In Summary
  • National resources must be exploited for the benefit of all Kenyans.
  • The counties should desist from politicising the matter to avoid sparking resource-related conflicts.

The growing clamour by counties for a big share of the proceeds from natural resources found in their areas is an issue that calls for a sober discussion. That it is getting ugly in some places is an indication of the urgency with which the matter needs to be handled. The latest entrant is Murang’a County, which is pushing for a levy on the water supplied to Nairobi.

It will be recalled that a similar pitch for the takeover of Mombasa Port by the host county sparked a heated debate countrywide with the general consensus being that this is a national resource for the benefit of the entire country. Then came the discovery of oil in Turkana, and the local leadership’s push for at least 30 per cent of the revenue remains a thorny issue between the county and the national leadership.

Lately, we have heard Taita-Taveta call for a share of the tourism revenue from the Tsavo National Park and Kericho demand 30 per cent of the tea earnings. At this rate, it will not be long before we hear the lakeside and coastal counties demanding a share of the revenue from fishing and central Kenya a levy on coffee and tourism earnings. While it’s logical for the regions endowed with resources to demand a greater benefit from the proceeds, the growing militancy over this is uncalled-for. Indeed, the regions should co-operate with the national government to fully exploit such resources for their benefit and the country.

National resources must be exploited for the benefit of all Kenyans.

The counties should desist from politicising the matter to avoid sparking resource-related conflicts.

The increased recognition of the potential in the regions should, instead, be harnessed through the counties forging regional economic blocs to boost the exploitation of the resources within their jurisdictions.