CoG web Admin

CoG web Admin

As of May 26th, 2020, WHO has reported 5,688,516 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, with 351,272 deaths. In Africa, there are 115,616 reported cases with 3,479 deaths.
Kenya has recorded 1,348 confirmed cases of COVID out of 64,264 tests conducted, with 405 recovered patients and 53 deaths. 79% of the cases are asymptomatic - show no symptoms at confirmation.
Covid19 cases are spread across 29 counties with the highest prevalence in Mombasa and Nairobi counties with 425 and 660 cases respectively. These Counties have also recorded the highest attack rates of COVID-19 at 35.2 and 15 per 100,000 populations for Mombasa and Nairobi respectively when compared to 2.8 per 100,000 for the whole country and need enhanced interventions.
It is in this light that Mombasa County has invested in various measures aimed at curbing further spread of the virus led by His Excellency Governor Ali Hassan Joho. Within the last two months, the County Government has refurbished the Raimtullah private and Lady Grig Maternity wings at Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital as isolation units with 19 and 150 bed capacity respectively. This is in addition to a 300-bed capacity treatment centre at the Technical University of Mombasa. The Governor also launched four ICU ambulances dedicated to Covid19 response. This aimed at improving the Counties capacity in the event of increased numbers that need hospitalization.
To reduce transmission during testing, the county has earlier in the week, launched 19 contact-free testing booths to protect the health care workers as well as those who are being tested. The booths are designed with a transparent barrier that allows the health care worker to get the specimen required for the test without direct physical contact. The booths are distributed in 6 testing sites in the county.
All the investments done in Mombasa County have been achieved through collaborative efforts between Mombasa County; National Government, private sector and Non-governmental organizations.

Since the onset of COVID- 19, many countries globally have been adversely affected. As this pandemic continues to manifest and encroach further into various Countries, many sectors of the economy are consequently being shaken. The Natural resource and distinctly the water sector is one such sector feeling the strain and can’t be downplayed in this fight against the pandemic.
Kenya for instance has had challenges in the water sector even before this pandemic transpired. The need to strengthen the Water, sanitization and hygiene (WASH) systems has been made even more apparent in the wake of the Coronavirus. It is against this background that an emergency response virtual meeting was held on 19th of May 2020 between the County Governors and Water and Sanitation (WATSAN) Development Partners to canvass the WASH challenges being experienced during this pandemic.
H.E Tunai, Chairman of the Natural resource committee at the Council of Governors thanked the partners for their support in this way while stating the significance of strengthened WASH systems in this fight. “I want to thank you all for turning up for this meeting and above all for your inclination towards walking with the counties in this fight. As we are all aware, simple hygiene is one of the most powerful weapons in the fight against this pandemic and therefore strengthening the WASH systems is a sure way of flattening the curve”.
Excellency Governors expressed concerns over challenges that water utilities have faced in coping with protocols and guidelines issued to water companies. It was noted that the electricity bills are accumulating, chemicals for water treatment still remain a challenge to counties, the flooding situation which has adversely disrupted supply in Counties around the lake region and also diminished livelihoods in areas like Tana River County and the other areas.
The development partners were in total agreement with the fact that the WASH sector might be the one sector that will help reduce the Corona Virus cases significantly since most of this fight is about proper hygiene management( regular hand washing, drinking clean water and cleaning of surfaces etc.) The partners among them USAID, UNICEF, African Development Bank, World Bank, Netherlands Embassy, KFW reiterated that whilst this sector is the one critical sectors in this time, it was not very well established in the counties.
In view of the challenges, partners present during the meeting underscored their various courses of action in response to WASH COVID-19 crisis. Reviewing budgets for ongoing projects to support the WASH COVID -19 responses is one such way.UNICEF noted that they have procured water treatment chemicals that Counties can have access to through the Council of Governors.
As a way forward from the meeting therefore, the Council of Governors secretariat was directed to make a request to UNICEF for water treatment chemicals, the subgroup of development partners will meet weekly and this will enable them to consolidate support to Counties which will be presented to the larger group which is the Governors and the WATSAN development partners and that the council will appeal for review of electricity tariffs.

Wash hands. Stay home. Keep social distance. We shall overcome.

