•They approved a motion by Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen on the formation of the committee to work on ways of saving the masses.
•The team comprises of Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi), Michael Mbito (Trans Nzoia), Abshiro Halake (nominated), Mithika Linturi (Meru), Okong’o Mogeni (Nyamira), Sylvia Kasanga (nominated) and Mohamed Faki (Mombasa).
Senators have formed a team to oversee the national emergency response committee on Covid-19 measures to cushion Kenyans against the economic effects of the virus.
The lawmakers want the seven-member ad hoc committee to propose a policy and legislative framework to protect Kenyans against the adverse effects of the disease.
They approved a motion by Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen on the formation of the committee.
The team comprises of senators Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi), Michael Mbito (Trans Nzoia), Abshiro Halake (nominated), Mithika Linturi (Meru), Okong’o Mogeni (Nyamira), Sylvia Kasanga (nominated) and Mohamed Faki (Mombasa).
“The ad hoc committee shall oversight actions and measures taken by the national and county governments in addressing the spread and effects of COVID-19 in Kenya,” Murkomen said.
In the motion, the senators want the government to introduce food rations, provide water and financial support to the vulnerable persons in the wake of the disease.
Further, they are pushing the government to establish a stimulus package established for the micro, small and medium-sized businesses to protect them from the economic hardships occasioned by the virus.
The committee will discuss ways of ensuring a continuous supply of food and other essential commodities at affordable prices. It will also explore how the government can financially support vulnerable persons as well as ways of cushioning small and medium business.
The team will propose ways of easing legislative and regulatory requirements for doing business.
“Food must reach as many people as possible and for that to happen, farmers must continue producing. I propose that a stimulus package be introduced for farmers to ensure they produce as much food,” Murkomen said.
The committee shall act as a link between the Senate and the emergency response team and shall present its progress report within seven days.
Thereafter, it will table a report on a weekly basis and subsequently table a final report within six months.
Minority Leader James Orengo called for urgent provision of essential services such as regular supply of water and food.
“When we tell people to wash their hands, we must ensure that there is water supply in those areas. People in Kibera, Mathare, Korogocho and other slums should be looked at,” Orengo said.
The Siaya senator asked the government to prepare for the worst, going by trends in other countries, and put in place adequate measures to combat the disease.
“If you want to deal with this crisis, you deal with it from the worst case scenario. We should be talking about the need to deal with 100,000 and even more, if you look at the situation in Northern Africa and South Africa it is clear that this situation will be worse before it gets better,” he said.
Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala asked the Ministry of Health to work closely with county governments to contain the disease.
Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi) called on the government to provide at least 510 water tanks to be distributed across the 85 wards in Nairobi.
Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr questioned the preparedness of the counties in combating Covid-19, adding that only three counties had the capacity to do testing.
Edited by Henry Makori