NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 6 – As the ravaging drought continues to affect about 1.3 million Kenyans with estimates that the number of those in need of food and water will rise to 2.7 million by end of February, Governors have resolved that each county will contribute Sh1mn to the Kenya Red Cross famine kitty.
It was an agreement reached at an Extra Ordinary Meeting called to discuss pertinent issues that were affecting the country especially drought.
The Council of Governors (CoG) Chairman Peter Munya while addressing the media after the meeting said in addition to the Sh1 million contribution, each Governor was asked to make a personal contribution to support areas affected by drought.
“We have not agreed on how much one should contribute but we said you contribute according to your ability and according to your heart,” he stated.
The CoG further urged the National Government to convene an urgent summit to discuss short and long term measures that should be employed to deal with the current famine which according to the Governors should have been declared a national disaster to get the attention it deserves.
The Governors however raised concerns over poor coordination between the National and County Governments saying that without proper and coordinated approaches in the interventions being employed, resources would not reach all the affected people and would as well result to misappropriation.
They urged the government to work closely with the County Governments especially counties affected by the drought to ensure resources are distributed to benefit the people affected by the famine and according to the need of every area.
In their view, though the government had announced a kitty that would be rolled out to counties affected by the drought, the effect has not been felt.
“We are calling upon the National Government to review the programmes that they are running on the intervention of the drought and get to involve the counties in how to get a plan on how to coordinate the efforts so that we can be more effective than we are currently,” he said.
According to Munya, the summit on drought should also be seeking to discuss the Division of Revenue Bill which is soon expected to go before the Senate.
He said the Governors were unhappy that the National Assembly had introduced proposals to reduce allocations put forward by the Treasury.
“There were many other proposals that were objected in the Bill that we need to revisit and we intend to revisit them when the summit meets and therefore we are calling upon the chair of the summit who is the President to call the summit soonest possible so that we can be able to look into this particular bill and then we can also be able to address ourselves to the drought situation,” he stated.
The Governors in their meeting on Monday also said they were in support of the mediation committee established to negotiate an end to the doctors’ strike.
“We are hoping the committee will be able to find a lasting solution to the strike within the deadline given by the court so that the doctors can go back to work to stop the suffering the ordinary citizens are going through,” he stated.