August 7, 2020

COVID-19: Taita Taveta Health Committee to Table Report on COVID-19 Funds

Taita Taveta County speaker Meshack Maghanga. Image: (Courtesy)

MCK (P5)

By THE COAST NEWSPAPER CORRESPONDENT

Email: thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com

Taita Taveta County has run into trouble with civil societies after questioning COVID-19 funds following disclosure doing round in social media over mismanagement.

This caught the ears of the County Assembly’s Health and Sanitation Committee that instituted investigations into the alleged appropriation of funds meant for the campaign against coronavirus.

Omar Ahmed, Kaloleni Ward MCA and Committee chairman says they will develop a comprehensive report with recommendations

Omar Ahmed, Kaloleni ward MCA in Taita Taveta County. Image: (Courtesy)

Last month, Health Services CEC John Mwakima was pinned down to explain the department’s expenditure on combating Covid-19.
This was prompted by documents circulating on social media indicating that the County had irregularly spent over Sh35 million to pay suppliers, repair of motor vehicle and allowances for health officials.
DISOWN DOCUMENTS
However, the CEC disowned the documents terming them misleading adding that the figures being propagated do not emanate from his office.

The department, according to him, has only spent Sh12 million on its operations and maintenance.

Mr Ahmed, however, points that the county documents produced to the committee had almost the same figures as those refuted by the executive.

“We have seen that both documents have Sh7 million paid to one company that provided tents for only 63 days. The ministry should just procure tents and save public funds,” he says.
Currently, the County has set three isolation centres at Moi County Referral Hospital, Mwatate and Taveta Sub county Hospital.

In its investigations, the committee will focus on the utilization of Sh232 million meant to improve and equip infrastructure for Moi County Referral Hospital, Taveta Sub county Hospital, Wesu Hospital and Mwatate Hospitals as contained in the 2019/2020 financial year.

ADVENT OF PANDEMIC
Since the confirmation of the first corona virus case in the country, the County has been mobilizing resources to screen passengers en route in and out of the neighboring counties.
Through a series of measures including; mandatory screening of travelers using the Mombasa-Nairobi highway, Rombo-Taveta road and Holili-Taveta One-Stop Border Post, the County chiefs intends to intensify their surveillance to combat COVID-19.
According to Mr Mwakima a quarantine facility with a bed-capacity of 100 patients has been set to combat the spread of the pandemic.
The county targets vulnerable groups such as persons living with disabilities, the elderly, women and children.

An isolation ward in Taita Taveta county . Image: (Courtesy)

Some traders especially in Voi Town, have decried an economic decline as the pandemic continue to cause havoc in their pockets.
According to Godfrey Kimega a communication expert the activities of chamas, boda boda riders, matatu operators and construction have dwindled in Voi Sub county.
Economic hardship pointers have spared nobody including landlords who have in turn complained of lack of rent from their tenants.

Meanwhile bars and restaurants have recorded low sales since the confirmation of the first case of corona virus in the country.

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