Governors must do better in Corona pandemic war
Thursday, July 23rd, 2020
Days before President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the partial reopening of the country on July 6, he had stated that his decision would largely be guided by the level of preparedness by counties to handle the coronavirus pandemic.
Among other measures, the President had tasked each of the 47 counties to set up emergency facilities of at least 300 beds to accommodate patients in case the virus hit their regions.
Almost three weeks later, the country is again focused on governors as reports indicate the virus is rapidly spreading to the countryside, with almost all the counties reporting a Covid-19 case.
This is why the President has called an emergency meeting with the county chiefs next week to review the state of their preparedness for the burgeoning health crisis.
A preliminary report indicates that less than a third of the counties are somewhat preparedness to deal with an upsurge of coronavirus cases.
But, sadly, even those have mainly focused on infrastructural development with little to show in terms of crucial equipment, such as ventilators. Also, most lack the necessary medical personnel.
According to the report, the rest of the counties are basically groping in the dark and hoping, somehow, that the pandemic does not hit them.
This is a very sad state of affairs indeed and the concerned governors must be called out.
Granted, counties may not have received all they require to set up functional wards and hire doctors and nurses.
However, it’s also true that a lot of money had been sent to the devolved units even before the pandemic struck.
It doesn’t require an investigation to know that counties that spent their money well are not struggling to enhance their capacity to handle the killer virus.
It’s for this reason that we are asking the National government to consider sanctions for governors who are not taking their mandate seriously.
Equally, the authorities should demand proof from counties on what they claim to have established on the ground. Some of the listed accomplishments may actually be exaggerated.
For the governors of Kakamega, Mombasa, Machakos, Makueni and Murang’a counties, kudos for the good work and for being trailblazers.
You have indeed demonstrated to your colleagues that anything is possible with dedication, serious work and good leadership.