Kenya: Senators Assess Virus Containment Measures Ahead of Devolution Conference

Nairobi — Delegates attending this year's Annual Devolution Conference have been assured of their health safety amid the worrying spike of COVID-19 cases in the country.

Senate Deputy Speaker Margaret Kamar who co-chairs the National Steering Committee gave the assurance on Thursday even as she said the event will be strictly held in conformity to COVID-19 protocols.

The conference is scheduled to be held from August 23 to August 26 in Makueni County.

"In view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, efforts have been made and discussions are also ongoing between the steering committee, the Ministry of Health and the national security organs to ensure that all delegates including local service providers are safeguarded from any possible infection," she said.

The Committee will convene a special meeting to set modalities on how the event will be conducted safely ruling out the possibility of the event being cancelled.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to attend the conference which will the seventh and final one in the current term. Owing to 2022 being an election year, there will be no conference.

The Conference will resume in 2023 and according to Kamar it will be held biannually.

During the conference, the delegates will take stock on the impact of devolution eight years since its inception.

"The Senate continues to be a critical stakeholder in this discourse and its participation and its participation in the conference cannot be overstated," Kamar said.

The theme for this year's conference is level governance for climate action, sub-national mobilization in unlocking the full potential of climate action in the post COVID-19 era.

Kenya's COVID-19 positivity rate on Wednesday surged to 18 per cent with the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe warning of the prolonged spike of cases if caution is not adhered to.

He in particular was incensed by the activities of the political leaders whom he accused of fueling the virus notwithstanding the ban on political gatherings.

"We need to take care and serious on adhering to the stipulated measures," he said.

Kenya has so far vaccinated a total of 1,692,793 people.

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