Academic journal article Global Journal of Business Research

Community Awareness, Participation and Perceptions about the Road Maintenance Levy Fund Projects in Kenya

Academic journal article Global Journal of Business Research

Community Awareness, Participation and Perceptions about the Road Maintenance Levy Fund Projects in Kenya

Article excerpt


The Government has decentralized about 16% of the Road Maintenance Levy Fund to constituencies to maintain feeder roads. Decentralization of the fund creates opportunity for communities to participate in road maintenance, thus, improve transparency, accountability, ownership and sustainability. Although the Fund had operated for nearly two decades, no study had ever assessed the level of community awareness, participation and perceptions regarding project completion rates. We applied the cross-sectional survey design to source information from 298 community leaders and motorists. Out of 298 respondents, 102 (34.2%o) were aware of the Fund, of which only 43 (42.2%) had participated in maintenance projects. Besides, only 34 (33.3%) respondents were positive about project completion rate, the majority, 68 (66.7%) indicated negative opinions. Inconsistent flow of funds (82.4%), political interference (71.6%) and delay in auditing (39.2%) were among the factors affecting project completion rates. Among other aspects, the study recommends the need to sensitize the public about RMLF to improve awareness and participation; secure a hotline number to improve reporting; publicize annual work plans, budgets and expenditure reports for validation by the public; introduce electronic transfer of funds to agency accounts; develop rules, regulations and procedures to safeguard agencies from political interference.

JEL: 016

KEYWORDS: Community Awareness, Community Participation, Road Maintenance Levy Fund, Road Completion Rate, Kenya Roads Board


Participatory development is an important approach towards enabling communities to play an active role in projects initiated to address issues affecting their life and livelihoods, thereby assure the sustainability of such projects (World Bank, 2004). As noted by Thwala (2010), communities are no longer mere recipients of development projects; rather, they have become critical stakeholders that have an important role to play in the planning, implementation, management and evaluation of projects in their areas.

Community awareness and participation in development activities are not new concepts; for more than three decades, the concepts have gained recognition as essential requirements for the success of all development projects, including road maintenance (Nour, 2011). The benefits of community awareness and participation in development projects include cost reduction, resource supplementation and better targeting of the actual needs, especially when they are involved right from the planning phase. In addition, the two concepts nurture a sense of ownership, responsibility, accountability and better use of project resources (Moser, 1987; Nour, 2011). Community members participate in projects as individuals or through their organizations, associations, private enterprises or non-governmental organizations.

The Road Maintenance Levy Fund (RMLF) came into existence through the Road Maintenance Levy Fund Act number 9 of 1993 to facilitate the maintenance of public roads in all parts of Kenya. Kenya Roads Board (KRB) manages the Fund, which replenishes through fuel levy on petroleum products and transit toll collections. KRB is a state corporation that oversees and coordinates the development and maintenance of roads in the country. It came into existence in 1999 through the Kenya Roads Board Act number 7 of 1999 (Government of Kenya [GoK], 1993; 2000; 2012).

Section 6 of the Act gives KRB the mandate to undertake the following functions: administer funds derived from the fuel levy and any other funds that may accrue to it; oversee the road network in Kenya by coordinating its development, rehabilitation and maintenance. The law also mandates KRB to be the principal adviser to the Government on all matters related to the development, rehabilitation and maintenance of the road network in Kenya (GoK, 2000; Nyangaga, 2007).

Furthermore, KRB monitors and evaluates the activities undertaken by road agencies in the development, rehabilitation and maintenance of roads; ensure that all procurements for works and materials proceed in accordance with procedures and guidelines in the Public Procurement and Disposal Act of 2005. …

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