Delegates to Devolution Conference to get Covid-19 jab

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Participants of the 7th Annual Devolution Conference to be held in Makueni next month must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, Vice Chair Council of Governors, James Ongwae, has said.

Governor Ongwae, who also doubles-up as the Vice Chair for the Council of Governors (COG), said vaccination remains a key requirement for the conference to curb the spread of the pandemic.

‘‘This will be a physical meeting and not virtual. The requirement is that all participants are vaccinated,” said the Governor.

He disclosed that plans are underway by the Ministry of Health to avail more vaccines to the Makueni County Government to ensure that service providers and other key stakeholders are vaccinated ahead of the Conference.

‘‘Arrangements are being made to provide additional jabs to Makueni so that service providers like hoteliers, taxi drivers and Boda boda operators are vaccinated beforehand,’’said Ongwae.

The COG Vice Chair was addressing the press, today, in Wote town, Makueni, during an assessment tour on the county’s preparedness for the conference scheduled for August 23rd to 26th at Makueni Boys High School.

He said between 5,000 and 6,000 delegates are expected to attend the event, whose theme is Multi-Level Governance for Climate Change.

The Governor noted that President Uhuru Kenyatta, his Deputy, William Ruto and ODM Leader, Raila Odinga, are some of the dignitaries who will grace the event.

‘‘This is the last Annual Conference and all the governors will attend,’’ assured Ongwae.

On accommodation, the COG Vice Chair said some delegates will be hosted in nearby major towns such as Makindu and Emali.

‘‘The County Government can also collaborate with the neighboring Machakos County to offer accommodation,” he added.

The Governor lauded Makueni for putting in place robust systems to fight climate change.

The Devolved Unit was the first in the country and Africa to pass Climate Change Fund regulations in 2014.

‘‘We could not have chosen a better place than Makueni. The County has made major strides in fighting climate change despite the area being semi-arid. We cannot achieve development until we control climate change,’’ added Ongwae.

He was flanked by Homabay Senator, Moses Kajwang, Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) for Health, Rashid Aman, Devolution CAS, Abdul Bahari, Chair Covid-19 Vaccine Taskforce, Dr. Willis Akhwale and COG Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mary Mwiti.

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana, said preparations for the Conference were in top gear and assured delegates of high hospitality, during their stay in the county.

‘‘We are ready to host the conference, we will improve on accommodation and ensure that there is no deficit. Besides we are also expecting businesses to boom during the event,’’ said Kivutha.

He also underscored the need to have sideline events during the Conference where grassroots organizations and the civil society can showcase their involvement in the fight against climate change.

By Roselyne Kavoo

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