“To be able to effectively handle the COVID- 19 and its effects, we should look at it holistically, and that means take into consideration all the sectors including the gender function which is equally adversely affected’’, said one of the County directors as he gave his remarks during the County Directors of gender meeting. The meeting was held to deliberate on GBV initiatives during COVID-19. “We have a tendency to take other areas seriously and forget the social bit. Gender is equally important and should be taken seriously,’’ he continued.
The gender sector has not been left behind in as far as the Covid- 19 pandemic has ravaged. Currently, there is increased domestic violence cases throughout the counties sprouting from the fact that families have to stay indoors together for as long as the curfews, the cessation of movement and the work from home directive will last. Defilement cases are also on the rise during this period which has also seen an escalation in teenage pregnancies.
Government’s dusk to dawn curfew has had a negative effect on infant and maternal mortality rate. Expectant mothers are facing many challenges when they need medical services past curfew hours. This has brought adverse challenges. The County Director of Gender for Nakuru noted with utmost concern the effects of all these on expectant mothers while highlighting the plight of a street girl who delivered on the streets during curfew hours. The homeless and the street families pose a great challenge to the authorities since they have nowhere to go in this very critical time when they should be indoors in obedience to the curfew directive. They are also at high risk of infecting each other since they are mostly in groups and don’t have proper information on how to act around this pandemic.
In light of this, various Counties have come up with various interventions that can help salvage these gender-based issues. During an interview with the Council of Governors knowledge management Unit – the Maarifa Centre, on the 27th of May, 2020, Mombasa County Gender Director, Esther Ingolo, shared their interventions during this period including the launching of a toll-free number where victims can call in to be helped at any time owing to the fact that Mombasa has been hit by many issues of GBV in the past.
During this pandemic, however, the Gender team at the County noted that the GBV cases were low. Digging further, it was discovered that people would rather call gender-based individual organizations rather than go to the GBV rescue centre at the County which is situated at Coast General Hospital for fear of Contacting Covid- 19. People wouldn’t go to the police either because of the social distancing directive that would limit them especially past the curfew hours.
It was for this reason that the County was prompted to launch a toll-free number with the help of partners in their gender technical working groups which has since been publicized through local radio stations and roadshows. A situation room that’s fully dedicated to handling GBV cases was set up, where the calls are received with a dedicated workforce of about 10 people. The toll free number is linked to several extensions so that at no given time should a call be missed. The situation has since changed as more victims now call in and they are helped. They also come to the situation room where they hold private talks with officers and are helped accordingly.
Other measures put in place by the County Government of Mombasa include the establishment of a strong and active multi-sectoral technical working groups, the establishment of GBV- rescue centres and safe houses, use of community health workers to offer guided counselling services in households among others.
While all of these are working for the good of the people of Mombasa, Mrs. Esther stated that the journey has not been devoid of challenges including lack of enough funding from the County at this time since there’s more focus with in the fight against the Corona Virus, non- reporting especially by male victims, overcrowding of rescue centres such that some of the survivors may not be taken in, unwillingness of the victims to stay in the safe places among others.
The recommendations according to their journey therefore that can be replicated by the rest of the counties including need to have psycho- social assistants for the victims, ensuring there is full stakeholder participation with representations from many sectors, GBV hotspot areas in counties should be mapped out so that when resources are being consolidated, high priority is given to them, when counties develop hotline numbers, they should tell citizens that its only for gender issues since citizens have a tendency of calling to ask for other things, counties need to collaborate to ensure they are on the same level in fighting GBV cases, as well as publicize the toll free number well.
Wash your hands. Stay home. Observe social distancing. We shall overcome.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020 18:39


