Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has challenged counties in the arid and semi-arid lands (Asal) to prioritise on the fight against natural calamities so as to reduce their dependence on relief aid.
Speaking in Mandera over the weekend, Wamalwa said it is heart-breaking for national government to be going in cycles responding to natural disasters.
“I want to ask governors representing dry counties to get prepared by setting up emergency funds to respond to such situations,” he said.
Wamalwa said that the law allows county governments to set up such funds in readiness for emergencies.
According to the CS, drought and floods are a normal phenomena in the country that the governors should strive to tackle.
“What will be happening and has been happening is that we shall be dealing with floods then get to drought and go round again,” he said.
He said under Section 110 of Public Finance Management Act, counties are allowed to establish emergency funds.
The CS said the kitty acts as the first line of defense against any emergency in the counties, adding that most of the counties he has visited are yet to establish such a fund.
“The national government will only be coming to compliment what the counties are doing at the time of disaster like the drought we have now,” he said.
He said the kitty will save the lives of both humans and livestock during times of crisis.
Mandera County is yet to operationalise its emergency fund as the assembly is yet to pass the required legislation.
By Dickson Githaiga