Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Residents of Bwaise, a suburb of Kampala are upbeat after receiving relief food from the government as a way of mitigating the challenges caused by the Coronavirus (COVID -19) lockdown.
The distribution had delayed a bit as leaders including the minister in charge of Kampala metropolitan affairs, her junior and local village leaders disagreed on the distribution pattern.
However, later on, they hit a common ground of creating several teams and scatter in different directions distributing food from house by house.
The village council leaders had already mobilized residents in their communities to keep at home. And whenever the distribution vehicle reached, every occupant in the house could be ordered to stand on the doorway for headcount and then actual reception of relief depending on the number of occupants per house.
Sarah Nakalema, a resident of Kulumba zone and mother of three, said the delivery was unbelievable. She shouted and hailed “long live (president) Museveni” as she received 30 kilograms of maize flour and 15 kilograms of beans. Her neighbors were also all in joy. some, however, were lamenting that the government should as well send them charcoal.
Most of the families that received food in Bwaise where headed by single mothers. Some could be seen unpacking the delivery yo prepare their next meal.
Madina Atto says that the governments move to cater for them in such times was timely as they were already running out of the few supplies they had stocked.
The distribution, however, left out some people whom the village leaders thought were well off and could survive even during the lockdown. Habib Nsubuga, Bubajjwe village chairperson notes he could not allow food to be distributed to well off people.
However, expectant and breastfeeding mothers who were expecting to get milk where left guessing on whether this was yet another empty promise from the government.
Tensions further escalated when UPDF trucks loaded with milk were sighted which later prompted residents to blame the distributing teams for allegedly plotting to deny them the milk.
Rachel Nakiwala appealed to the government to investigate the matter before some people hijack the relief items give the corrupt tendencies among government officials.
However, the distributing soldiers to explain that the first consignment never included milk. The officer was seen registering expectant mothers asking them for their national identification numbers and contact details.
Lt Col. Herny Obbo the UPDF land forces spokesperson, who also the media contact person for the operation had no clear explanation on why they were not giving out milk. He, however, assures that with time all foodstuffs as promised will be delivered.
Let Col. Obbo further notes that day one has been a pilot and all the challenges and success they have had will be informing how the operation in other areas where they are going to roll out will be.
The distribution exercise is being handled by security under Gen. Elly Tumwine working with local Council One Chairpersons. It is expected to benefit over 1.5 million people.