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The Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC) today held a consultative meeting to discuss emerging issues on the implementation of the water function in Devolution. Among the agendas were; the Functional Analysis, review, Transfer in the water sector, and the conflicts between the two levels of Government in the implementation of the Water function.

In his opening remarks, IGRTC Acting Chair Mr. John Burugu appreciated the Millennium Water alliance for their steadfast support to IGRTC.
IGRTC, established under the Intergovernmental Relations Act No. 2 of 2012 (IGRA 2012), establishes a framework for consultation, cooperation, and coordination between the National Government, county governments, and amongst county governments, as envisaged in the 2010 Constitution of Kenya.

While opening the forum, he emphasized the importance of the meeting in reviewing and critically examining the implementation of the water function in counties as per the 2010 Constitution. While acknowledging diverse challenges in the implementation by the two levels of Government, the Chairperson urged the stakeholders to make the discussion open so that they can talk to each other, review, identify challenges, and derive abiding solutions.

“Despite the unbundling of the water functions, there is still a lack of clarity on the performance of these functions at both levels of Government, IGRTC in 2017 carried out a study dubbed, ‘Emerging issues on the transfer of functions to National and County Governments. The study noted conflicting roles in the implementation of water function by the two levels of Government.” Said the Chair.

Mr. Burugu further urged for the finalization of these processes of transfer of functions to enhance the seamless implementation of Devolution. He also told stakeholders, that IGRTC through the support of Water Millennium Alliance, has identified and appointed a consultant who will be visiting counties and offices to set the water function on a better productive pedestal in service delivery.

On their part, the Millennium Water alliance representative urged for full implementation of the Intergovernmental framework to address challenges in the water sector across counties. The body is instrumental in Convening and Influencing Governments, the Private Sector, and Non-Governmental Organizations to Accelerate Global Progress in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene.

On their part, the CECMs, through their chair, Engineer Ng’eno (CECM water Nakuru county), highlighted the challenges in implementing the water sector reforms. Key among them being the conflicting roles between counties and water bodies, lack of synergy between the two levels of Government in addressing water challenges, and called for the need to move from promises to actions.
The Council of Governor’s representative, Mr. Kizito Wangalwa, decried a conflict of interest between counties and the water agencies that need to be, resolved since the two serve the same people. He also urged for the inclusion of counties in water development programs by the water agencies. On her part, the representative of the National Government ministry of Water, madam Teresia Wasike, reiterated the commitment of the Ministry to address the issues at hand and make solutions, probably, full implementation of the Water Act 2016.

The finalization of the delineation of the water function for better service delivery in counties by IGRTC is very imperative for the realization of the ultimate dividends of Devolution to Kenyans.

The meeting was attended by; the Millennium Water Alliance, Ministry of water representation, IGRTC members, Council of Governors, Water CECM’s Consultants, and IGRTC Technical staff.

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IGRTC is, mandated with the role of ensuring seamless relations between the two levels of Government under the Intergovernmental Relations Act of 2012.
As part of strengthening its work and engagement with its stakeholders, IGRTC Members are currently reviewing the strategic plan 2015 – 2020 as they embark on developing the second strategic plan, 2021 – 2025, that will guide: the Mandate, the operations, and the activities of IGRTC undertaking Intergovernmental relations and responsibilities.
In his opening remarks, the Acting Chair noted that strategic planning is; a key pillar in the overall organizational growth.
He further emphasized the need to remind ourselves that Strategic Planning is a Commitment by an organization to chart and follow paths of development by implementing several chosen objectives through series of structured activities, hence the importance of a properly-crafted Strategic plan.
The provisions of Section 13 (1) of the Intergovernmental Relations Act 2012 empowers IGRTC to form sectoral committees, or working groups, to facilitate better working, thus, it effectively, efficiently, and competently strengthen IGRTC. “We need to review Thematic Areas, incorporate and integrate them to the broad thinking of COG Sectoral Committees, as well as those established by Cabinet Secretary; since IGRTC serves both the National and County Governments through COG on Intergovernmental Relations.” Said aid Ag Chair during Naivasha workshop
In his presentation, the CEO of IGRTC took the team through; Interpretation of the IGRTC mandate, its administration, proposed thematic areas, Monitoring, and Evaluation.
The proposed thematic areas to replace the old ones include:
1) Consultation, Coordination, and sectoral Forums to be chaired by a member.
2) Summit and other Intergovernmental Institutions to be chaired by a member.
3) Assets, Liabilities, and Transfer of records to be chaired by a member
4) Functional Analysis, Costing, and Transfer of functions, to be chaired by a member.
5) Alternative Dispute Resolution to be chaired by a member
6) Policy, and Legislation, to be chaired by a member.
Others suggested for restructuring under the IGRTC Institutional Administrative Sub-committees include:
1) Finance Administration and Resource Mobilisation, to be chaired by a member
2) Audit and Risk Management to be chaired by a member
3) Human Resource and Training to be chaired by a member
4) Budget Implementation to be chaired by the Accounting Officer (CFO)
The Monitoring and Evaluation unit is an independent area that directly reports to the CEO.
During the official opening of the workshop, the Ag. Mr. John Burugu emphasized the need for the institutional policy review; in the 2021-2 022 Strategic Plan to strengthen IGRTC and work towards the acquisition of ISO certification.
“IGRTC should embark on the ISO Certification process like other organizations. The biggest benefit of ISO Certification is that IGRTC, as an organization, would have evaluated and standardized processes. Management on this count would have to work extra hard. It is possible, and Members will support you throughout the training and processes.” Ag. Chairperson assured the team.
Present during the workshop were: Acting Chairman Mr. John Burugu, Hon. Alfred Khang’ati, Dr. Perminus Ndimitu, Mrs. Angeline Hongo, Mr. Loilson Ole Pere, Mrs.Saadia Abdi Kontoma, Mrs. Alice Moyaka, Mrs. Linet Mavu, CEO, Mr. Peter Leley, and the technical team.
The strategic plan will serve IGRTC as it transforms into a commission.

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