Elected leaders in Vihiga have given an undertaking to work together with county government in the current fight against novel COVID-19.
The politicians made the commitment on Monday following a consultative forum with the Vihiga County Governor, Dr. Wilber Ottichilo, who is Chairperson for the County Corona Emergency Response Committee (CCERC), at Sosa cottages in Majengo town.
The meeting brought together MPs, Ernest Kagesi (Vihiga), Mr. Omboko Milemba (Emuhaya), Dr. Charles Gimose (Hamisi) and Beatrice Adagala (Women Representative).
The Sabatia MP, Alfred Agoi and his Luanda counterpart, Christopher Omulele sent representatives.
Addressing the press after the day long forum, Ottichilo disclosed he had fully briefed the elected leaders over some strides made by the CCERC since coronavirus was declared a national disaster.
“I am happy to inform members of public that going forward, our elected leaders have agreed to work and support the County Emergency Response Committee as we battle the COVID-19,” said Ottichilo.
According to the governor, the MPs resolved to seek alternative ways of ensuring that area residents were cushioned against looming pangs of hunger in event the pandemic takes a longer time to disappear.
“Food security was among the issues the forum deliberated on at length. The leaders promised to explore all possible ways that would ensure our people are constantly supplied with basic needs, especially
foodstuffs,” reported Ottichilo.
At the same time, the governor made a passionate appeal for relief supply from the national government, noting that Vihiga was a densely populated county with most residents relying on commercial activity
as the main source of livelihood.
“However, the ongoing nationwide curfew has affected trading activities, thus making it hard for the locals to put food on the tables,” he observed.
Meanwhile, the county government has set aside Sh.77 million on current supplementary budget towards supporting the war against the dreaded virus.
“My administration has already forwarded the supplementary budget estimates to the County Assembly and we are hoping Members of County Assembly would approve the same immediately,” revealed Ottichilo.
With the county government working on modalities to establish an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and a High Dependency Unit (HDU), Ottichilo said the funds would also be used to procure at least two ventilators as well as Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) for health workers.
“We also plan to upscale ongoing public awareness activities,” he added, while emphasizing on the need for the locals to observe hygiene guidelines, including social distancing and frequent washing of hands using prescribed detergents and sanitizers.
Ottichilo said his administration would frequently hold meetings with local leadership to address the pandemic at hand.
Speaking at the same media briefing, the Emuhaya legislator, Omboko Milemba said he would push for an amendment to the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) Act so as to enable the kitty allocate adequate cash for funding emergencies.
By Maurice Aluda