West Pokot has been ranked the best performing county in the country since advent of devolution in 2013. A survey released on Monday by Infotrak gave West Pokot an average score of 87% followed by Elgeyo Marakwet at 83% and Tharaka Nithi at 80%.
Other counties listed as best performing counties on development include Embu with a score of 80%, Homa Bay 79%, Bomet 78%, Kericho 77%, Laikipia and Kirinyaga 76%, Kajiado 75% and Makueni 75%.
Trans Nzoia, Vihiga, Meru, Machakos and Kisii counties polled at 74%.
“Majority of residents in the best performing counties stated that devolution as a system of governance is working and has made performances of counties even more easier however most counties are still below the average performance rate of 49%,” the report concluded.
The survey which was conducted between July and August 2023, covering all the 47 counties, 290 constituencies and 1450 wards with an overall sample of 36,200 also graded the county performances based on various functions run by the county governments.
Better scores for education and agriculture
The functions ranged from Health, Public Participation, Education, Agriculture, Environment, Energy, County Planning, Roads and Transport, Water Management, Culture and Sports, Social Services, Trade and Tourism, Housing Lands and Settlement.
The survey report showed Education and Agriculture topping the list of functions run by county governments across the country with average of 55% and 51% respectively where Housing and Land was the lowest performing function with an average of 45%.
West Pokot was again ranked the top performing county in health due to significant efforts made by the county to provide essential healthcare services to underserved areas with an average of 58% followed by Homabay 57% and Tharaka Nithi 56%.
“Some of the efforts West Pokot county have made in the sector include the construction of a new county hospital in Kapenguria, which provides specialized health services that were previously unavailable in the county. They have also constructed several new dispensaries and health centers across the county,” the reported noted.
Uasin Gishu county was ranked the top performing county in Agriculture with an average of 63 per cent followed by Elgeyo Marakwet and Trans Nzoia at 63% and 62% respectively.
“Kenya’s breadbasket Uasin Gishu has capitalized on its topography and historic strengths to emerge as the top performing county in Agriculture with 63%,” Infotrak said.
Trans Nzoia, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kericho, and Bungoma counties are also credited as top performers in the Agricultural sector due to their achievements to modern farming practices, including using improved seeds, fertilizers, and mechanization.
Other counties that had significant improvement in the Agriculture sector were Homabay Kitui, Kirinyaga, Nyandarua, and Kiambu.
“As per region Rift valley topped the list in the sector with 55% followed by Western 54% and Central region 53%,” the pollster remarked.
Nyanza, Eastern, Coast, North Eastern and Nairobi regions posted cumulative scores of 51%, 50%, 46%, 45% and 40% respectively.
In terms of Road and Transport Nyeri county topped the list with an average score of 49% followed by Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties both with an average score of 57%.
“The top performing County in Roads and Transport system infrastructure is Nyeri which has invested in upgrading a number of rural roads making it easier to transport farm produce, routes constructing bypasses to ease and enhance its public transportation system,” the survey reported.
“Other top-performing counties that seem to have invested commensurate to public expectation are Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kericho, and West Pokot,” it added.
In the delivery of social services to citizens Elgeyo Marakwet and Trans Nzoia counties were indexed as the top two performing counties across the country.
Trans Nzoia, Homa Bay and Baringo counties were also ranked among the top 3 most Improved counties from 2020 to 2023.