Jitters as counties fail to utilise health funds

Baringo, Bungoma, Elgeyo Marakwet and Embu counties departments of health recorded the lowest absorption rate of development funds in the 2018/19 financial year.

A recent report by the Controller of Budget revealed that the absorption rate by Baringo’s health department stood at 18.2 per cent.

The department, according to the report, had been allocated Sh735.55 million for development but only utilised Sh134.04 million.

More than Sh601 million remained unspent.

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The county’s health department has over the years faced numerous challenges ranging from limited infrastructure, under-staffing and shortage of drugs in its facilities.

The revelation comes at a time an audit by a Non-Governmental Organisation Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG) revealed that many health facilities in the county, particularly level II facilities, do not have the requisite waste disposal mechanisms, are under-staffed and lack infrastructure.

The 2018/19 social audit report indicates that most facilities use compost pits to dispose waste.

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Baringo’s Department of Trade, Industrialisation and Commerce recorded the highest absorption rate of the development budget at 78.9 percent. 

The audit revealed that the department utilised 100.9 per cent of its recurrent budget in the same department.

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Lowest spenders

In Bungoma, the Department of Health and Sanitation recorded the lowest at 15.5 per cent while Land, Urban and Physical Planning recorded the highest absorption rate of development budget at 139.9 per cent.

In Elgeyo Marakwet, the county’s health department utilised Sh137.59 million of the Sh478 million that had been allocated for development in the department of health.

The report showed that the County Public Service Board and County Assembly recorded the highest absorption rate of development budget at 100 per cent while the Health and Sanitation department recorded the lowest at 28.7 per cent.

Embu County utilised Sh74.1 million of the Sh247 million that had been allocated to the department of health.

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“Analysis of expenditure by department shows that the department of public service and administration recorded the highest absorption rate of development budget at 100 per cent while the department of health recorded the lowest at 30 per cent,” reads the report.

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BaringoBungomaElgeyo MarakwetEmbuController of Budget