• The move is in line with the new Disaster Fund Act.
• The county has been struggling and taking much time to respond to disasters.
Vihiga will allocate two per cent of its budget for disaster management.
This is in line with the new Disaster Fund Act. Governor Wilber Ottichilo said the county has been struggling and taking much time to respond to disasters and that has to be reversed. He spoke to the press in his office.
Ottichilo said that instead of waiting for financial provisions in the supplementary budgets, the fund to be established under the Act will enable smooth and swift spending to mitigate disasters.
He said the county has been facing legal challenges in incurring expenditure during disasters.
"This is a critical bill and is also recognised in the Public Finance Management Act in setting up a disaster fund," Ottichilo said as he signed the bill into law.
“With this bill in place under the Public Finance Management Act, the auditor general will not harass us in any way.”
He said the bill establishes a legal framework that will help solve disasters such as the coronavirus crisis, floods, landslides, droughts and accidents.
“With the legal frameworks in place, we are going to curb the loss of lives in most of the disasters unless the situation goes beyond our control,” Ottichilo said.
"We are also going to set up an independent committee that will run these funds and be mandated with identifying possible disasters in the county and lay down possible solutions."
After assenting to the bill, Otttichilo said Vihiga now joins other counties with disaster management laws such as Nairobi, Mombasa, Laikipia, Siaya and Kisumu.
County assembly speaker Hasna Mudeizi noted that the process has been tiresome given the Covid-19 crisis.
"Getting MCAs to have sessions and debate on bills has not been easy, though I am grateful that they got time and have managed to reach this far,” he said.
She stated that regulations in place make them do things the right way, hence the bills are a plus to operations of the county.
Other bills signed include the Vihiga County Early Childhood Education Bill, 2019, and the Vihiga County Finance Bill, 2020.
The education law makes room for improvement of infrastructure in ECDE centres as well as the recruitment of the teachers and feeding programmes for children who need proper care.
The finance law, on the other hand, seeks to execute provisions of the Finance Act that will help the county meet revenue targets. According to the governor, this financial year the county has a set target of Sh216 million for revenue collection.
For the law to be more effective, the county incorporated the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry to ensure traders are not overtaxed.
Edited by F'Orieny