Food relief excites Kampala residents

One of the recipients of the food relief

A sizeable number of residents of Bwaise, a suburb of Kampala, are cheerful after receiving food relief from the government.
The items that include maize flour, beans and sugar are being distributed to residents to help them mitigate the challenges they are facing since a lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus was announced last week by President Museveni.

The exercise that started on Saturday, faced some glitches as local leaders and distribution teams disagreed on the distribution pattern.
However, they later created several teams to distribute the relief.
Village council leaders had mobilised residents to stay at home.

Every head of a household could be ordered to stand in the doorway, for a headcount, before receiving the items depending on the number of people in the home.

Ms Sarah Nakalema, a resident of Kulumba Zone and a mother of three, said the delivery from the government of Uganda was unbelievable.
She received 30 kilogrammes of maize flour and 15 kilogrammes of beans.

Some residents, however, faulted the distribution teams for not giving them charcoal to cook the food.
Most of the families that received food in Bwaise are headed by single mothers.
Some could be seen unpacking the items to prepare their next meal.

Ms Madina Atto, one of the recipients, said that the decision to give vulnerable people food was timely since they were running out of the few supplies they had stocked.

The exercise, however, left out some people who were categorised by village leaders as ‘wealthy’ and could survive during the lockdown.

Ms Habib Nsubuga, the Bubajjwe Village chairperson said that people who are financially able, were not fit to get the relief food.
However, expectant and breastfeeding mothers who expected to get milk, were disappointed after failing to get it.
It’s alleged that some UPDF trucks loaded with milk were sighted in the area which prompted some residents to blame the relief teams for allegedly plotting to steal the milk.

Ms Rachel Nakiwala said that the government should investigate the distribution exercise.
Lt. Col. Henry Obbo, the UPDF Land Forces spokesperson, who is the media contact person had no clear explanation on why they did not give out milk.

He, however, said that with time, all foodstuffs that were promised, will be delivered.
The exercise is being headed by Security Minister Gen. Elly Tumwine.
About 1.5 million people in Kampala and Wakiso districts are expected to benefit.