The County Directors in charge of Gender held a virtual meeting hosted by the Council of Governors on the 22nd of April 2020. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Gender-Based Violence (GBV) emerging issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, the communication strategies that will aid in sensitizing communities on GBV prevention and response as well as the rescue of the GBV survivors during the curfew and partial lockdown.
“The gender issue is a vital part of the society that can easily be overlooked in this fight against the Corona Virus. We should be careful lest we neglect this part. To be able to effectively handle the COVID- 19 and its effects, we should look at it holistically, and that means take into consideration all the sectors including the gender function,” said the Caucus Chair.
The Corona Virus pandemic has far-reaching impacts on all sectors of the economy, the gender sector included. There has been a spike in reported domestic violence cases throughout the Counties sprouting from the fact that families have to stay indoors together for as long as the curfew, the cessation and the work from home directive lasts. This can also be attributed to loss of jobs, decline in family income and frustrations due to economic hardship. Many differences arising during the period have led to increased cases of domestic violence hence increase in gender-based violence cases. Defilement cases are also on the rise during this period with women and girls being the most affected as they are often the victims of rape cases.
There has also been an effect of curfews on infant and maternal mortality rate. If an expectant mother were to deliver past the curfew hours, it would be a whole predicament accessing maternal health services. The County Director of Gender for Nakuru noted with utmost concern the negative effects of all these on expectant mothers and highlighted the plight of a street girl who delivered on the streets during curfew hours. It is anticipated that there will be increased teenage pregnancy cases due to the extended closure of schools and learning institutions.
The homeless and the street children pose a great challenge to the authorities since they have nowhere to go in this very critical time when they should be indoors in obedience to the curfew directives. They constitute vulnerable groups at high risk of infection since they are mostly in groups, live in unsanitary conditions, lack adequate personal protective equipment and don’t have proper information on how to act around this pandemic. In light of this, the County Governments have come up with various interventions to address these gender-based issues and social.
Most Counties have established toll-free numbers which GBV victims call to report, established rescue centres, established active County GBV technical working groups, some have GBV response groups that offer protected visits to homes of GBV survivors, some have gone as far as designating ambulances to pick up pregnant mothers, trained gender champions that look into gender issues while some have GBV focal persons in sub- counties. Some of the issues suppressing the successful implementation of these interventions include lack of finances, non- reporting especially by male victims and overcrowding of rescue centres such that some of the survivors may not be taken in.
Moving forward, the Directors agreed that Counties shall designate safe places and shelters for GBV survivors, there’s need to lobby the inclusion of provision of and access to reproductive health and psychological counselling as essential services to GBV survivors during this pandemic. Furthermore, County gender champions responding to GBV at sub- county level and Community Health Volunteers creating awareness on COVID-19 should have a crash course on GBV prevention and response to build their capacity in addressing GBV. In order to maintain dignity of vulnerable women and girls, it was proposed that procurement and distribution of sanitary towels and care packs to be prioritized. To protect County social development workers, community volunteers and gender champions handling GBV cases, there is need to issue them with PPEs and allowances to effectively fulfill their mandate.
Wash your hands. Stay home. Observe social distancing. We shall overcome.

The spirit of adaptability and innovativeness amongst the youth is now emerging amidst a catastrophe of global proportion. Thousands of businesses across the world reel from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as Kenya and the world confront the grim reality of possible and massive job losses as a result of business closures. Recently, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, during his daily briefing on the status of the coronavirus at Afya House, called upon the Youth to take up a more responsible and responsive role in the fight against the pandemic. "The youth should be at the center of fighting this disease. It is a journey that requires the energy of young people. I ask them to take up the responsibility like previous generations that fought for independence. It is the youth who will suffer in future," he said.
Amid the looming job losses and business closures, the idea to develop and produce personal protective equipment such as masks, innovative ideas of doing business from Boda Boda deliveries to more sophisticated Health related Applications and public sanitary portable mobile units, have now become new lifelines for many young entrepreneurs across the counties. Many small-scale businesses are cashing in on the demand for personal protective equipment, among them the stylish and well-designed masks that are now vibrant on the faces of many Kenyans and available in many markets across major towns. According to Paul Katana, a young fashion designer, the dozens of rolls of Kitenge and cotton material lying idle and gathering dust in his store for weeks have found a new use.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020 18:14


 The Corona Virus pandemic has not spared any sector of the global economy. The biggest economies are equally suffering the impact of the Corona Virus and Kenya is not unique. We are witnessing shortage of medical equipment and supplies to fight Corona Virus occasioned by the global shortage in supply and production. This is further compounded by financial constrains facing many countries.
The Council of Governors, Kenya resolved to partner with different organizations in order to raise the much-required resources to fight the Corona Virus. In view of the aforementioned, the Council constituted a donations committee to champion this. The Committee’s members are: H.E Francis Kimemia, H.E Martin Wambora, H.E Prof. Paul Chepkwony, Siaya Governor H.E Cornel Rasanga, and is patroned by Council of Governors Chairman H.E Wycliffe Oparanya.
The donations committee has so far formed several partnerships between the County Governments and the National Government, Private companies, Non-Governmental institutions among other entities. Recently, through the donations committee, the Kenya Pipeline Company donated 20,000 liters of hand sanitizers to Counties. This will be distributed on a weekly basis for the period of fighting the Pandemic. The sanitizers are distributed to the Counties based on the effect of the virus in the County, number of confirmed cases in the County as well as the location of the County for instance border Counties which are more porous as well as higher effect of the virus in the Countries they boarder. Currently, Nairobi County has the highest number of confirmed COVID 19 cases followed by Mombasa County.

