Local Government of Kenya

Ministry: Provincial Administration and Internal Security

Association: Association of County Governments of Kenya

Before the constitution of August 2010 local government was provided for by the Local Government Act 1977, and not enshrined in the constitution. The Ministry of Local Government was responsible for local government. There were175 single-tier elected councils, 67 of which were county councils; 62, town councils; 43, municipal councils; and three, city councils.

The local authorities have had revenue-raising powers; and also received transfers from national government. The authorities have been responsible for services such as refuse collection; street lighting; markets; road maintenance; and burial of the destitute, their only statutory responsibility.

The constitution that was approved by the National Assembly in April 2010 and endorsed by the electorate in the national referendum of August 2010 provides for a significant devolution of power to new county authorities. Elections of 47 county governments – each with an elected assembly, governor and executive committee – were scheduled for 2013. The new county governments are to be responsible for delivery of such services as health care, water supply, local transport and agriculture support, including some urban services previously devolved to the local authorities under the Local Government Act 1977.