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Counties set aside cash to fight Covid-19


Narok Governor Samuel Tunai tests some of the sanitisers acquired by his administration. The sanitisers will be given to residents. [Robert Kiplagat, Standard]

Counties have moved to allocate funds to finance the battle against coronavirus as most regions continue to record cases of the pandemic.

In South Rift, Nakuru County has allocated the highest amount at Sh250 million followed by Kericho County at Sh222 million and Baringo County at Sh200 million.

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui said the money will be spent on equipping health facilities and supporting needy families whose household incomes have been affected.

The county has also launched a mass fumigation exercise in the town streets and open-air markets where the virus is likely to spread quickly in case of an outbreak.

The County Assembly’s House Business Committee was yesterday holed up in a meeting deliberating on a day when the supplementary budget will be debated and, upon approval, allow the Kinyanjui-led administration to spend the kitty.

Kericho County has already approved a Sh222 million budget for use to combat the virus.

Governor Paul Chepkwony, who spoke during the launch of a fumigation exercise in Kericho town, said the amount will be spent on purchasing medical equipment, drugs and accommodation of any patients who will be found to have contracted the disease.

“We are planning to purchase ventilators, personal protective equipment and sanitisers. The amount will also cater for medication and accommodation of patients if any. We are praying not to get any local transmission,” said Mr Chepkwony. 

The county chief has also directed Kericho Water and Sanitation Company (Kewasco) to suspend billing the residents for water services for the next three months in a bid to enhance sanitation levels.

“The county housing department is hereby ordered to suspend rent collection from tenants living in county residential properties until directed otherwise. This also applies to payment of single business permits and collection of land rates for the next three months,” said Chepkwony.

Baringo County MCAs last Thursday held a special sitting during which they approved supplementary budget towards mitigating the pandemic.

John Aengwo, who chairs the Budget and Appropriation Committee, said though the county had not been adversely affected by the pandemic, the allocation was justified to cushion the constituents.

“We expect the executive to spend the funds prudently. Any equipment or service should be paid for at the correct prices to ensure no money is lost,” said Mr Aengwo.

From the kitty, Sh31 million will be spent on the response team sensitising the communities, Sh70 million for food distribution in case of a lockdown, Sh30 million for tanks, sanitisers and water supply while Sh69 million will be used to equip health facilities.

Governor Stanley Kiptis called on residents to adhere to the laid down preventive measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Bomet County has set aside Sh15 million to help in the fight against the virus.

Governor Hillary Barchok said the money will go towards provision of hand-washing equipment, sanitisers and fumigation of urban centres.

Speaking yesterday when he launched a fumigation exercise at Mulot trading centre in Bomet East, Mr Barchok said the county will also set up barriers at all its boundaries to facilitate a mass testing exercise on those entering the county.

And Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia has said the county had allocated Sh10 million towards promoting public health services during the period.

“The money will be disbursed in two batches of Sh5 million each. It will be spent on providing services that will help contain the virus from spreading in the county,” said Kimemia.

In the neighbouring Laikipia County, the administration allocated Sh8 million towards addressing the needs arising due to the pandemic.

According to the County Executive Committee Member for Health Lenai Kimario, the money will mainly be spent on procurement of protective gear and water supply to residents.

[Kennedy Gachuhi, Julius Chepkwony and James Munyeki]

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