Residents of Uasin Gishu County have urged the County Government to strengthen its public participation mechanism to ensure that the views and expectations of various stakeholders are reflected in the various decisions made by the government.

Speaking at the Kara Bimonthly Talk Series (BTS) Forum held on 22nd March 2019 at the Boma Inn Hotel in Eldoret, participants challenged the County Government to fast track the enactment of the Uasin Gishu County Public Participation Bill that is currently at the County Assembly. The Bill provides mechanisms for involvement and participation of the residents and other stakeholders in the decisions being made in the County.

The forum under the theme Strengthening citizen participation in sustainable development of Uasin Gishu County.” Was attended by Uasin Gishu County Governor H.E. Jackson Mandago who assured participants that his administration will establish more platforms for public engagements in order to facilitate regular interaction between the government and the public on service delivery issues. He also urged the participants to organize themselves into groupings such as Resident Associations to facilitate structured engagement with the county government. As part of efforts to enhance interaction and access to services, the Governor said that the county government had established four ICT centers to enhance provision of services such as online approvals of development plans.

Speaking at the same forum, Kara CEO Mr. Henry Ochieng urged the County Government to establish a functional framework for effective engagement with Resident Associations and other community groups. He also urged the Governor to fast-track establishment of the County Municipal Board as provided for in the Urban Areas and Cities Act to streamline and enhance service provision in the County.

Other speakers at the forum included Mr. Johnstone Kotut, World Bank consultant on social accountability and citizen participation; Mr. Suba Churchill, Presiding Convener, Civil Society Reference Group and Mr. Mwangi Waituru, Policy Advisor, VSO International. Mr. Kotut said that the County Government should facilitate access to information in a timely manner to ensure productive and effective public participation in the County affairs. On his part, Mr. Churchill challenged the civil society organizations in the County to unite and speak in one voice, so as to have meaningful engagements with the county government and hold the government accountable. Mr. Waituru, emphasized the need to involve various stakeholders including professional volunteers and senior citizens in promoting sustainable development in the county.