Last evening, my friends and I had a lengthy discussion that was examining the problems facing this country and who was to blame. And the conclusion was that Kenyans and their leaders must share the blame for all that is happening in the country – famine, violence, infrastructure, education, crime etc
A man seated on the next table alone was following the discussion and called me to his table and posed a question. “With all these problems that are facing various part of the country, have we taken our leaders to task to explain what they are doing with CDF?” he asked me.
And this made me ask myself, if as Kenyans we are ever bothered about how our CDF is used and what the priorities are. Have we even ever bothered to find out how much has been allocated to our area and what projects have been initiated? Do we even know that we can actually monitor progress on CDF projects?
I decided to sample a few Constituencies in areas that are currently facing famine and are also faced with low education standards and such. I find it interesting that between 2003 and now some of these areas have had less than 100 projects initiated and completed though the use of CDF.
Also noted is that there is a high emphasis on education than any other sectors. This is despite some of the areas having been successfully tested for other activities such as agriculture. In my opinion, water projects are also at a minimum, in these areas, despite this being one of the greatest needs.
I am also concerned by the fact that there are not many agriculture projects especially to do with livestock in these areas despite them being occupied by mostly pastoralists.
A take few examples but I am not in any way saying that the projects should not be in place. I just want us to examine them together and help answer the question if our priorities are on the right track.
Of the 188 CDF projects in Mandera Central since 2003, 70 have been in education, 22 in water, 19 in health, 1 in security, 1 in agriculture and 5 categorised as others. Things are similar in Wajir South where out of 187, education takes up 88, health 24, water 57, roads/bridges 6, agriculture 0, Security 2 and others 10.
Of the 97 projects in Fafi, 43 are in education, 18 in water, 9 in health, 13 in roads/bridges, 4 in agriculture, 7 in security and 3 in others.
In the seven years, all the 5 agriculture projects in Mbooni have been on the construction of cattle dips. Only two of the 18 water projects – construction of dams and sinking of boreholes – in the constituency have been completed.
But this is not to say that some CDF committees aren’t working one proper priorities. In Turkana Central, CDF has been used to initiate 30 irrigation projects, 20 of which have been completed. The question here is if there is any produce from the projects and why the area residents still depend on food aid.
We know that CDF has been used for purposes such as building public toilets in other areas and especially in Nairobi. The question I keep asking myself is if these are really the priorities for the people who should be served by these funds.
Help me answer this question?