The Ministry of Devolution and ASALs consists of two State Departments; namely Devolution and ASALs, both of which were part of the defunct Ministry of Devolution and Planning. Executive order No. 1 of June 2018 (Revised), mandates the Ministry to be charge of the management of devolution affairs and ASALs.
The State Department for Devolution is mandated to build capacity and provide technical assistance to counties through development of relevant laws, policies, regulations and guidelines. It serves as a link between the National Government and County Governments.
According to articles 185(2), 186(1) and 187(2).] in the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution of Kenya, 14 functions were devolved: to the Counties.
- County health services
- Control of air pollution, noise pollution, other public nuisances and outdoor advertising.
- Cultural activities, public entertainment and public amenities
- County transport
- Animal control and welfare,
- Trade development and regulation
- County planning and development
- Pre-primary education, village polytechnics, home-craft centres and childcare facilities
- Implementation of specific national government policies on natural resources and environmental conservation
- County public works and 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 administrative capacity for the effective exercise of the functions and powers and participation in governance at the local level.
The Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee (IGTRC) is a body formed by an act of parliament to establish a framework for consultation and co-operation between the National and County Governments and amongst county governments. This is the body that was further mandated to take over the residual functions of the Transition Authority as envisaged under section 12 (b) of the IGRTC Act.
The core functions of the IGRTCC are outlined in Section 12 of the Intergovernmental Relations Act 2012 (IGRA). http://www.igrtc.go.ke/
The Council of Governors (COG) is a non-partisan organization that brings together all the forty-seven (47) Governors. It provides a forum of consultation and sharing of information and best practices among County governments.
The Summit is an apex body for intergovernmental relations that brings both the National and County Governments. It comprises of the President as the chairperson and the forty-seven (47) Governors. The chairperson of the Council of Governors is the vice-chair of the Summit.
Relief food is distributed to those affected by drought and are food insecure in the 29 ASALs counties. It is also distributed to those in emergency situations or affected by disasters.
The defining feature of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) is their aridity levels. The annual rainfall ranges between 150 mm to 550 mm for arid areas and between 550 mm to 850 mm for semi-arid areas per year. Temperatures in arid areas are high throughout the year, with high rates of evapo-transpiration.
The ASALs occupy over 80% of the country’s landmass, is home to roughly 36% of the population, 70% of the national livestock herd and 90% of wildlife.
This is the degree to which a climate lacks effective and life-promoting moisture. It is measured by comparing long-term average water supply (precipitation) to long-term average water demand (evapotranspiration). Whenever the demand for water is higher than supply, then the climate is described as arid.
29 Counties are classified as ASALs. These are: Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Turkana, Samburu, West Pokot, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Baringo, Isiolo, Laikipia, Nakuru, Lamu, Tana River, Taita-Taveta, Kilifi, Kwale, Embu, Kitui, Meru, Tharaka-Nithi, Nyeri, Machakos, Makueni, Kajiado, Narok, Kiambu, Migori and Homa Bay.
The State Department for ASALs is mandated to initiate and implement social and economic development programmes for accelerated development in the ASALs This is expected to contribute towards the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), African Union (AU) Agenda 2063, Kenya Vision 2030 and the “Big Four Agenda”.
The State Department is involved in implementing initiatives aimed at addressing:
- Arid and Semi-Arid Lands development;
- Peace Building and Conflict Management;
- Strategic Feed Reserves;
- Construction of water pans; and
- Cash for Assets.
The State Department for ASALs coordinates and fundraises resources for peace building initiatives in conflict prone areas including transboundary areas. It supports initiatives that enhance harmonious co-existence amongst border communities
The executive order No 1 of June 2018 on organization of Government placed the State Department for Planning under The National Treasury and Ministry of Planning.