Governors push for release of Covid-19 response funds

Written By: Claire Wanja

" 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." Council of Governors Chairman HE @GovWOparanya

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. 

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.”




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