Turkana County has approved another supplementary budget ‘2’ which will allocate Sh667,570,600 towards COVID-19 emergency response.
Speaking to journalists, Speaker Erastus Lokaale said the appropriation Bill has been sent to Govenor Josphat Nanok for assent.
The funds have been allocated to the ministries of water, health and public service and disaster management. The ministry of public service and disaster management will receive the biggest share of Sh441, 231,000 to provide relief food to the most vulnerable people.
The ministry of health will get Sh159,335,600 while the ministry of water was allocated Sh67 million.
“We made this decision because the majority of our people are poor so we needed to cushion them during this crisis,” said Lokaale.
Funds allocated to the health docket will be used to purchase essential PPEs like facemasks, and completion of the Lodwar county referral hospital intensive care unit as well as the purchase of ventilator and other key equipment.
To ensure accountability, the county assembly has formed an adhoc Committee to oversee the utilisation of these funds. Lokaale says that the committee is keen to ensure that funds meant to fight the pandemic are not embezzled.
“We understand that in times of crisis like these people can use the opportunity to do funny things that is why we are very keen to ensure funds are utilised to help the wananchi as intended,” said Lokaale.
The assembly Committee on finance is set to meet and discuss proposals from the executive including reducing cess for small scale traders in the county.
Governor Nanok had recently said the County Treasury will waive a total of Sh40.7m from agricultural produce cess, water distribution and drill services, health sector fees, educational institutions, liquor licensing, market fees and single business permits for salons, barber shops and restaurant and entertainment facilities that is contained in the Turkana County Finance Amendment Bill 2020 as an additional measure to address COVID-19.
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