in their jurisdictions," he added.

The governor said since counties received only 15 per cent of the national budget, the national government should initiate more projects at the grassroots because it controlled most of the funds.

“Funds allocated to Kenya Urban Roads Authority and Kenya National Highways Authority should be transferred to counties as the two State corporations have failed to improve roads at the grassroots.”

The Council of Governors and the national government have been fighting over classification of roads and whether the function should be devolved or not.

“If roads are not well maintained, then we will be denying citizens the fruits of devolution as envisaged by the Constitution,” he said.

The Kenya Rural Roads Authority, created to provide an adequate, safe and efficient rural road network, also falls under the national government.

Meanwhile, Oparanya called on MPs from sugarcane growing regions to ensure that the Sugar Act, which was repealed in 2013, was reintroduced in Parliament to save the ailing sub-sector.

"We need that Act because it proposes better solutions to problems bedeviling the sugar sector."

Deputy Governor Philip Kutima cautioned politicians against engaging in early campaigns ahead of 2022. 

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Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanyakehnakurarural roads