Nakasongola district authorities have written to the Local government ministry requesting for Shillings 588million to facilitate their campaigns against the spread of COVID-19.
This comes almost a week after president; Yoweri Museveni ordered districts to re-activate their task forces. He also directed the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to facilitate the task force to renew their fight against COVID-19.
Recently, Ben Kumumanya, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government instructed Chief Administrative Officers across the country to submit COVID-19 response plans and budgets to his office for consideration.
Now, Nakasongola Chief Administrative Officer, Alex Felix Majeme has submitted a budget of Shillings 588,969,500to the Local Government Ministry to enable the district contain the spread of the COVID-19 within the 42 day’s lockdown.
According to the budget obtained by URN, the district intends to use Shillings 199million to conduct Village COVID-19 task force meetings, Shillings 31 million for sub-county COVID 19 task force meetings and Shillings 11million for district task force coordination meetings.
The district also plans to Spend Shillings 117 million to facilitate Village Health Teams to conduct Community based Surveillance, case detection and deaths.
The district needs Shillings 27 million for curfew enforcement, Shillings 2.9 million to refill oxygen cylinders and Shillings 80million to monitor the seclusion site established near Migyera town.
The district also plans to use Shillings10 million to extend water to the COVID-19 treatment center and Shillings16 million to follow up on patients under home-based care management among other items.
Sam Kigula, the Nakasongola district LC V Chairperson, says the money is needed to intensify their efforts in the fight against the pandemic because of the laxity in the community.
Kigula, who has been under isolation after two of his children who tested positive for COVID-19, said they need to conduct massive sensitization campaigns to remind the public about the pandemic.
He says that they also want to equip the COVID-19 treatment center at Nakasongola Health Center IV so that they can isolate patients since the home-based care strategy may not be applicable to all.
At least 56 people in Nakasongola have tested positive for COVID 19. However, the results of scores of their contacts who were screened last week are yet to return.
In April 2020 the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development released Shillings 165million to districts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The districts also received cash donations from Members of Parliament and relief items from organizations to boost their response to COVID-19 cases.
However, the Auditor General’s Report on government interventions against COVID-19 faults the districts of utilizing donations on sources contrary to the guidance by the Permanent Secretary to bank the funds intact.
The report also notes that whereas others received donations in kind they didn’t conduct valuations contrary to paragraph 15.5.1 of the Treasury Instructions, 2017. Some districts were also faulted for failure to account for funds received for interventions.
Local Governments received Shillings 5.6 billion from donations but only banked Shillings 4.7 billion and utilized Shillings 852 million at source, according to the Auditor General’s report. URN