A majority of counties have absorbed less than 50 percent of their budgets in the first nine months of the 2018-2019 financial year.
This means taxpayers are being denied services despite the availability of funds, a new report shows.
According to the County Governments Budget Implementation Review Report, during the said period, the devolved units spent 48.4 percent of their total annual budgets.
Only Narok County managed to absorb over 60.1 percent of the funds allocated.
The other top 10 performers in absorption rates were Kitui, Garissa, Taita Taveta, Murang’a, Mandera, Nairobi, Nandi, Nyamira and Kakamega counties.
The rest of the counties failed to spend half of their budgets.
According to the report, the bottom performers in absorption rates were Wajir, Nakuru, Kilifi, Lamu, Tana River, Siaya, Nyandarua, Kajiado, Baringo, Samburu and Turkana counties.
Kakamega spent the highest amount on development projects at Sh3 billion, followed by Mandera and Nairobi counties at Sh2.8 billion and Sh2.3 billion respectively.
Governor Wycliffe Oparanya’s administration spent Sh545.7 million on building bitumen roads, Sh341.2 million for building the Kakamega Teaching and Referral Hospital, Sh260.8 million to do 10 kilometres of road per ward and Sh102.5 million for an enterprise resource planning system.
The Nairobi City County government spent Sh300 million on Nairobi regeneration projects, Sh119 million on the maintenance of various roads in the city and Sh105.5 million on the reconstruction of Jodongo Road.
Nairobi also spent Sh167 million on the construction of selected roads in Utawala estate.
Mandera County, the other top spender on development projects, used Sh400 million to tarmac roads in Mandera town, Sh119 million for the IDP housing programmes, Sh112 million to complete the Mandera County Rest House and another Sh100 million to complete the county headquarters.
In the 2018-2019 financial year, counties planned to spend Sh190.9 billion (59.9 percent) on development expenditure and Sh285.3 billion (40.1 percent) on recurrent expenditure out of the total budget of Sh476.1 billion.
Wajir, the bottom county in terms of budget absorption rates, spent Sh464 million for the grading, bush clearing and gravelling of roads and Sh492 million for the overhaul of water supplies and sewerage desilting.
Nakuru County used Sh64 million to buy tippers to be used during the rehabilitation of rural roads, Sh34.6 million for the development of a revenue management system and Sh34.6 million for the purchase of medical equipment for the Nakuru Level Five Hospital.
Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo blamed the delays in the disbursement of funds by the Treasury as among the reasons for the poor absorption of the money.
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