Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has issued a stern warning to government agencies and public officers against any attempts to misappropriate funds allocated for managing the impending El Nino rains.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting in Karen on Thursday, 28 September 2023, Gachagua emphasized the need for prudent financial planning. He further stressed that the government would require a minimum of Sh10 billion to effectively address the potential impact of El Nino.
“We must also acknowledge that our country is facing challenging times. Let’s exercise fiscal responsibility and refrain from exaggerating the situation,” Gachagua said.
Ann Waiguru, Chair of the Council of Governors (CoG), representing various counties, announced a readiness to allocate Sh15 billion for food support to households affected by the anticipated heavy rains.
Additionally, Muthomi Njuki, the CoG Health chairperson, urged the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) to expedite the distribution of medications to all health facilities within the next two weeks in anticipation of the rains.
“We are calling on Kemsa to move with speed and have drugs in all our hospitals in the next two weeks as El Nino will bring along waterborne diseases,” he said.
Rebecca Miano, the Cabinet Secretary for East African Community (EAC), Arid and Semi-Arid Lands, and Regional Development, projected a budget of Sh9.3 billion for the affected Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) areas.
Disruption of national examinations
In light of the impending El Nino rains, the Kenyan government has expressed concerns over the potential disruption of the National Examinations scheduled to commence at the end of October.
Consequently, Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale has confirmed that the military is on standby to assist. He revealed that the Air Force would be mobilized to distribute the National exams to areas severely affected by the anticipated heavy downpour.
“In case many roads become impassable due to the rains, we will utilize our military helicopters to ensure the safe delivery of exams to their respective centers,” Duale stated.
Deputy President Gachagua reiterated the government’s commitment to working tirelessly to prevent loss of life during the impending El Nino rains.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u was tasked with providing a resource availability report to a technical committee by 03 October 2023. The report is expected to outline the funding options for El Nino mitigation measures.