Council of Governors Urges National Government to Allocate 50% of Contingency Fund for El Niño Preparedness

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The Council of Governors (COG) calls upon the national government to reserve at least 50% of the National Contingency Fund for County Governments to prepare for and respond to El Niño-related disasters.

COG Chairperson Anne Waiguru emphasizes the need for increased resources given that counties collectively have only Ksh.1 billion budgeted for El Niño mitigation and response.

The Council of Governors (COG) has made a significant appeal to the national government, urging that a minimum of 50% of the National Contingency Fund be allocated for County Governments to enhance their preparedness and response to potential El Niño-related disasters.

In a statement, COG Chairperson Anne Waiguru, who also serves as the Governor of Kirinyaga County, revealed that counties presently have a cumulative budget of approximately Ksh.1 billion designated for El Niño disaster mitigation and response measures. Waiguru stressed the importance of mobilizing additional resources to address any potential havoc resulting from anticipated heavy rains.

“We acknowledge that effective management of El Niño’s impacts necessitates financial resources. We will actively collaborate with the national government, development partners, and the private sector to ensure that the required funds and resources are accessible to support our preparedness and response endeavors,” Governor Waiguru affirmed.

She conveyed these sentiments during a meeting focused on El Niño Preparedness and Response, which took place at Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s official residence in Karen.

Governor Waiguru outlined the counties’ priorities, emphasizing the need to reinforce infrastructure susceptible to damage from intense rainfall and flooding. This includes conducting inspections and implementing necessary reinforcements for roads, bridges, and drainage systems to ensure resilience during the impending El Niño.

Additionally, she underscored the importance of launching public awareness and educational campaigns. These initiatives aim to inform citizens about the associated risks and educate them on protective measures during El Niño events.

Governor Waiguru articulated the collective vision: “We envision a Kenya where every mother can assure her child that when the rains come, they will be safe; where every farmer can look up to the skies without the dread of loss; where every business owner, student, and leader knows that they are not alone in the face of nature’s fury.”

She revealed that 23 counties have completed their risk assessments and mitigation plans, with others in the final stages. Multi-government and multisectoral El Niño County Steering Committees and County Disaster Committees have formulated and enacted mitigation strategies for high-risk regions.

Simultaneously, COG Chairperson Waiguru called upon the National Treasury to release the outstanding balances of the County Governments’ equitable revenue shares for August and September 2023, amounting to Ksh.35.24 billion. These funds are essential to enable counties to adequately prepare.

Governor Waiguru emphasized the necessity of comprehensive evacuation plans for residents in flood-prone areas. Identifying and equipping

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