The Council of Governors (CoG) says it is in consultation with the Ministry of Health CS and the National Treasury CS, to fast-track the release of an additional Kshs 5 billion to counties to support and compliment their efforts in COVID-19 response.
The Council of Governors Chair Wycliffe Oparanya says they are hopeful that counties will receive the funds before the end of this financial year.
Speaking during this year’s 57th Madaraka day celebrations at State House, Oparanya said the county governments of Mombasa, Mandera, Kisumu, Kilifi, Kwale and Kitui that were ravaged by the pandemic in the first weeks received a total of Ksh. 2.3 billion to boost their response measures that would help stem the spread of the virus.
He reported that county governments have invested extensively in implementing the health measures including refocusing their resources to strengthen the health systems to respond to COVID-19.
“All the County Governments have reallocated a combined total of Kes. 6.1 billion to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund. Furthermore, we have ensured that other healthcare services in all our facilities are not interrupted and we have taken safeguards to protect other patients from being exposed to this virus in our health facilities. As we have weekly updated the Country, all the 47 County Governments are fully prepared to respond to the pandemic.” He added.
In preparation to respond to post COVID-19, Oparanya said the county governments are reviewing their CIDPs and their annual plans, re-engineering their 2020/2021 budgets to fit into the National Economic Stimulus Program that has been outlined by president.
“As part of the global economy recovery, County Governments are looking forward to access any international funding that may arise.” Said the Chair.
He noted that the COG have finalized the preparation for the enrollment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), signed the MOU on affordable housing and they are further committed to enhancing the ‘Buy Kenya, Build Kenya’ initiative.
At the same time he tanked the president for the support the COG has received since the first reported case of the COVID-19 in the country,
“We also take cognizance of this year’s Madaraka Day theme ‘Mbele Pamoja’ which indeed is an appropriate theme in view of the prevailing situation in the Country with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic and the fundamental changes it has brought to our Country. Today Your Excellency, my message is simple. Let us continue strengthening the existing collaboration, cooperation and dialogue so that, we realize the dream for a better Kenya for all.”
He noted that under president Uhuru leadership and during this second term, devolution has grown in leaps and bounds adding that Kenyans have now understood and appreciated devolution as a system of governance that focuses on self goverance, inclusion and participation of the people in decision making, social and economic development and public accountability.
“In your last Madaraka Day Speech, you pledged to avail decent and healthy meals accessible and affordable to all Kenyans. We note tremendous improvement in food production which has been achieved by enhanced access to quality farm input. Indeed, we echo your statements that no Kenyan will die of hunger and County Governments are working towards realizing this together with the Ministry of Agriculture.”
He at the same-time highlighted that a number of County Governments have suffered extensively from the effects of floods, landslides and invasion of locusts and in the process, many Kenyans lost their lives and this has affected the general infrastracture in the Counties.
“Both the National Government and County Governments partnered to provide emergency response to the victims, however, most of the affected Counties need support within the National Economic Stimulus Program to enable wananchi rebuild their lives and repair the affected infrastracture. We are happy that Kenyans can see that your administration is working closely with the 47 County Governments to ensure successful implementation of Devolution in the Country.”