Counties within the North Rift Economic Block (NOREB) have set aside Sh1.4 billion through the supplementary budgets for the fight against the Covid-19 disease.
Noreb CEO Dr. Dominic Biwott said Turkana County was leading after appropriating Sh600 million saying the monies would be used to purchase personal protective equipment for health workers and ventilators among others.
However, speaking in Iten Tuesday, Dr. Biwott said there was a scarcity of ventilators and that the counties were struggling to access the same.
He expressed concern that all the counties had recently seen an upsurge of people coming back to towns, thus making it difficult to observe social distancing and appealed to residents to continue persevering at home until advised otherwise by the government.
“We have seen a sudden increase of people in our towns and have even started witnessing traffic jams. May be people have become bored of staying at home but we are appealing to them to persevere in a bid to contain the disease,” he said.
The CEO said Noreb was already putting in place post Covid-19 strategies to address issues of food security and economic recovery which would especially target businesses worst hit by the pandemic citing the hospitality industry.
He said the regional was looking at diversification of food production and especially the growing of fast maturing crops.
Elgeyo Marakwet governor Alex Tolgos thanked the National Council of Churches in Kenya (NCCK) led by the regional representative Bishop Paul Korir for donating 3,000 masks, 250 bar soaps, sanitisers, fliers and posters to the county.
He said the assistance had been donated to Kapyego, Embobut, Sambirir and Endo wards of Marakwet East Sub County which recently experienced a landslide that saw 15 people lose their lives and hundreds displaced.
Tolgos appealed to the national government to hasten the process of carrying out DNA tests on the body parts which were at the Tot sub county hospital morgue so that they could be released to families for burial.
He said while the government had called off the exercise of searching for more bodies, the community was continuing to search for their loved ones saying according to the Marakwet culture, one could not just assume that someone died without having the body for burial.
“The burial of a loved one will give the families peace and help in the healing process,” the governor said.
By Alice Wanjiru