The Council of Governors has resolved to hold virtual extra-ordinary meetings to discuss key issues relating to COVID-19 in the Counties. This comes at a time when the global pandemic, COVID 19, has paralyzed normal operations across the world both in Government and in other sectors. So far, Governors have successfully held 5 virtual meetings to get updates from various Governors who sit in the National COVID- 19 response sub-committees.
Council of Governors Chairman HE Wycliffe Oparanya has emphasized the seriousness of the novel Corona Virus that has taken the world by storm and the need for partnership in the fight. “COVID- 19 is a serious pandemic that should be given the attention it deserves. It is important that as County Governments, we work together with the National Government to ensure that this pandemic does not have adverse impact on our people”. He further added that, the Country is in a crisis and as heads of sub-national Governments Governors have to be on top of issues that relate to the Counties.
It is during these virtual meetings that the Council receives weekly updates from the security preparedness and response committee that reviews security matters, food supply committee that reviews issues of food security during this period, the National Emergency Committee, National Economic and Business Response Committee and the National Coordination Response Committee.
County Governments have put in place measures in readiness if a reported COVID –positive case including but not limited to: Isolation wards, quarantine facilities, set up ICU beds, procured ventilators, trained Health Workers at the County, Sub-County, Ward and village level, procured PPE kits, raised awareness about the virus in the Counties and nationally. County Governments have also availed IEC Materials, fumigated and decontaminated public spaces, installed sanitation points in markets, bus parks and public offices, distributed face masks to the members of the public, set up County, Sub-County, Ward and Village Response Committees. They have set up incident command centers, County war rooms to monitor food situations and hotlines for the public to call in case of an emergency. County Governments have also set up temperature check points and have cumulatively set aside Ksh 6.2 billion as emergency fund to deal with COVID. The Council has also been very deliberate in informing the members on the progress made by County Governments in the various sectors through the weekly press briefing.
Currently, the Council is in the process of developing a socio-economic strategy paper that will help County Governments rebuild their economy following the adverse effects of the pandemic that has crippled many businesses and brought to a standstill the service industry.
As Counties continue to fight the effects of the virus under the stewardship of Excellency Governors, the GOG leadership through the Chairman has emphasized the significance of the stakeholders such as the development partners and the private sector who have supported the counties in various ways. “We would not be where we are now in this fight if not for the support we’ve had from the National Government, the development partners as well as all the other parties who have supported us during this period. The donations received so far have made a notable impact and we are grateful.”

Monday, 17 February 2020 07:05


Learning is a continuous process. Every single day comes with new experience. Learning gets better when teams from different abodes learn from each other. On Wednesday the 5th of February 2020, the Council of Governors hosted a delegation of government officials from the Nepal government. The delegation was visiting Kenya for the south to south knowledge exchange program. Mr. Arjun Prasad Pokharel, Secretary Office of the Chief Minister and Council of Ministers, Province 4, Gandaki Pradesh led the officials who sought to experience Kenya’s Governance structure. As part of its efforts to strengthen capacity, the government of Nepal initiated a learning program for its officials and key stakeholders which includes study tours to targeted countries. Kenya is the second country they are visiting after Brazil.
The main objective of the visit was to learn the devolution structure in Kenya, to enable them better and fully transition into a federal, democratic republican state after the adoption of a new Constitution in 2015 that proposed a three tier government. Council of Governors CEO Ms. Jacqueline Mogeni welcomed the delegation and lauded their initiative to come and learn Kenya’s devolution model. “Devolution is one of the most transformative changes in the history of Kenya and is different for every other country. Ours is definitely not the same as Nepal’s or India’s and therefore we are glad that you could take your time to come and learn our style of devolution and we would be happy to learn from you too,” said Ms. Mogeni.
“We are grateful for the warm welcome. My team and I are so delighted to learn how you go about your devolution story. We are particularly interested in learning the administration, finance and dispute resolution aspects as well any other additional information,” said Mr. Arjun Prasad Pokharel on his part.
The CEO Council of Governors presented on the role and structure of the council. She also mentioned the role of the other intergovernmental bodies including the Summit, IGRTC and IBEC putting great emphasis on the fact that the Council works in collaboration with these bodies as well as the National Government and other stakeholders to make the devolution story a success and move the country forward.
The presentation on public finance management captured the aspect of the vertical and horizontal fiscal transfer of money to County Governments. The delegation also learnt about the three sources of the Counties’ revenue - Equitable Share, Own Source Revenue and the Conditional Grants.
On dispute resolution, one of the Council’s mandate is dispute resolution between Counties and therefore the Council has been able to support the Counties through the Legal and Intergovernmental Relations Committee at the Council. The delegation equally learnt a lot on natural resource management by County Governments with some of the notable challenges being the formula for sharing natural resources and National Government still holding on to some of the devolved natural resource management functions.
It would not be a learning experience if the Nepalese delegation didn’t also share their experience. The Council of Governors got to understand their mode of governance and especially the manner in which they execute their technical, political and their administrative functions. The delegation also visited the National Treasury, Ministry of Devolution and ASAL, Commission on Revenue Allocation, Office of the Controller of Budget, Office of the Auditor General, Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee, County Assemblies Forum among other institutions.

