COLLECTIVE EFFORTS

EALA lawmakers to lobby more funds to fight coronavirus

Regional MPs to engage governments and international donors

In Summary

• Among the measures regional governments have put in place to limit the spread of coronavirus is the closing of borders.

• The Kenya-Uganda border in Malaba, Busia and Lwakhakha was closed on Sunday.

Busia One-Stop Border Post staff with EALA MP Oburu Odinga and Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi on Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Busia One-Stop Border Post staff with EALA MP Oburu Odinga and Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi on Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Image: EMOJONG OSERE

East Africa Legislative Assembly MPs will engage the region's governments and the international community to give more money to fight the coronavirus.

Kenya’s representative Oburu Odinga on Wednesday the government should send more money to border counties to help fight the outbreak. 

EALA, Oburu said, will also engage the donor community to source for funding to fight the global pandemic.  

“Historically, this region used to have diseases like smallpox. But without help from the government, the community knew how to control it by avoiding public places or funerals,” the former Bondo MP said in Busia.

Among the measures regional governments have put in place to limit the spread of coronavirus is the closing of borders.

The Kenya-Uganda border in Malaba, Busia and Lwakhakha was closed on Sunday.

The only people crossing into Uganda or Kenya are cargo truck drivers and their turn-boys.

Pedestrians, motorcycle riders as well as private car users are barred from crossing the border.

Oburu was in Busia as President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that Kenya had confirmed three more Covid-19 cases pushing the number of Covid-19 cases to 28. One person has since recovered.

In Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni said on Wednesday that the country’s confirmed Covid-19 cases had risen to 14 from six. In Rwanda, the figure shot to 40 from 17.

In neighbouring Tanzania, the virus cases stood at 12 as of Wednesday.

Oburu met Busia Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi before visiting Busia’s One-Stop Border Post to assess measures put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus 

He said residents of Western region should not downplay the Covid-19 pandemic because the result will be disastrous.

Mulomi said Busia had trained county, subcounty, ward and village administrators as well as village elders, chief and their assistants on Covid-19 prevention.  

“We have also trained 14 key health workers on coronavirus management and rapid response management,” he said.

Busia county is yet to report a case of Covid-19.

Governor Sospeter Ojaamong said on Tuesday the county has six people who have been self-quarantined in their respective homes.

They include a retired priest who arrived from the United Kingdom on Saturday.

“One is quarantined in Nambale after arriving from Afghanistan while four family members who attended a funeral in Ugunja are quarantined in their Matayos home to avoid contact with other people should tests turn positive,” he said. 

The Ugunja funeral was presided over by a catholic priest who has since tested positive for the virus.

The county chief last week appealed for more funding from the government to vulnerable counties including Busia.  

 

(edited by o. owino)