Seventh Devolution Conference postponed due to coronavirus crisis

Wednesday May 13 2020
By BENSON AMADALA

The seventh Devolution Conference which was set to be held in Makueni County from April 20-23 has been postponed indefinitely due to the current of coronavirus crisis.

Council of Governors Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya said new dates for the event which brings together leaders from 47 counties, including MPs and senators, will be communicated at a later date.

This year’s conference was expected mainly focus on issues on devolution and climate, and delegates were to discuss climate change and its impact and the role of sub-national governments in dealing with issue.

On the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Oparanya said county governments had approached Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to start mass production of face masks.

This is in line with the government directive for people to wear the face coverings while in crowded places to protect themselves from coronavirus infections.

Governor Oparanya said county governments were working with the Kenya Bureau of Standards to ensure the masks were of high quality.

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In a statement, Mr Oparanya said boda boda operators in counties will be provided with the face masks to ensure their safety and those of their passengers.

He said the 47 counties had identified additional facilities which will be used as quarantine centres for patients infected with coronavirus.

The county governments have assured residents that immunisation services and treatment of patients with chronic conditions, including cancer and diabetes have not been disrupted in hospitals in the regions.

“The provision of personal protective equipment for our health workers is top priority for county governments to ensure that health is not compromised even as they attend to patients. I therefore wish to commend the efforts of county governments in acquiring PPEs for their staff amidst the challenge of inadequate supply in the country,” said Mr Oparanya.

The county chief asked the government to ensure law enforcers were provided with protective gear while on duty.

 On food security, he said the county governments are distributing seeds and other inputs to farmers.

“We urge the national fertilizer subsidy programme under the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure deliver fertilisers to farmers without delays,” said Mr Oparanya.

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