The devolved government, proposed during the making of the new constitution, is primarily geared towards achieving two main objectives.
- Involve the people in governance
- Allow better supervision and implementation of policies at the grass root level
The county Government constitutes of a county assembly and county executive. The responsibilities of the county assembly include:
- Exercising the powers of enacting laws at the county level
- Acting as an oversight instrument on the county executive
- Approval of plans and policies for smooth operation and management of resources and county institutions
Even at county level, democratic principles are observed. The people elect the members of the county assembly at Ward level. Additional slots are reserved for nominations. This ensures that membership is well distributed by gender, marginalized groups and persons with disability.
The county assembly is headed by a county Speaker who by law is not supposed to be a member of the assembly.
The county executive on the other hand is charged with the responsibility of exercising executive power at the county level, implementing laws for administration of the county as well as carrying out other executive functions of the county. The county executive gives the people an opportunity to be more actively involved in law making. The county executive is led by a governor who is directly elected by the people at the county level.
The appointment of the county executive members is placed under the mandate of the governor, and approval is subject to the county assembly.
Functions of County Governments Part 2 (Fourth Schedule, Article 185 (2), 186 (1) and 187 (2)
The functions and powers of the county are:
1. Agriculture, including-
(a) Crop and animal husbandry;
(b) Livestock sale yards;
(c) County abattoirs;
(d) Plant and animal disease control; and
2. County health services, including, in particular
(a) County health facilities and pharmacies;
(b) Ambulance services;
(c) Promotion of primary health care;
(d) Licensing and control of undertakings that sell food to the public;
(e) Veterinary services (excluding regulation of the profession);
(f) Cemeteries, funeral parlours and crematoria; and
(g) Refuse removal, refuse dumps and solid waste disposal.
3. Control of air pollution, noise pollution, other public nuisances and outdoor advertising.
4. Cultural activities, public entertainment and public amenities, including-
(a) Betting, casinos and other forms of gambling;
(c) Liquor licensing;
(e) Video shows and hiring;
(h) Sports and cultural activities and facilities; and
(i) County parks, beaches and recreation facilities.
5. County transport, including-
(a) County roads;
(b) Street lighting;
(c) Traffic and parking;
(d) Public road transport; and
(e) Ferries and harbours, excluding the regulation of international and national shipping and matters related thereto.
6. Animal control and welfare, including-
(a) Licensing of dogs; and
(b) Facilities for the accommodation, care and burial of animals.
7. Trade development and regulations, including-
(b) Trade licences (excluding regulation of professions);
(c) Fair trading practices;
(d) Local tourism; and
(e) Cooperative societies.
8. County planning and development, including-
(b) Land survey and mapping;
(c) Boundaries and fencing;
(d) Housing; and
(e) Electricity and gas reticulation and energy regulation.
9. Pre-primary education, village polytechnics, home craft centres and childcare facilities.
10. Implementation of specific national government policies on natural resources and environmental conservation, including-
(a) Soil and water conservation; and
11. County public works and services, including-
(a) Storm water management systems in built-up areas; and
(b) Water and sanitation services.
12. Fire station services and disaster management.
13. Control of drugs and pornography
14. Ensuring and coordinating the participation of communities and locations in governance at the local level and assisting communities and locations to develop the administrative capacity for the effective exercise of the functions and powers and participation in governance at the local level.