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CRA Chair Mary Wanyonyi has endorsed the risk’s proposed by Lake region economic bloc to form part of the revenue sharing formulae.

Wanyonyi says that LREB’s list of risks is among those proposed by governors from parts of the country.

“We have received lots of proposals from Governors that we will use to decide on the next revenue formulae and before we forward the agreed formulae to the Senate we will come back to governors and give feedback,” said Wanyonyi.

Wanyonyi was reacting following her meeting with a section of governors from Lake Region Economic bloc.

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The governors now want the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) to factor in the region’s risks while crafting the revenue-sharing formula.

The leaders who included Siaya Governor James Orengo, Anyang Nyongo(Kisumu) Gladys Wanga(Homabay), Ken Lusaka(Bungoma), Simba Arati(Kisii) and Ochillo Ayako (Migori) said the current formulae was a blow to them.

The leaders said the climate change posed socio-economic threats to the region and it should be part of the parameters for revenue allocation.

“We have got climate change problems that are significant in the LREB counties. When Environment CS Soipan Tuya was in Siaya we toured the region and established that there is pollution upstream. There are a lot of activities upstream but the problem stretches downstream.
“A lot of fish species that thrived in Lake Kanyaboli and River Nzoia are gone and if you follow those rivers, especially Yala and Nzoia, it used to be a clean river from Webuye and due to deforestations and upstream activities from Webuye, and so on, the water of the rivers became browner and browner but nature purifies it. The Yala swamp purified it and it ends in Lake Victoria”.

“We need resources to maintain that environment that is suffering from upstream pollution,” said Orengo.

Governor Orengo said Counties should get adequate share of revenue to address their roles effectively saying that the state has declined to let go certain devolved functions.

Though agriculture and trade are fully devolved, the state is still engaged in the distribution of fertilizers and building of markets and so resources meant for those programmes should be availed to the counties.

Prof. Nyongo said disease burden should be a parameter for revenue allocation.
Nyongo who is the LREB Chairman said that current malaria prevalence stands at 15.6 per cent.

Nyong’o said in the early 2000s, malaria burden exceeded 50 per cent prevalence.

Kisumu is situated within the malaria Lake Endemic Zone, where the prevalence of the disease exceeds 15 per cent.

The geographic and climatic conditions in the region, which is characterized by low altitude, specific rainfall patterns, hot and humid weather, create an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.

“This exposes vulnerable populations such as children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with chronic illnesses to the highest risk. The disease also extends to other Nyanza Counties,” said Nyong’o adding “It’s the burden of the disease that has prompted us to meet you should consider it as one of the parameters.”

Wanga said that cutting the budgets for HIV by donor community is going to
hamper the gains made so far in fighting the scourge through sustainable treatment.

The Homabay County Governor said pulling out by donors on HIV programmes has hit hard Nyanza region and unless there’s additional fundings they won’t be able to bridge the gap immediately.

“Women are the faces of HIV/AIDS as they bear the greatest brunt of either suffering from the disease or nursing the patients, so any reduction in funding will lead to massive deaths that’s why we have come to meet you (CRA) to consider us ,” she said.

Currently, the donor community funds close to 80 percent of programs aimed towards providing ARVs to HIV positive people in Kenya but uncertainty looms over the future of donor funding of the fight against HIV and Aids, malaria and tuberculosis, with revelations that donors want the government to fund such programs.

“Nyanza has one of the highest burdens of sickle cell disease,” said Arati.

Data from the Kisumu County Department of Health shows that about 1,500 children are born with sickle cell disease annually, meaning three to four out of 100 newborn babies have sickle cell disease – with 50 to 90 per cent of them not celebrating their fifth birthday.

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