National and county governments shall put in place social safety schemes designed to support vulnerable persons, vulnerable households and informal sector workers whose incomes have been disrupted by the pandemic. The Bill has not however defined the scope of vulnerable persons nor the procedure for identifying them. Some of the economic safeguards to be enforced include unconditional cash transfers to support the identified groups. Kenya currently already has safety net programmes for certain groups such as the elderly, orphaned children and persons with disabilities.
However there is a significantly large group of Kenyans who are not in existing social safety net groups. As such, cash transfer programmes to these groups seems to be a difficult challenge. Going forward, it appears that Kenya should have a more comprehensive social net programme. These programmes should be existent even in times when the county is not facing a pandemic.
The Bill also charges the National and County governments with providing for the waiver of water and electricity charges for identified vulnerable persons and households; and adjustment of tariff rates in order to reduce utility charges to individuals and businesses; and withhold disconnections for non-payment of utility bills.
The Bill provides that county governments may suspend fees payable on renewal of trade licenses and payment of property rates during the pandemic.