State seeks to empower regional development authorities

The six regional development authorities will be able to mobilize funds from other sources if a Bill is passed by Parliament and enacted into law.

East African Community, Arid, Semi-Arid Lands and Regional Development Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza said the proposed law will end the agencies' over-reliance on government funding.

Speaking during a familiarization tour of Coast Development Authority (CDA) on Tuesday, the CS said the six entities will also be realigned with national and county governments development agenda.

The other regional development authorities are Ewaso Ng'iro North River Basin Development Authority, Ewaso Ng'iro South River Basin Development Authority, Kerio Valley Development Authority, Lake Basin Development Authority and Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority.

Ms Malonza said the authorities play a significant role in initiating water, irrigation and catchment conservation projects that support livelihoods at the grassroots in line with the Kenya Kwanza government agenda.

She noted that CDA initiated the multi-billion shilling Mwache multipurpose dam in Kwale county, being implemented by the Ministry of Water and Irrigation to provide water to Mombasa and the larger Coast region.

"We are working on a Bill and policy to harmonise regional development authorities with national government and the counties to enhance integration and participation," she said.

Malonza said the legislation will enable the regional development agencies to engage development partners and mobilise resources from outside the government to finance their programmes.

The CS revealed that the ministry seeks to redefine the work of regional development authorities and bring out their visibility so that they can get more funds from the government.

"We will have to bring out the visibility of what these authorities do so that they can be allocated adequate budget," she said.

She said the agencies are strategically located at the grassroots and hence they can engage with the hustlers and improve livelihoods.

Malonza was accompanied by Coast Regional Commissioner Rhoda Onyancha, CDA Managing Director Mohamed Keinan and the board of directors.

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