Nairobi MPs meet over plans to battle coronavirus in city
Nairobi’s top leadership has come up with a raft of measures aimed at cushioning residents as well as minimising the spread of coronavirus in the county.
The Thursday meeting at KICC, which was convened by Senator Johnson Sakaja and attended by Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director General Mohamed Badi and 13 MPs, focused on how to secure and protect the livelihoods of Nairobi residents during the fight against coronavirus in the country.
Speaking to Nairobi News, Senator Sakaja said that the emphasis was on availability of water, food security and supply chain as well as health matters.
“The meeting was on the urgent measures that we have to put in place to help our people during this pandemic,” said Mr Sakaja.
In terms of access to water, he said that they agreed to install tanks and have water bowsers across the county with priority given to informal settlements. He said 10 water bowsers are already in place.
Mr Sakaja stated that the target was to have at least 30 bowsers in each of the 17 constituencies in Nairobi as well as revive available boreholes to ensure the commodity is easily accessible to city residents who are currently undergoing water rationing.
“We resolved to carry out an assessment of all the boreholes in the capital, which are not in a good state, within a day as part of urgently making water available so that people can get water as the first line of defence is water and soap,” he said.
He pointed out that they have begun sourcing for funds and have established links with the private sector who have shown willingness to help with the funds set to be channelled through NMS.
“We also agreed that fees and levies be relaxed on those operating private boreholes in order to make sure the commodity is available,” he added.
On matters food security, the Senator said that they will hold a meeting with all leaders of markets in the county between Friday and Saturday in a bid to ensure that food supply chain continues operating amid the dusk to dawn curfew.
“Since Nairobi is a heavy food consumer, we want to ensure that the supply chain continues operating despite the curfew so that fresh food can keep coming into our markets. We are organising a meeting with all market leaders to see how we can think of cushioning the poor on the basic foodstuff as many live from hand to mouth,” he said.
On matters health, he said the leaders agreed to see how community health volunteers can be engaged so that pressure on national and referral hospitals is eased by ensuring that normal ailments are dealt with at the primary level by the health volunteers.
Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Pasarris said they resolved to reach out to National Treasury to provide some funds to be used in the purchase of disinfectants, sanitisers and water equipment.
The funds will also be allocated to the community health workers who are sensitizing people back in the estates and demonstrating on the preventative measures against Covid-19.
“Part of the Sh600, 000 allocated to my office as disaster fund will be utilised to address the Covid-19 pandemic. My office will next week set up water points and provide sanitisers, soap and water in order for people to keep high levels of hygiene,” said Ms Passaris.
On his part, Makadara lawmaker George Aladwa said they agreed to work together with Mr Badi to restore Nairobi’s lost glory where it was suggested that the new office holds weekly meetings with the leaders to check the progress being made.