Government has officially kicked off an exercise that will see it see it provide relief in form of food to a total of 1.5 million people in the greater Kampala area affected by the coronavirus lockdown.
The exercise was flagged off by the Prime Minister, Dr.Ruhakana Rugunda at his offices in Kampala on Saturday.
“The focus will be ensuring that the vulnerable including the elderly, pregnant mothers, the sick and all those people who live hand to mouth but were affected by the lockdown are taken into account,”Rugunda said.
Emphasizing the mode of distribution , the Prime Minister said it will delivered door to door in liaison with Local Council One chairmen but insisted that it was deliberate to start in the Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono districts because these were the most affected areas by the lockdown.
Rugunda also noted that hospitals and orphanage centres will also be taken into account while giving out the relief.
Earlier this week, Parliament directed government to halt the move to distribute relief food in greater Kampala areas saying it should be done throughout the country.
Speaking during his address to the nation on Friday, the president in a veiled message said he is bothered by “some people” mixing up the relief program with a poverty alleviation program.
“Some people are mixing it up thinking it is an anti-poverty campaign. We are doing emergency but don’t mix it with poverty. The people in towns eat food from money they earn each day they work. These are the people we are going to support and are the ones greatly affected by the anti-coronavirus measures brought by government,” the president said.
“Poverty is not an emergency because we have been facing it. Have you just realised it now? I have been telling you. Please don’t mix issues, what we are fighting now is the disease or else you will make us fail by solving nothing in both the long and short term.”
President Museveni insisted that people outside greater Kampala areas are engaged in farming and rearing of animals and were not greatly affected by the lockdown.
He said that if it was about poverty eradication, there are already government programs like Operation Wealth Creation meant to get people out of poverty.
According to the program, each person will be given 6kg of maize flour and 3kg of beans whereas lactating mothers and the sick will be given powdered milk and 2kg of sugar each.
The exercise has kicked off in the slum areas of Bwaise in Kampala and intends to reach at least 1.5 million people.