Kenya: Account for COVID-19 Funds Use, Isiolo Woman Rep Tells County

Isiolo Woman Representative Rehema Jaldesa has asked the county government to tell how Sh40 million set aside for management and control of Covid-19 has been used.

The legislator lamented that Governor Mohamed Kuti's administration has done little to stem the spread of the disease despite receiving the funds from National Treasury.

"We want to see the funds helping our people reeling from the effects of Covid-19. We are wondering where the money went to because the only thing I saw was the flour distribution," Ms Jaldesa said when she distributed 10,000 face masks and foodstuffs on Wednesday.

But in response, Isiolo Special Programmes Chief Officer Abdia Dabaso said part of the money was used to, among other things, procure more than 40,000 face masks, food for vulnerable families and those in quarantine centres.

MASKS BOUGHT

"We have also purchased masks for health workers, sanitisation booths and provided mattresses and bedding to street families. We are also supplying the Isiolo town quarantine centre with food rations and have not exhausted the money," Ms Dabaso told the Nation by phone.

The Isiolo woman rep said that with the county having reported two Covid-19 cases, it should be at the frontline in ensuring compliance to the health guidelines and cushioning locals against the biting effects of the pandemic.

NOT FELT AT GRASSROOTS

The lawmaker insisted that the millions of shillings set aside for the coronavirus fight should be felt at the grassroots, especially by traders whose businesses have been hardest hit, and residents who are no longer able to fend for their families.

"It seems like our people have been neglected because we have seen other counties with smaller allocations than ours do wonders. We want the county to rise to the occasion," she said.

While lamenting over alleged irregularities in the distribution of the county's relief food, Ms Jaldesa asked the national government to speed up the digitisation of cash transfers to the grassroots and have it cascaded down to the counties.

CASH PROGRAMME

The cash transfer programme, she said, will, apart from reducing the long procurement procedures and huge transport costs incurred during distribution, help deal with cases of unscrupulous dealings and ensure that the targeted locals get the monies in good time.

"The cash transfer programme will deal with challenges encountered in food distribution including unscrupulous dealings where targeted vulnerable families do not benefit," the MP said while asking all the county leaders to join hands in the fight.

The woman rep complained over what she said is poor utilisation of funds disbursed from her office, noting that women groups are sharing the monies among members instead of injecting into the intended projects.

She reiterated the commitment of her office in empowering groups for self-reliance and challenged them to prudently use the funds to improve their lives.

The MP also donated 1,000 spades to youth sand harvesters and sanitisers to matatu operators and for use in public places.

"The masks and foodstuffs will be distributed in the entire county," she said.

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