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Council of Governors ask for funds as pandemic bites into counties outside red-zoned areas

The Council of Governors has called on the National Treasury to release outstanding monies to counties amounting to Ksh 66 billion.

The money is part of the equitable share, and revenue distribution to counties agreed on last year after months of stalemate.

Kisumu Governor, Anyang’ Nyong’o, the Chairman of CoG’s Health Committee, requested the money in a briefing on Wednesday.

Funds released not enough

In the briefing, Nyong’o was issuing the state of county preparedness to fight COVID-19. The governor said that while the Treasury had released Ksh 19.8 billion last week, the money was minimal compared to what they were asking for.

“We appreciate the release of the money last week, but the amount is a tiny percentage of what we are demanding,”

He stated that despite the Senate passing the Division of Revenue Bill 2021 on Tuesday, the National Treasury had yet to release the outstanding balance.

“We call on the National Treasury to fast-track the release out outstanding amounts to enable county governments continue operations and progressively settle pending bills,” Nyong’o said.

Counties owed

Of the monies, Treasury owes Nairobi City County sh 2.6 billion for December, Ksh 12 billion to all counties for February. Then, another Ksh 25 billion to all counties for March.

On the COVID-19 situation in counties, Nyong’o noted that community transmissions were increasing in counties outside the five red zoned area – Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Nakuru, and Kiambu.

County bed and isolation facilities

He stated that 32 counties in the country so far had 7,346-bed capacity in 390 isolation centers. Of these beds, 5,912 of the beds were free for patients. ICU beds in the 32 counties were 390, of which 228 were available for new patients. There were also 156 HDU beds, of which 69 were available for new patients.

On vaccines, he said that the 32 counties had received 489,722 vaccine doses, with 303,163 already given. However, he noted that counties had depleted their resources.

“This is a good sign,” he said of the depletion, “but is also a challenge as we have a shortage at the counties, in the country, and globally.”

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