Saturday, January 16, 2021

Challenges in Government’s Covid-19 Food Distribution As People Voice Out Their Complaints

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By Louise Jobe

There is public outcry and attention in the ongoing Government Covid-19 food distribution as the distribution faces lots of complaints and challenges.

This reporter, who is keenly following the developments of the situation at different distribution centers within Kombo North and Central Districts of the West Coast Region, witnessed that many names were wrongly published at many of these distribution sites and some people did not get the full food items they were supposed to receive.

In Kombo Lamin village, some people received their complete food items such as rice, oil and sugar whilst others received only one or two of the items after going back and forth for three days without getting anything. Jarra Sabally is one such resident who lives in Lamin Wayotoo.

Another resident of Lamin Sanchaba in the person of Cecilia Mendy, said she was issued with only rice and sugar and no oil.

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However other community members of the same area disclosed that some households received twice from the supply whilst others complained that their names were neither found in the distribution lists nor were they given coupons, leading to sporadic fights amongst them.

Many people in Wellingara in the Kombo North District complained that the process of conducting the registration within households was not adequately done; that the list which was sent to the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) had errors in its printing and distribution, leading to the wrong publication of many names at distribution sites in these communities.

In Banjuluding and Kunkujang Keitaya, many others complained bitterly that they were listed but their names did not appear at all in the list at the distribution sites, leading to their embarrassment in public.

At one of the distribution sites at Emma in Brikama in the Kombo Central District, all food items were available except cooking oil which the beneficiaries complained about.

Overall there was no accurate national population data from the Gambia Bureau of Statistics (GBOS) that provided accurate information for the proper planning and distribution of Government’s Covid-19 food aid.

According to Mr. P. Sanneh, the alkalo of Brikama Nema, some of his ‘kabilo’ members received their supplies but others are yet to receive their food items.

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