COUNTY TO REVISE PLANS

Wajir to focus on public health, relief aid in war on virus

Governor Abdi says vulnerable groups require urgent humantarian assistance amid ravaging pandemic

In Summary

Governor cited the elderly, people with disabilities, orphans and those living with HIV/Aids among those who urgently require humanitarian aid

 

Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi during a press briefing outside his office on Saturday, May 16, 2020
Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi during a press briefing outside his office on Saturday, May 16, 2020
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

 

Wajir will revise its plans with focus on public health, economic safeguards and social safety nets to cushion residents from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said food aid was required to support the vulnerable groups, citing the elderly, people with disabilities, orphans and those living with HIV/Aids among those who urgently require humanitarian assistance.

At a press conference outside his office on Saturday, Abdi said the pandemic is already devastating the entire food system. He said there was urgent need to come up with measures to help the vulnerable.

He said restrictions on movements has affected pe3ople's economic activities and disrupted plans including the food supply chain.

"This coupled with the closure of learning institutions has created a disproportionate impact on certain segments of the population including women, youth, the disabled, madrassa and duksi teachers among others," Abdi said.

He said the county has already bought 3,165 bales of maize flour, 1,819 cartons of cooking oil and another 1,400 cartons of dates to be distributed to the vulnerable groups.

He said the county cannot assist all its residents that require support and urged the national government, NGOs and well-wishers to contribute.

"I appreciate all the well-wishers who are supporting the poor, but I urge all of you to channel your charity through the county government for effective coordination,” the governor said.

Wajir is among the more than 20 counties that have recorded cases of the Covid-19 disease. It already had 13 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Saturday with 42 suspects quarantined in various centers across the county.

There have been no fatalities in Wajir but Abdi he was concerned with the steady increase in the number of infections.

The Wajir cases were imported from Somalia by livestock traders who crossed into the neighbouring country.

Somalia and Tanzania have rising cases of coronavirus and President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday ordered a closure of the border with the two countries to curb the spread of the virus.

Abdi said the Somalia border is largely porous and urged residents to be vigilant and report those sneaking in.

The governor was with county commissioner Jacob Narengo. They acknowledged the sacrifices made by frontline health workers, chiefs, security agencies, religious leaders, well-wishers and other stakeholders towards the containment of the coronavirus.

 

Edited by P.O