UNDERthe currentbudget, thegovernmentinitiated theEconomicStimulusProgramme(ESP), intended to revitalize the economyby deliberately allocating money tokey sectors such as education, health,infrastructure and small scale businessesat the constituency level. The ESP was introduced in response tothe effects of the post election violence, theprolonged 2007-8 drought and the globalrecession, which saw the local economycrash to less than 1% growth in early 2008. The ESP sought to jumpstart economicgrowth, to support the objectives of the Vision 2030 which is premised on 10%economic growth for the next 20 years.Under the 2009/10 budget titled‘Overcoming Today’s Challenges for aBetter Kenya Tomorrow’, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta allocated Kshs. 22 billionto the stimulus. The ESP is directed at corepoverty programs and sectors that havealready been prioritized in the Vision 2030.It is directed chiefly towards infrastructureprojects at the constituency level with a view to injecting large amounts of cashdirectly into the local economy. Approximately Kshs. 105 million was to beinjected into the 210 constituencies within6 months under the ESP program, a targetthe Ministry has entirely failed to meet. Inan unusual step the Ministry of Financearrogated itself the key implementing role,and so presently the ESP is coordinatedby the Ministry of Finance at the nationallevel. The design of the ESP program soughtto create a harmonised implementationframework and created the SPMC or Stimulus Project Management Committeeto coordinate the implementation of theprogram at constituency level. However,education projects are managed separatelythrough the District InfrastructureCoordination Team. The Stimulus Project ManagementCommittee (SPMC) is composed of MPs, The Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer ofthe CDFC, The District Public Works Officer,DCs, DDOs, District Accountant, the CDFFund Account Manager (an ex-officio) andDistrict Heads of relevant departments as well as seven community representatives. The work of the committee is to identifyproject locations; make recommendationsfor payment and oversee implementationof the ESP projects.
In the education sector ESP hasindentified the objective of improving thequality of education to all Kenyans. Projectsundertaken include: reconstructing twoprimary schools in each constituency-with water harvesting facilities at a cost of Kshs.7million each; reconstructing or upgradingto national level [centres of excellence]one secondary school in each constituencyat a cost of Kshs.30 million; recruiting 50primary school teachers per constituencyunder a 3 year contract at Kshs.10,000monthly; recruiting 10 secondary schoolteachers per constituency under a 3-year contract at Kshs.14,000 monthly andestablishing a Kshs.60,000 tree fund for 20primary schools in each constituency. The health programme is designed toconstruct and equip a model health facilityin every constituency as a first step in thethree-year plan with a total cost of Kshs. 4billion. Each constituency will receive Kshs.20 million. The programme will involve thehiring of 4,200 nurses 20 of whom will bestationed in every constituency receivingKshs.13, 000. In addition, medical kitsand vaccines worth Kshs. 1 billion will beprocured by Kenya Medical Supplies Agencyto be distributed countrywide. The ESP focuses at addressing the missingmarkets and facilitating commerce, tradeand rural enterprise development throughconstructing fresh produce and wholesalemarkets in 210 constituencies at a cost ofKshs. 10 million each.Furthermore, the ESP aims at reducingreliance on rain-fed agriculture througha multi-purpose regional development with initial rice/maize production at Bura,Hola, Pekerra, Tana Delta, Kibwezi, Ahero, West Kano, Bunyala, Mwea and South WestKano. The programme intends to promoteRegional Development for equity andsocial stability through the establishmentof Constituency Industrial DevelopmentCentres (CIDC) popularly known as JuaKali Sheds. This will be achieved through:Construction of 1 jua kali shed in eachconstituency at a cost of Kshs. 2.5 millionand further purchase welding andfabrication equipment for jua kali shedsin each constituency at a cost of Kshs.1million.In a bid to improve nutrition and createover 120,000 employment and incomeopportunities, ESP has seen the constructionof 200 fish ponds in 140 constituenciesfor fish farming at a cost of Kshs.40, 000each.
Efforts made by Ministry of Finance towardsaccountability
The architects of the ESP made greatpains to forestall subversion of itsprocurement processes. The Ministryof Finance issued specific guidelines toensure that local contractors would be The Economic Stimulus Programme hadthree major objectives. Firstly, stimulate theeconomy during the global financial crisis.Secondly, the programme would increaseemployment opportunities in production,processing and marketing of maize andrice produce. Thirdly, the irrigated maizeand rice locally produced would eliminatethe need for huge food imports and leadto saving of valuable foreign exchange.
ESP: Was it too much too soon?
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