Chiefs have been directed to work closely with the clergy to tackle violence against women and children within their jurisdictions.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i (pictured) said there has been an increase in reported cases of domestic violence since coronavirus outbreak in the country.
At the same time, Dr Matiang'i said chiefs, their assistants and the National Government Administration Officers (Ngao) would play a critical role in the next phase of fighting the pandemic.
Speaking after meeting chiefs from Nyeri County at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, Matiang'i reiterated the role of chiefs in implementing government policies in rural communities.
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He said the Government was planning to maintain effective contact with rural Kenyans through the administrators to reinforce the participatory approach deployed to combat the spread of the virus.
“The war against coronavirus is not yet over. Even if we were to flatten the curve tomorrow, there is a lot of work to be done and engaging with the rural populations is the first step towards containing the spread of the virus,” he said.
Matiang'i, who was accompanied by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, said reports of interpersonal crime, particularly sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls, had been a concern for the Government.
“All Kenyans need to shoulder more individual and collective responsibility and the Government will involve community-based organisations to address violence against children and women,” he said.
He noted that while the perpetrators of violence would be arrested and prosecuted, the social issues surrounding the crimes would require a different approach by the administration and other local leaders.
Mr Kagwe said despite the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the new culture of sanitation and hygiene had reduced the number of cases of communicable diseases such as cholera and digestive tract infections.
“We need to continue with the habits of hand-washing and cleaning business premises because it has led to better communal hygiene,” said Kagwe.
He lauded the chiefs for their role in implementing the Ministry of Health directives.
“Chiefs must now sensitise the public on the need to maintain cleanliness and transform all the hygiene measures we have introduced into routine practices post-coronavirus,” said Kagwe.
They were accompanied by Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, and Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai.