European Union, Danida's Sh4.5b funding boosts poverty eradication

The Government, the European Union (EU) and Danish agency Danida are financing key community development initiatives to a tune of Sh4.5 billion. The project aims at enhancing the economic prospects of low income earners and alleviating poverty.

The programme is being fast tracked by the Community Development Trust Fund (CDTF), a semi-autonomous government agency under the Ministry of Devolution and Planning. It is expected to strengthen local communities’ ability to address social, economic and environmental matters and promote cottage industries as well as small scale irrigation schemes.

The agency last week launched a system to manage accounts, human resources and procurement in the ministry aimed at enhancing service delivery.

Speaking at the event, EU Head of Social Affairs and Environment in Nairobi Ms Hjordis D’Agostino, reiterated the need for effective management systems at both the public and private sectors to increase the public’s confidence in the services offered.

Planning Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti said the system will improve efficiency, transparency and accountability in use of public resources. “As an accounting officer, I am keenly aware of the need to have accountable systems in every organisation that uses public funds,” said Mangiti.

Food production

CDTF Programme Coordinator Benson Sang said the initiative which ends by April next year has seen over 500,000 communities lifted from poverty through community based projects. “More jobs have been created and communities have increased their food production. It has also strengthened environmental matters and will mitigate effects of climate change,” said Sang.

Some of the projects being financed under the programme include water points, small scale irrigation schemes, rural weather roads and social amenities such as primary, secondary, and health centres.

Most of the beneficiaries are low-income earners whose economic ability is constrained by inadequate allocation of State resources and sidelined by the private sector. “It is our expectations that the communities living in the areas being targeted will be able to uplift their economic base and produce more to feed their families and help the country’s growing population,” said Sang.

“The rural communities will be able to access clean water, quality health care, deliver their produce from the farms to the market in good time and improve security.”

“In some areas, communities have started cottage industries and are able to add value to products for the local and regional market, for example, by processing juice and honey,” he added. Sang said CDTF assists communities to design suitable projects, provide training, and guidance in project management and governance.

He added that the organisation will be reorganised to conform to the Constitution and devolved systems. “Once the current programme is complete in April next year, the Government and donors will implement a new funding formula based on the devolved administration.

CDTF will be reorganised so that it can be able to extend funds to programmes designed at the county level.”