The lockdown imposed on the country as one of the measures to avert Covid19 has left many Ugandans, sitting at home in self-isolation talking and thinking about the accessibility to public services.
In this period, citizens continue to rely on the government for essential services, such as health care, water, power, education,business regulation, security and in some cases, even food.
SEMA Uganda, a local civil society organisation conducted an online survey to find out the needs of the citizens and how the government should address them during the current situation.
According to the survey, 55% of people living within the Kampala metropolitan area said they need health care services compared to other essential services during the lockdown.
“The need for utilities was mentioned as the second most important service by most people with 38% and security with 5%. Women find access to health services during Covid19 more important than men, while men seem to find utilities more important than women,”the report indicated.
The survey also indicated that provisions such as food, house essentials and rent should be taken care of by the government.
“Transport should be made available for people who must go for routine medical visits, people with chronic illnesses, or it should be made a little easier for the responsible persons or caretakers to drive the patients to respective hospitals,” the survey noted.
The survey also showed that of the 44% of citizens who said they had interacted with the police in the last two weeks, a quarter of them said they were treated brutally by the forces.
In an interview with the Nile Post, the Chief executive officer SEMA Uganda, Nathalie Josephine, said the survey was conducted through Google Forms and spread through SEMA’s networks via newsletters, social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp among others.
“The main reason for the survey was that we are dealing with the lockdown in Uganda and it is affecting people’s accessibility to public services so we wanted to find out their needs and gather the feedback so that we present it to the government, “she said.
Nathalie said several citizens requested government to also support mental and psychological counseling as many people are dealing with fear and social-economic consequences of the lockdown.
“We are in a situation and there is a lot of needs that the public would want the government to address and also to see the areas of improvement in this particular case,”she added.
She said 11% of the citizens asked the government to provide free or reduced utilities during the lockdown, as most people have lost their daily income and are forced to stay at home and wash their hands.
Nathalie said during the survey, no one mentioned the need for online educational services or court dispute resolution services, which are usually seen as important government services.