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Review of Hardship areas begins in 23 Counties

According to the Principal Secretary for Interior Services, the exercise to collect data on hardship areas in 23 counties started today.

Five teams will carry out the exercise in the 23 counties.

The PS revealed the each will comprise of representatives from the Ministry of Public Service and Gender, the Public Service Commission, the National Treasury and Planning, the Kenya Bureau of Statistics, the Ministry of Education, the Commission on Revenue Allocation, the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Teachers Service Commission (TSC), the Judiciary and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

Which Counties will each team visit?

Team
Areas they will visit
Dates of visiting counties
First Team
Lamu, Kilifi, Kwale, Kilifi
Between 5th to 17th September 2021
Second Team
Laikipia, Meru North, Tharaka Nithi and Nyandarua
Between 5th to 17th September 2021
Third Team
West Pokot, Turkana, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, Suba, Nyatike, Seme and Tinderet
Between 25th October to 5th of November 2021
Fourth Team
Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Kitui North, Kitui South, Kitui East, Miwngi North and Kalama
Between 25th October to 5th of November 2021
Fifth Team
Murang’a, Kiambu, Nyeri and Nakuru
Between 25th October to 5th of November 2021

The first phase of the data collection exercise on hardship areas was done in the 2020/2021 financial year meaning the current exercise is the second phase. The second phase had to wait due to financial constraints.

Officers from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, TSC County Directors and County Directors of Education have been directed to be a part of the ongoing exercise. These officers will provide necessary data and any additional support that will help in the exercise.

According to the circular, the teams have been informed of the days of travelling to the said regions and then when traveling back to Nairobi.

The First team shall be provided with two vehicles to travel on the ground after arriving by air to the County of Lamu.

The ongoing exercise is in line with TSC’s promise in the new CBA to introduce new hardship areas. The hardship allowance is an incentive to teachers and other public officers who work in areas that are difficult to access, have poor infrastructure and have an environment that is challenging.

Some of these areas make it hard for TSC-employed teachers to access food, limited access to social amenities, adequate transport and communication and living in areas with harsh climatic conditions.

Some existing hardship areas may be scrapped as they have undergone development ever since they were declared hardship areas and now have better infrastructure and social amenities as well as access to water and food, while others that have never been recognized could be enlisted as new hardship areas.

The World Bank asked Kenya to remove hardship allowance, a move that could have boosted the finances by a whooping Sh. 3 Billion to save the economy. This was after the country also experienced the global economic recession that the COVID-19 pandemic caused.

What Areas Were Enlisted As the New Hardship Areas

In the new CBA agreed upon by TSC and the three main teachers unions comprising the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (KUPPET) and the Kenya Union of Special Need Education Teachers (KUSNET), the following 18 areas were added to the list of hardship areas.

  1. West Pokot County
  2. Wajir County
  3. Turkana County
  4. Tana River County
  5. Taita Taveta County
  6. Samburu County
  7. Narok South And Narok North Sub-Counties (Narok County)
  8. Mumoni, Mutito North And Tseikuru Sub-Counties(Kitui Couonty)
  9. Marsabit County
  10. Mandera County
  11. Lamu County
  12. Magarini And Ganze (Kilifi County)
  13. Kwale County
  14. Mashuuru, Loitoktok And Kajiado West Sub-Counties (Kajiado County)
  15. Isiolo County
  16. Suba And Mbita Sub-Counties (Homa Bay County)
  17. Garissa County
  18. Baringo North, Tiaty East, Tiaty West And Marigat Sub-Counties (Baringo County)
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