• The new law allocates Sh15 billion to the NMS after the County Assembly re-aligned its budget following the transfer of four core functions to the national government.
• However, Governor Mike Sonko says he is headed to court to challenge the gazettement which, he maintains, was against the Public Finance Management Act.
The Nairobi Metropolitan Services can now access Sh1.025 billion to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the city following the gazettement of the Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2020 on Tuesday.
However, Governor Mike Sonko says he is headed to court to challenge the gazettement which, he maintains, was not in accordance with the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act.
The gazetted law allocates Sh15 billion to the NMS after the County Assembly re-aligned its budget following the transfer of four core functions to the national government.
The city government relinquished its control over health, planning and development, transport, public works and ancillary services from March 17, 2020.
The Sh1.025 billion has been put under the Disaster and Emergency Fund for intervention in the Covid-19 pandemic.
For general health interventions related to the pandemic, Sh940 million was allocated through the Emergency Fund.
Nairobi is the country's Covid hotspot, having 241 confirmed cases out of the country’s total 374 positive cases as of April 28.
Last month, NMS director general Mohammed Badi met with a section of city leaders for discussions on how to protect Nairobians against Covid-19.
The meeting resolved that in each of the city’s 17 sub-counties will have at least three bowsers to boost water supply.
An assessment of boreholes in the capital would be conducted. It was resolved that he Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company will drill at least 20 boreholes.
There have been concerns that the county government is inadequately prepared to fight the spread of coronavirus.
The recently completed Maternity wing of Mbagathi Hospital was converted into an isolation centre on President Uhuru Kenyatta‘s directive.
Nairobi has since last month been fumigating the streets and commercial buildings after receiving 700 litres of chlorine from the Ministry of Health.
The Central Business District, open-air markets (Gikomba, Burma, Muthurwa and City) as well as some estates have been fumigated.
With the funds allocated to combat Covid-19 now available, the Nairobi Metropolitan Service can now officially wear the gloves and assist in fighting Covid-19 in the capital.
Enosh Momanyi has been the authority to incur expenditure (AIE) holder of the NMS since the passing the supplementary appropriation bill on April 2. Assessing funds should therefore not be a problem.
Badi at work
Additionally, President Uhuru Kenyatta on April 17 allocated Sh3.8 billion to NMS to start its operations seamlessly.
Some Sh2.2 billion of the allocation will be spent on salaries and operations while the rest is said to be appropriated for the rollout of new development projects.
Among the projects include the maintenance of 35,000 streetlights and maintenance of 100 kilometres of roads.
Since his appointment a month ago, Badi has been performing his duties enthusiastically. Already a total of 6,852 county staff are been seconded to NMS.
On Tuesday, he announced the hiring of at least 1,000 officers in the enforcement department.
The recruitment is necessary as 75 per cent of City Hall workers will be heading for retirement.
President Kenyatta gave Maj-Gen Badi 100 days to dismantle cartels at City Hall.
The Badi team is to ensure efficient collection of garbage, a crackdown on illegal dumpsites and enforce regulations against the discharge of effluent into rivers by industries and restaurants.
In 100 days, the team is expected to gazette the legal solid waste dumpsites for both public and private solid waste collectors.
In the same timeline, the NMS is expected to come up with strategies of equitable water distribution under the rationing programme.
It must restore Nairobi's Green City Under the Sun status.
- mwaniki fm