Regional Development Authorities
The concept of basins based planning in Kenya has been practiced since early 1970s through establishment of Regional Development Authorities (RDAs) which were defined along river basins and large water bodies.
Integrated basin development is key in achieving the Vision 2030 aspirations. Its overall objective is to achieve an equitable national social economic development through sustainable utilization and management of basin based resources. This is achieved through effective planning, development and implementation of projects and programmes across all the six Regional Development Authorities (RDAs), namely;
- Northern Corridor Integration Projects Office
- Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (TARDA),
- Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA),
- Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA),
- Ewaso Ng’iro South Development Authority (ENSDA),
- Ewaso Ng’iro North Development Authority (ENNDA) and Coast Development Authority (CDA).
Such programmes and projects would in turn create employment, equitable distribution of resources and rural-urban balance.
The six Regional Development Authorities under integrated basin development are mandated to promote integrated basin development within their areas of jurisdiction. The RDAs have enhanced food security in the country through irrigation, improved water storage and supplies for both domestic and livestock, stepped up flood control measures that will avert human lose and property destruction, increased conservation in major water towers and protected river riparian for major rivers. All this have contributed to employments and wealth creation in the country.
Roles and Mandate of RDAs
According to the Acts that created them, the RDAs were constituted based on river basins and large water bodies to spur regional development through sustainable utilization and conservation of natural resources. The Acts give the RDAs the mandate to reverse the disparities in development of the regions by acting as strategic drivers of regional socio-economic development through planning, developing and implementing as well as coordinating integrated basin based projects and programs such as provision of hydropower, water supplies for irrigation, domestic and industrial use, flood control, value addition and environmental conservation.