Monday, 10 February 2020 21:19


Sustainable development goals are elaborate and constructive global development agenda that Kenya is committed towards achieving. The Swedish embassy on 6th February, 2020 organized a multi-stakeholder meeting to deliberate on and interrogate the implementation of SDG 15 – Life on Land. While addressing stakeholders during the land is life meeting, Council of Governors CEO Ms. Jacqueline Mogeni elaborated on the mechanisms the National Government and County Governments have put to ensure efficient and sustainable land use. “Key measures have been taken by the County Governments in order to ensure that there is efficient, productive and sustainable use of land. Both levels of Government have instituted mechanisms designed to induce land owners to put their land to productive use and encourage the application of efficient technology for the intensification of land use. Urban land use has also significantly improved through the application of measures such as establishing transparent, sustainable, comprehensive and participatory governance structures and decision-making processes,” she noted.
SDG 15 with 12 targets focuses to Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt land degradation as well as halt biodiversity loss. Counties have been hit by the effects of climate change and are at the fore-front towards realization of the goal.
Just as devolution provides a unique opportunity for development, SDGs provide a framework that elaborates the global development agenda towards achieving a better and more sustainable future for all. The 17 SDGs and 169 targets are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development, that is, economic, social and environmental.
While Kenya has made important policy strides towards promoting productive and sustainable use of land, there are still a number of challenges which need to be addressed at policy level. The question of appropriate and beneficial use of land in Kenya has gained prominence in the face of growing population and mounting demand for land resources. Problems of rapid urbanization, inadequate land use planning; unsustainable agricultural and industrial production methods, poor environmental management and inappropriate management of land are commonplace. These challenges call for appropriate policy responses in order to navigate these challenges.
“Additionally, we have seen a shift in the legislation enacted over the past few years that are aimed at ensuring the successful implementation of SDG 15. A case in point is the enactment of the Forest Conservation and Management Act 2016 which seeks to promote sustainable management of forests,” said the COG Chief.
The successful implementation of the SDGs global Agenda calls for the commitment of both levels of Government and the Good-will of Key stakeholders in the sphere.

Friday, 07 February 2020 17:41


The Council of Governors, the county directors in charge of urban development held a consultative meeting with the connected places catapult (CPC) on Friday, 31st of January 2020 at the COG offices. Connected Places Catapult is the UK Centre of Excellence for urban innovation and mobility with a role to catalyze the innovation market in the UK and globally. In October 2019, the connected places catapult started a £2.5 million program in Kenya and South Africa known as Urban Links Africa.

The Urban Links Africa project will work closely with selected cities to identify the most urgent and the high level urban challenges. The Programme will equally run city capacity building workshops for partner cities. It has a span of 20 months which culminates in April 2021 and will focus on 6 cities: 3 in Kenya and 3 in South Africa. The three cities in Kenya are Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa.

The Kenyan cities are expected to identify the most constraining challenges facing them. These challenges will be discussed and looked through in a major meeting in March this year that will bring major stakeholders together. The challenges will be articulated to a broad ecosystem of UK startups and tech companies in the form of an audition. They will be paired with start-ups across Kenya and South Africa to propose joint tech solutions (equitable partnerships). The best association will get a grant to extend their technology products and services across these 6 cities while the Catapult will ensure their economic, social and environmental impact is closely monitored.

The meeting therefore proposed that the 3 Cities of Kenya identify their challenges and implement technological and innovation solutions that improve quality of life of citizens, establishment of equitable partnerships for innovation and technology sharing between Africa & UK cities, tech hubs and ecosystems, creation of an initial cohort of trained and innovation ready African cities and the project to recruit a technical Officer who will support the Urban Committee.

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