Counties struggle to gain control over local natural resources in Kenya

The Narok County Government won a major victory on June 25, 2013, when it wrestled the administration of the Masai Mara National Park,

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Kenya’s most lucrative tourist attraction, from Equity Bank. Yet the struggle is far from over, viagra strengths and as counties gain more autonomy and power under the new devolved system of government, new fights over resources are bound to break out. .

Terminating the 10-year contract fee collection deal with Equity Bank that caused millions of lost revenue over the years does not solve the systemic issue of effective natural resource management. The loss of revenues was attributed to inefficiency of the electronic collection system. The Narok County government felt that the system used by Equity Bank was faulty, leading to an inability to capture the revenues.

Kenya’s economy, based mainly on agro-industry and tourism, depends on the effective management of the country’s natural resources. Critics complain that Kenya’s widespread and acknowledged culture of corruption and mismanagement are ubiquitous, whether the resources are administered nationally, at county level or by the private sector. Another challenge is that county governments, only six months in office, inherited a broken, debt-ridden system from local authorities. Before counties can look towards revenue generation, they need to audit and undo the damage inflicted by local administrators who acted with little national oversight.

In the case of the Masai Mara, the stakes are high. Equity Bank earned a commission on the €13,043,478 annual revenue viagra online and was to earn fixed revenue of €91, 3043

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annually, whether they reached their revenue target or not. The local population buy viagra was especially critical of the contract, which they claimed was awarded under the former Narok County Council without public consultation. The Auditor General also called for a renegotiation of the contract

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to protect the county residents, without identifying particular council members who may have benefited from kickbacks when the earlier deal was closed. Narok County Government now manually collects the fee itself through issuance of receipts, which, though potentially less efficient, will be evaluated through an upcoming audit. .

A real concern is that the devolved units of county government lack the capacity at the moment to undertake effective natural resource management beyond revenue collection. The Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Economic Affairs, Kwame Owino, explained that the counties are still overwhelmed by the transition. “Not much can cialis with viagra be yielded from them currently during this transition and legally the transition will take three years. So what needs to be done is to work closely under the Intergovernmental Relations Act to have the national government second some of their experts to the counties.”

Many counties are reasserting their rights over local natural resources despite the challenges.

The counties find themselves in an unenviable position – their competence being questioned not only at a national level, but also by the local population that has watched many of the newly formed county governments struggle to begin the work of governing.

Already, the Kenya Wildlife Service has petitioned to take over the management of the Maasai Mara reserve. The county administration has failed to stop the decline in wildlife which has dropped by 70 percent as they lose territory to domestic cattle grazing. Maasai Mara sits on community land. This means that the reserve is owned and managed by the county government, which does not necessarily have the infrastructure or environmental expertise to manage effectively.

Narok county governor Samuel Tunai has admitted there is a crisis at the Mara, stating that buffalo and wild dogs have almost disappeared. He added that huge herds of wildebeests no longer pass through the region on their epic migration as they did five years ago. If the animal population reduces as a result of poor county administration, the entire country loses tourism revenue.

Conflicts between county governments have also broken out over natural resources that cross boundaries. In Murang’a County, home to the cialis online canada pharmacy Ndakaine dam that supplies over

70 percent of water to Nairobi County, residents want Nairobi County to pay for the water. While the Governor has yet to initiate legal action, the dam was previously administered by cheapest pharmacy the Ministry of Water under the central government, which meant that resource sharing was not an issue.

This cross-county conflict over many natural resources including water, tourist attractions and markets, will require arbitration to address management, revenue sharing and human resources, previously left to bureaucrats at the national level.

Edgar Odari, a program officer with Eco-News Africa, a civic forum that works on trade justice and the extractive industry, explained that Article 71 of the Constitution, which addresses natural resource management, is not specific about how to balance national and local interests. “How do you appease the equity part of the

constitution?” he asked. “The law talks about nationalism. This is going to create conflict

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two ways. One will be between the national government and some county governments. The other will be between county governments. In general principle however, equity in law will demand that the population where the resource is located get a share of it and for it to be equitable,

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it has to be well managed. However there are structures lacking in county governments to prudent undertake these functions.”

Weak national legislation on the governance of natural resources adds to the confusion, while the does cialis work with alcohol national government is using its muscle to dilute local claims

over lucrative extractive industries. Two pieces of legislation are currently in development: a mining bill and energy bill. Odari, who is on the advisory committee for these bills, confirmed that the national government wants to have

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a huge say in the management of these resources, especially in the mining and oil sectors. The county level administration struggles to assert its claims as the government argues that only the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) has the mandate to allocate the resources.

Residents in counties are forming groups that they intend to use to lobby on issues with organizations dealing with natural resources and other devolution issues. Local non-profit organizations funded by international donors, including

Oxfam and the European Commission, are also putting resources into convening conversations

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between the community and local government. For instance, in similar viagra the Rift Valley, where the Maasai Mara is located, NGOs are engaged with village elders to change the common practice of killing a lion once young Maasai men reach adulthood, encouraging them to become advocates for wildlife protection in the community instead. These participation mechanisms however face challenges. There

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park can support. Weak structures are also not helpful in the communities’ being able to articulate their concerns. And a perennial lack of

finances to facilitate their work hampers information flow to the national government.

Whether devolved governments will prove better stewards for natural resources than the national government or private contractors remains to be seen. Part of the donor funding now being channeled to strengthening county governments will prepare local governments for the job of both protecting canada pharmacy online these resources and managing revenue to benefit the community.

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