COVID-19: Distribution of palliatives in Kwali negates social distancing, says group

By Chimezie Godfrey

The Say No Campaign has urged the Minister of State, FCT, Dr Ramatu Aliyu and her team to ensure compliance with the NCDC regulations in their subsequent distribution of palliatives in the FCT, as the previous distribution negates social distancing.

In a statement on Thursday, the Co-convener, Say No Campaign, Eze Nwangwu  commended the effort of the FCT Administration in the distribution of the palliatives but faulted the process of distribution, which disregards social distancing.

“The three days distribution of palliative items of rice, semovita, sachets of tomato paste, Maggi and garri to the resident of Kwali area council of the Federal Capital Territory has ended today, Thursday, 23rd April 2020, with most households reported to have received their share. 

“Say No Campaign through its anticorruption network, Kwali, who have monitored the entire process reported that while most households were given equal share of the palliative items, the married, aged and people living with disabilities were prioritized in the distribution process. 

“Reports we have gathered indicated that residents were largely satisfied with the items received as well as the modalities for sharing.

“However, as community members across the 10 wards were instructed to remain in their respective homes while the items will be delivered to them, there were reports of people gathering in clusters on the streets receiving these food items. 

“One lingering challenge that has continued to mar the process of distribution from Abaji and now Kwali remains the disregard for social distancing. 

“Both the distributors and beneficiaries of the relief materials, in some places, clustered to receive their items,” he said.

Nwangwu said there is a need for the FCTA to consciously avoid crowd and clumsy methods of distribution that encourage individuals clustering around delivery trucks or distributing officials. 

He pointed out that the FCTA need to adequately coordinate and strategise with the chairmen of the area council and their ward councilors  for a more effective house to house distribution in other to avoid ‘mobile sharing’, adding that the beneficiary lists earlier collected across all wards can be a good starting point at ensuring an orderly distribution. 

“While distribution will continue in other area councils of the FCT, as announced by the FCTA minister of state, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, we urge the Minister and her team  to improve on the methods adopted in Kwali to ensure adequate compliance with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) regulations in other to avoid facilitating further spread of the Corona virus, thereby undermining the gains of the lockdown,” he said.