COVID-19 UGANDA: Relief beneficiaries “borrowing” children to get more relief food

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Hon. Peter Ogwang giving out food to residents of Katwe, Makindye Kampala; File Photo

The COVID-19 food relief team currently undertaking distribution of food to vulnerable Ugandans have reported that some beneficiaries are presenting non-family members as a measure to get more food.

The team comprised of government ministers made this revelation during an update on the ongoing effort to feed Ugandans distressed by effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ministers reported that they are in the final lap of distribution in Kampala, where about 300,000 people have allegedly received food ever since the process to distribute food began.

The teams however highlighted several challenges including inadequate food supply, beneficiaries who sell rations, and people who inflate numbers of family members in order to get more rations.

 “Yesterday we saw a lady who presented 16 children almost the same age, and children not resembling each other” said Hon. Jackson Kafuuzi.

They said the practice is “murderous” since it may result into starvation or death for other people who are desperately yearning to get food.

Government opted for a formula where food is delivered to homes, and each person found at home receives food ration.

The teams said they at times find the same beneficiaries they earlier gave food, but the ministers say they have been reluctant to openly confront and shame them.

“Sometimes we get surprised to see the same people we gave food at a neighboring village” Hon. Raphael Magyezi said.

In the next seven days, the team said they will have completed distribution of food in Kampala District, and thereafter move to Wakiso.

They however noted that without a clear procedure to identify eligible beneficiaries, some needy people have been left out in areas so far covered, which may require them to conduct a “mop up” operation to have them covered.

The teams appealed to Ugandans to be considerate so that the available relief serve as many people as possible since the number of distressed people is increasing day by day.

They also dispelled claims that the food distribution process has been politicized saying it is purely service to Ugandans.

“We are ministers of the republic, we are not there for politics but to serve the people of Uganda.” Ogwang.

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