How the four new Nyeri Bills will benefit locals

Nyeri Governor H.E Mutahi Kahiga has assented into law four vital Bills which are set to benefit Nyeri citizenry immensely.

The Bills which include the Nyeri County Health Services Fund Bill, 2021, the Nyeri County Forest Management and Conservation Bill, 2021, the Nyeri County Climate Change Bill, 2021 and the Nyeri County Inspectorate Bill, 2021 whose speedy implementation by the concerned departments will see the lives of the people of Nyeri transformed positively.

This is the highest number of Bills to be assented by the governor in the recent past since he took over office more than three years ago.

The Bills have been drafted in close collaboration between the County Executive and the County Assembly of Nyeri. While assenting to the Bills into law, governor Kahiga lauded the assembly committees for their focus, patriotism and the dedication they have showed towards achieving their mandate as a county assembly.

County Assembly of Nyeri Speaker Hon. John Kaguchia lauded the executive for its continued support through the process of coming up with these bills that will be of great benefit to Nyeri citizens.

The Speaker further noted that the county assembly will continue upholding this trend to ensure to ensure that Nyeri citizens continue to access proper services as they deserve.

The four bills assented to laws are:

1. Nyeri County Health Services Fund Bill, 2021

Under the Big 4 Agenda, the national government has remained focused on improving access to quality healthcare services for all citizens. This is a need that has trickled down to the devolved governments, which has seen the County Government of Nyeri establish a Health Services Fund Bill to address the various challenges in the health sector.

“The adoption of this bill is expected to revolutionize the health sector and enhance the efficacy in service delivery,” noted governor Kahiga.

Through this bill, the county government has established the Nyeri County Health Services Fund whose main purpose will be to improve health care service delivery in health facilities across the county. Subsequently, the Fund will ensure facilities have better access to financial resources as well as ensure health facilities are more responsive to medical and public health emergencies.

The Fund, provides that the sources of the Fund shall be: such monies received as user fees payable or insurance payments collectable under the Act; anyincome generated by a health facility from any project initiated by the health facility; or any other monies received from a lawful source.

According to governor Kahiga, 80% of all monies collected within a health facility will be retained to run operations such as buying of drugs while 20% of the revenue will be disbursed to other satellite facilities for running primary health services.

Further, the Nyeri County Health Services Fund Board,   comprising of all chairmen from Level 4 hospitals has been formed, whose functions will be to:

  • Provide oversight of the administration of the moneys drawn from the Fund.
  • Mobilize resources for the fund.
  • Provide guidance to hospital management boards on proposals on user fees where the Hospital Board seeks to propose new user fees or changes to the old fees structure, approve primary health services expenditure plans and receive reports from the Hospital Management Boards for its consideration and adoption.

2. The Nyeri County Forest Management and Conservation Bill, 2021

Nyeri County has been acclaimed as the leading county in Kenya in terms of forest cover at 38%. In light of this, governor Kahiga has assented to the Nyeri County Forest Management and Conservation Bill, 2021 which will ensure the sustainable management of forest and forest resources in Nyeri County.

The bill purposes to come up with incentives geared towards forest conservation as well as engage relevant stakeholders and the community at large in realization of the same. The measures will seek to increase forest and tree cover, encourage stakeholders’ participation and encourage operation of payment for ecosystem service mechanisms. In addition, the bill has provided for the creation of a county greening programme which will not only provide grants to community forest organizations but also smallholder farmers in support of afforestation and reforestation.

The formulation of the Forest Management and Conservation Bill was supported by the United Nations Development Agency (UNDP) REDD+ programme beginning November 2020. UNDP facilitated all public participation and technical meetings.

Previously, the county government has collaborated with other stakeholders including the Kenya Forest Service, Falcon network, Kieni Climate Initiative and the Akurinu Church in tree planting campaigns across the county.

3. The Nyeri County Climate Change Bill, 2021

Over the recent years, the world has experienced adverse effects on the environment due to climate change. In Kenya, climate change has resulted in more frequent extreme weather events such as droughts and unpredictable rainfall and flooding. Following this, it has necessitated for the creation of mitigation measures to tackle the same, as key drivers of the economy are vulnerable to climate changes. Nyeri County has been largely affected, as its economy is largely dependent on Agricultural production.

The Nyeri County Climate Change Bill, 2021 envisions putting in place a framework and mechanisms for mobilization and facilitation of the county government, communities and other stakeholders to respond effectively to climate change through appropriate adaptation and mitigation measures and actions.

Some of the measures will include facilitating the creation of a Nyeri County Climate Change Fund for the purpose of funding climate change projects, programs and activities provided for in the climate finance framework established. The various activities will be spearheaded by the following committees: the County Climate Change Steering Committee, the Nyeri County Climate Change Planning Committee and the Ward Climate Change Planning Committee.

Nyeri citizens will also have the platform to participate in the climate change process, as the bills provide for public participation and access to information to members of the public.

Governor Kahiga commended the County Assembly of Nyeri for the role they played in the passing of these bills that will see the forest cover in Nyeri County protected and utilized properly, as mitigation measures are taken towards climate change.

“An established Climate Change Fund will enhance the effectiveness of the operations. This actualization will also pave way for a more participatory public participation process that will rope in ‘Wanjiku’ who will also own the process of environmental conservation,” noted the governor.

Both the Climate Change and Forest Management and Conservation Bill, push Nyeri forward in being REDD+ ready i.e. reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, an effective climate change mitigation strategy.

4. The Nyeri County Inspectorate Bill, 2021

The Bill seeks to provide for the establishment of the Nyeri County Inspectorate Unit and to provide for its’ organization, functions, powers and for matters connected thereto. The bill provides for the institutional framework for the enforcement of compliance of County laws and regulations, regulates the conduct of the County Inspectorate officers and establishes an inspection mechanism so as to ensure the effective performance and exercise of the powers conferred to the unit. In addition to their roles, the bill gives the following powers to Inspectorate Officers in performance of their duties:

  • Powers to maintain law and order
  • Power to impound goods
  • Power of entry by authorized officer
  • Power to arrest
  • Impounding of vessels
  • Power to impound animals

It further provides for the following offences:

  • Impersonating an officer
  • Obstruction of an officer
  • Destruction of county property

The execution of their mandate will now have a proper legal backing as they carry on with the discharge of their duties as enforcement officers.

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