As the country fights to flatten the curve of covid-19 infections, Tharaka Nithi County government has allocated the lion’s share of its budget to the health sector in order to enable the operationalization of isolation centres.
Being the biggest gainer in the 2019/2020 supplementary budget the health sector scooped Sh.1.64 billion, amounting to 32.15 per cent of the county revenue. The recurrent expenditure has been allocated Sh. 1.55 billion while the remaining Sh. 81.1 million will fund development projects.
Presenting the county 2020/21 budget estimates and revenue raising measures to the County Assembly on Tuesday, the Tharaka Nithi County Executive Committee (CEC) for Finance, Economic Planning and Trade, Ms. Dorothy Igoki said the county government has considered the strains necessitated into the health sector by the coronavirus pandemic in the allocations.
“Besides the need to complete outpatient blocks at Chuka and Marimanti hospitals and also completing and equipping all the health centres across the county the health sector also needs to cope with the coronavirus pandemic,” said the CEC.
Ms. Igoki further emphasized the need for more funding to fight the global pandemic by establishing an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Chuka County Referral hospital and operationalizing all the isolation centres identified across the whole county.
The CEC further disclosed that being the backbone of the county economy agriculture has come in second in the budgetary allocations with an allocation of Sh. 704.4 million
“In the agriculture sector we have several ongoing projects, including the subsidizing of agricultural inputs and the county Artificial Insemination (AI) services that is aimed at increasing dairy production as the county looks forward to opening a dairy plant within its borders,” said Ms. Igoki
She said in order to better plan urban centres, improve open air markets and help small scale traders across the county the county governments proposes to allocate more funds to the Physical Planning and Urban Development sector.
Others are the Roads and Infrastructure sectors to enable the county government to purchase road construction machinery for quick and less expensive maintenance of feeder roads for easy access to services across the county.
By David Mutwiri/Monicah Nyagah