Not a Priority! Eldoret Locals Tell Governors over Ksh6 Billion Request For Ebola Preparedness

A section of residents of Uasin Gishu County has termed the Ebola disease as an external issue which needs little attention. They are now urging the government to focus on stabilizing the economy as the cost of living continues to surge.

This follows a recent demand made by the Council of Governors for the national government to allocate Ksh6 billion to devolved units for Ebola preparedness.

But the residents claim that the Ebola disease is something passing by and therefore, the government should not allocate any funds to curb it. They say instead of funding county preparedness, the government should instead channel the money to fight hunger in affected regions such as the North Eastern region.

Health workers during a past Ebola outbreak period.

There was a time the government reserved drought and locust funds but shortly after the locusts went away and also it rained and nobody explained where the funds went. The same issue is likely to happen here with the allocation of ebola funds and this should never happen,” said a taxi driver in Eldoret town.

Accountability

However, to some of the locals in Eldoret town, the county government is yet to provide preventive measures against Ebola.

They claim that even though they are aware of the Ebola in Uganda and how faster it can reach Eldoret, they are not scared of it. The locals argue that in 2016 the same disease hit Uganda but only one case was reported in Eldoret.

We are much aware that there are cases of Ebola in Uganda and Kenyan borders but we know it will not go far. Also, the county Government is yet to give out preventive measures about the same. This issue of Governors demanding ksh.6 billion is unacceptable considering most parts of the country are fighting hunger. The covid 19 funds came and it ended up in the pockets of few people,” noted Isaac Kosgei, a bodaboda rider.

Past photo of Medical staff of an Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) in DR Congo.

On September 20, 2022, Ugandan health authorities declared an outbreak of Ebola in their country which has claimed 29 lives as of now. There are 63 confirmed cases in the country.

The Kenyan government has already put out national Ebola preparedness and response contingency plan with a team tasked to monitor the situation.

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