Governor Lee Presser on Covid-19
Nakuru County is happy with the travel restrictions placed on areas with reported cases.
Speaking today at a press conference in Nakuru town, Governor Lee Kinyanjui said this move is aimed at reducing movement of persons from areas of high risk and thereby cushioning the rural populations.
The Governor added that the County Government shall partner with the security agencies to patrol our entry points and ensure only vetted categories are allowed.
This will be done jointly with neighbouring counties of Narok and Nyandarua.
At the same time, the Governor thanked the public for being vigilant in cases where people who have violated the terms of the quarantine were brought forward and forced into mandatory quarantine.
However, he noted the impact of the COVID-19 in counties and how it continues to be felt with reduced economic activities and dwindling revenue sources.
“The month of March is very critical to county revenues as most organisations pay their licenses in the first quarter,” he said.
With the closure of many businesses and a dramatic decline in returns, many businesses are struggling to keep afloat and hence delays in payment of their obligations.
The County has an obligation to listen to these business concerns and hence we will be adjusting our budgets to reflect the financial realities.
Governor Kinyanjui said the drop in revenue will reflect in reduced implementation of budgeted projects in counties. In Nakuru, the projected drop in revenue is over Kshs.800m.
“Because counties have to operate and offer essential services, it is important for businesses that are financially able, to honour their obligations in order to cushion the vulnerable segments of the society,” he noted.
Escalating Health costs and protection of vulnerable groups will bear a heavy load on counties and therefore we must all act together to overcome the situation.
Despite concerted efforts by Government in the fight against COVID-19, there is a glaring gap in the appreciation of these measures by a section of the population.
“We must all invest in change of behaviour to reflect the modern day reality of COVID-19.”
The tendency to use the poor state of economy as a justification for non compliance must be discouraged at all cost. The burden of disease will have far more devastating consequences in poor nations than rich countries.
As evidenced in USA, areas with poor social and healthcare infrastructure, will bear heavier burden than affluent neighbourhoods.
On the 250 million food program, the County Emergency Response team is conducting a baseline survey across the entire county to identify areas deserving urgent humanitarian support.
“This will be critical to ensure that support will be taken where it is most needed, without duplication,” Governor Kinyanjui said.
He added that the County Assembly has passed the necessary approval to allow a comprehensive support program for the vulnerable groups. The support will be expedited to alleviate suffering by the masses.
The County Government will also set up ward committees tasked with monitoring the humanitarian support program and the grassroot level.
“We are doing a survey using the local administration to identify the vulnerable groups that will benefit from this food program,” the county boss added.
The County Government has supported about 10 water projects at the community level and will continue providing water for areas that have a shortage.
In addition, Salonists and Barbers will be trained to ensure they adhere to the guidelines presented by the Ministry of Health.
“We will work with the County enforcement officers to secure business premises during curfew hours. The County Government will also launch investigations on cases where businesses were broken into across the County.”