The Chamber for Local Governance (ChaLoG) says the handling and distribution process adopted by government officials for sharing food to the vulnerable in lockdown areas is a recipe for spreading COVID-19.
According ChaLoG “this is because the much touted WHO protocol of social distancing is completely nonexistent in almost all the areas ChaLoG assessed”.
The Chamber said it came to that conclusion after assessing government’s approach over the two weeks that food had been shared to the poor indicating that rather than preventing COVID-19 through the lockdown, the manner food was being shared would rather put people at a high risk of contracting the disease.
The ChaLoG, while commending the feeding of the vulnerable initiative taken by the government in the COVID 19 fight, indicated however that they were “opposed to the specific selection by the President of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and Faith Based Organizations (FBO) to spearhead the cooking, handling and distribution of food to the vulnerable in the locked down areas
Instead of the Metropolitan/Municipal/District Assemblies (MMDAs) which have Social Welfare and Community Development Departments that sees to the day to day issues and concerns of vulnerable people in all the MMDAs across the country owing to their comprehensive and up to date data on vulnerable people”.
They blamed the overcrowding scenes at the designated food distribution centres on the inability of government to use the appropriate agency (MMDAs) which were vested with the power and responsibility to work and support all vulnerable people in the communities on a day-to-day basis prior to the COVID 19 pandemic in Ghana, to spearhead the identification of the vulnerable.
ChaLoD observed that the development had undoubtedly opened the flood gates for all manner of people who clearly did not fall within the bracket of vulnerable people to throng the designated food distribution centres to be fed because it was ‘free food”.
The Chamber therefore called on government to engage the Social Welfare and Community Development of the various MMDAs to take charge of the exercise.
This, they said, would also help government achieve its originally intended aim and “also to save government the wanton dissipation of public financial resources from feeding people who in the strictest sense of the word are not vulnerable people”.