Government seeks MPs' nod on Sh10.6bn to combat floods

Flooded homes are seen at Mukuru-Kayaba slum

Flooded homes are seen at Mukuru-Kayaba slum in South B on April 21, 2024.  

Photo credit: Sammy Kimatu | Nation Media Group

The government wants the National Assembly to approve Sh10.6 billion to cater for emergency response on the account of the flooding situation in the country, caused by the ongoing heavy rains as the humanitarian crisis gets dire.

The details of the allocation are contained in the Supplementary Budget II for the current- 2023/24- Financial Year presently before the National Assembly for post-facto approval.

By Saturday, over 210 people had died of the flooding menace with thousands injured, others displaced from their homes and property destroyed with no indication when the rains will subside.

This comes as the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) warned of heavy and very heavy rainfall in many parts of the country in the coming days, as the government ramps up humanitarian interventions to minimise loss of lives.

The mini-budget of Sh34.92 billion, which includes Sh28.47 billion in recurrent expenditures and Sh6.45 billion in development expenditure, is a reorganisation of the Sh2.37 trillion budget for the national government passed in June 2023.

The Supplementary Budget comes against the backdrop of missed revenue targets by the national government due to contracting revenue streams.

Of the entire supplementary budget, Sh19.28 billion has already been disbursed to the relevant State agencies and what the National Treasury seeks the National Assembly to do, is a regularisation of the spent sums in post-facto approvals as provided for in Article 223 of the Constitution.

At least Sh9 billion of the emergency response intervention budget for floods, El-Nino and drought has already been disbursed.

Other than floods, El-Nino and drought, the mini-budget has Sh3 billion for the national government’s fertiliser subsidy project with State House getting an extra Sh2.5 billion to cater for among others staff emoluments out of which Sh1.2 billion has been disbursed.

The Article states that the national government may spend money that has not been appropriated if the amount appropriated by the National Assembly is insufficient or a need- emergency- has arisen for expenditure for a purpose for which no amount has been appropriated.

While submitting the mini-budget estimates to the National Assembly, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Prof Njuguna Ndung’u noted that implementation of the current budget has progressed “smoothly” despite challenges in revenue collection leading to delays in exchequer releases.

The CS also admitted escalation in debt service, settlement of expenditure carryovers from the 2022/23 financial year and settlement of pending bills as other challenges.

“Expenditure pressures arising from increased demand for additional resources to cater for emerging priority spending for interventions such as the El-Nino and security operations,” says Prof Ndung’u.

The allocation to deal with the flooding menace is spread across the government sector institutions involved and includes response interventions to deal with the effects of El-Nino that occurred towards the end of last year and the drought situation that hit the country last year before the rains came.

The current budget for the state house is Sh11.34 billion.

It is not clear why the State House failed to budget for the emoluments of its workforce during the normal budget-making cycle and now wants the extra amount passed under the supplementary budget.

In January this year, the Public Service Commission (PSC), a state agency which recruits public service employees including for State House, disclosed that State House had 483 ghost workers, who are employees not captured in the staff register but getting state remuneration, nonetheless.

The National Treasury gets an additional Sh7.48 billion out of which Sh4.67 billion goes to finance revenue-raising activities of Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and Sh2.02 billion to the State department for Forestry to cater for the salary shortfall of staff.

There is also Sh671.2 million in loan procured from the World Bank for the laying of the Eldoret-Nadapal Fibre Optic cable project, Sh500 million to the State Department for Cooperatives to mop extra milk and Sh500 million in payment for legal dues for Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) arbitration case.

The Office of the Deputy President also got an extra Sh463.43 million “to cater for enhancement of operations and maintenance and implementation of alcohol, drug and substance abuse programme,” pushing its year’s budget to Sh4.8 billion.

By the end of March 2024, total revenue collected including Appropriation-in-Aid (A-I-A) was Sh1.86 trillion, about 11.5 percent of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), against a target of Sh2.13 trillion resulting in a shortfall of Sh270 billion.

The shortfall was mainly attributed to under collection of ordinary revenues by Sh255.1 billion and A-I-A by Sh15.7 billion.

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