Counties ask for access to national contingency fund to deal with El Nino

Council of Governors (COG) has asked the national government to ensure that at least 50% of the National Contingency Fund is set aside for access by the County Governments for El Niño preparedness and response activities.

CoG chair Anne Waiguru says that cumulatively, counties only have about Ksh 1 billion available in their budgets for El Niño disaster mitigations and response activities.

She said much more resources need to be mobilized just in case the anticipated rains cause havoc.

Waiguru further asked the National Treasury to release the outstanding balances of the County Governments equitable share of revenue for the months for August and September, 2023 totaling to KES 35.24 billion to enable counties to adequately prepare.

She said the country must have comprehensive plans in place for the potential evacuation of residents in flood-prone areas.

Speaking during El Nino Preparedness and Response meeting with the Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua at his official residence in Karen, the COG chair said evacuation centers should be identified and equipped with the necessary resources to provide shelter, food, and medical care to those who will be affected by the rains.

“We recognize that managing the impacts of El Niño requires resources. We will actively engage with the national government, development partners and private sector to ensure that the necessary funds and resources are available to support our preparedness and response efforts,” the governor said.

She said counties will prioritize the strengthening of infrastructure that is susceptible to damage from heavy rainfall and flooding.

“Roads, bridges, and drainage systems should be inspected and where necessary, reinforced to ensure their resilience during the upcoming El Niño,” the governor added.

The chair said public awareness and education campaigns need to be undertaken to ensure that citizens are well-informed about the risks and how to protect themselves during El Niño events.

She said counties are committed to doing everything to minimize the impact of the El Nino weather phenomenon to the communities.

“We are committed to working with the National Government Administration Officers at the county level to have aligned reporting and documentation of all related events during and after el-nino. We envision a Kenya where every mother can assure her child that when the rains come, they will be safe; where every farmer can look up to the skies without the dread of loss; where every business owner, student, and leader knows that they are not alone in the face of nature’s fury,” the governor added.

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