The Constitution of Kenya among other changes allows for the establishment of forty seven (47) County Governments to give local people and communities an opportunity to make decisions and manage their own affairs through their elected leaders and representatives. Kakamega County is one of the 47 Counties created by the Constitution. There is need to plan in advance on the future of the County in terms of economic, social, environmental and political development. This requires full involvement of stakeholders in identifying development needs, opportunities, challenges and allowing them to come up with localized, home grown interventions. The constitution recognizes the need for integrity in governance and public participation in public development issues. The people therefore need to originate development issues that address their felt needs.
With regard to the Constitution of Kenya, the County Government mandate is to deliver services to the people based on the following functions as outlined in the fourth schedule.
The functions and powers of the county are—
- Agriculture, including—
(a) crop and animal husbandry; (b) livestock sale yards; (c) county abattoirs; (d) plant and animal disease control; and (e) fisheries.
- County health services, including, in particular—
(a) county health facilities and pharmacies; (b) ambulance services; (c) promotion of primary health care;
(d) licensing and control of undertakings that sell food to the public;
(e) veterinary services (excluding regulation of the profession);
(f) cemeteries, funeral parlours and crematoria; and
(g) refuse removal, refuse dumps and solid waste disposal.
- Control of air pollution, noise pollution, other public nuisances and
- Cultural activities, public entertainment and public amenities, including—
(a) betting, casinos and other forms of gambling; (b) racing; (c) liquor licensing; (d) cinemas;
(e) video shows and hiring; (f) libraries; (g) museums; (h) sports and cultural activities and facilities; and (i) county parks, beaches and recreation facilities.
- County transport, including—
(a) county roads;
(b) street lighting;
(c) traffic and parking; outdoor advertising.
(d) public road transport; and
(e) ferries and harbours, excluding the regulation of international and national shipping and matters related thereto.
- Animal control and welfare, including—
(a) licensing of dogs; and
(b) facilities for the accommodation, care and burial of animals.
- Trade development and regulation, including—
(b) trade licences (excluding regulation of professions); (c) fair trading practices; (d) local tourism; and (e) cooperative societies.
- County planning and development, including—
(b) land survey and mapping; (c) boundaries and fencing; (d) housing; and (e) electricity and gas reticulation and energy regulation.
- Pre-primary education, village polytechnics, homecraft centres and childcare facilities.
- Implementation of specific national government policies on natural resources and environmental conservation, including—
(a) soil and water conservation; and
- County public works and services, including—
(a) storm water management systems in built-up areas; and
(b) water and sanitation services.
- Fire fighting services and disaster management.
- Control of drugs and pornography.
- Ensuring and coordinating the participation of communities and locations in governance at the local level and assisting communities and locations to develop the administrative capacity for the effective exercise of the functions and powers and participation in governance at the local level.