On March 12, 2020, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, announced the first Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case in the country, a Kenyan citizen who travelled back to Nairobi returning from the United States of America via London, the United Kingdom on the 5th March 2020.
Since then, CS Kagwe has been on a crusade to ensure that the virus is contained, going on to call on leaders to step up and aid in combating the deadly virus.
Governors have since been actively coming up with ways to ensure the safety of their county residents, with 7 of them standing out for their relentless efforts. Below is a list of these leaders, in no particular order.
Ali Hassan Joho
Governing a county of 1,254,000 million according to the latest data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the Mombasa County governor has been on the frontline in combating the spread of Covid-19 in his jurisdiction.Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho flanked by Mombasa politicians Suleiman Shabhal and Mishi Mboko as they inspect a public spray booth at the Likoni Channel. April 6, 2020
Notably, on April 5, he launched two public body spray sanitisers at the Likoni Crossing channel to aid in his efforts, going on to use his foundation alongside Suleiman Shaabal to install thermal cameras to monitor the ferry area.
He also released a Ksh200 million emergency nutrition fund for vulnerable households.
The Kitui governor is responsible for the millions of face masks that will without a doubt save countless lives not only in Kitui but the nation as a whole.Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu at the Kitui County Textile Centre (KICOTEC) on October 27, 2018.
The revamped Kitui County Textile Centre (Kicotec) is currently producing up 30,000 face masks every 24 hours, according to the latest data released by CS Kagwe on April 9.
Her county's efforts have since been lauded by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Despite not having recorded a single case of the virus in his county, the Machakos governor has been vocal in his calls for the National Government to allow his county to chip in the mass testing initiative, having equipped hospitals within the county with state-of-the-art equipment.Machakos Governor Dr Alfred Mutua arrives at Kenya School of Government (KSG), Lower Kabete, Kiambu for a Consultative Devolution meeting on Thursday, February 20, 2020.Simon KiraguKenyans.co.ke
He also set aside a total of Ksh100 million as part of mitigations measures aimed at combating the coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Mutua also announced that water charges for household consumption in his county would be waived from May 1 to the end of the year.
Aside from championing the calls for the National Government to allow counties to carry out mass testing across the country as well as the hiring of extra medical personnel, the Kakamega governor also set aside 24 isolation centres to tackle Covid-19 epidemic.Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya addressing the media on March 16, 2020.
On April 3, he announced that he had identified two schools in each of the 12 sub-counties that would serve as emergency health facilities.
The Chairman of the Council of Governors also asked the Health CS and the Public Service Commission (PSC) chairman Stephen Kirogo to give counties the go-ahead to start mass recruiting of health officers.
The Kilifi governor, on April 2, held his first Cabinet meeting via video link where he approved a move to raise Ksh844 million emergency fund to fight Covid-19.
“A total of Sh220,000,000 from the county government has been identified from our 2019/2020 budget," he revealed.Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi during a past eventK24 Digital
On March 23, Kingi admitted himself into self-quarantine, following allegations that his deputy Gideon Saburi, had potentially contracted the virus following his return from Germany on March 5.
On March 18, his county government had also set aside a Ksh75 million emergency funds kitty to facilitate in setting up of four isolation centres for suspected cases of coronavirus, with Jibana, Ganze, Msumarini and Gede health facilities named so far.
The Nairobi governor has been literally taking to the streets during various fumigation exercises carried out in estates across the Kenyan Capital, which hosts at least 4.4 million people according to the latest census 2019 data.Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko speaking during the JKlive show on March 4, 2020.
Data from the office of the Nairobi County Executive for Health showed that at least 675 health workers from 200 health centres had been trained on preventive measures against Covid-19 in his county.
On March 3, the governor was in Makini Ward in Kibra Constituency, where he handed out foodstuffs, hand sanitisers, facemasks and also helped to fumigate the neighbourhood in a donation drive together with his Sonko Rescue Team.
The Kwale governor is one of 4 governors whose counties were declared as high-risk (Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi & Nairobi) areas by president Uhuru Kenyatta who went on to order a 21-day cessation of movement.Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya addressing the media on April 6, 2020.File
However, the governor was actively setting up measures prior to this, including the directive that 44 tractors owned by his government be used to plough the lands for local farmers for free to ensure a steady supply of food in the long term.
Mvurya also, on April 2, announced the total waiver on penalties for land rates and interests for single businesses, suspension of charges for market entry fees and suspension of market stall fees.
A notable mention is Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki who has reserved the four main public hospitals in the county: Chuka County Referral, Magutuni, Marimanti and Kibung’a hospital, for Covid-19 and referral cases only.
All other leaders have played their roles as well in their respective counties, for example, Embu Governor Martin Wambora has already set aside Ksh22 million as an emergency kitty, his Kajiado counterpart Joseph ole Lenku, who has been actively ensuring boda bodas and residents of his county have been adhering to the measures issued by the National Government.
President Uhuru has been vocal in calling on each and every Kenyan to chip in as the nation battles the virus that has claimed 89,435 lives across the world as of April 9.President Uhuru Kenyatta Speaking during his radio interview at State House Nairobi on April 7, 2020.PSCUdead suspect fight
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