This is according to a series of tests conducted by the COVID-19 task force after complaints raised by beneficiaries of the relief food, distributed in the first week. The food sent by the office of the Prime Minister, is targeting households whose livelihood was disrupted by the various measures instituted to control the spread of COVID-19.
Some of the food which was due to be
distributed in parts of Kampala and Wakiso was substandard and not fit for human consumption.
This is according to a series of tests conducted by the COVID-19 task force after complaints raised by beneficiaries of the relief food, distributed in the first week. The food sent by the office of the Prime Minister is targeting households whose livelihood was disrupted by the various measures instituted to control the spread of COVID-19.
According to State Minister for Relief, Disaster
Preparedness and Refugees Musa Ecweru, the taskforce requested Uganda National
Bureau of Standards-UNBS and National Agricultural Research Organization-NARO
to test the food items before they are distributed to city dwellers.
Barbra Katusiime, the Public Relations Officer at Uganda National
Bureau of Standards, says that most of the samples that have been taken to them did not meet a number of standard tests including, but not limited to, moisture level
and aflatoxin tests.
Katusiime confirms that the cost of the items (flour and
dry beans) had high levels of Aflatoxin, a poisonous
cancer-causing compound and a common contaminant of foodstuffs, especially when
stored in damp conditions.
“Most of the items brought for testing by the government
and independent suppliers have failed the test. We have therefore advised the
government not to distribute it to people,” Katusiime adds. She, however,
declined to avail the list of samples carried arguing that it was still being developed.
Minister Ecweru has however pointed out that one of the
largest suppliers in the names of Aponye Uganda Limited. Ecweru sights that
they have turned away over 21 metric turns of beans from Aponye after finding
out that their Food, mostly beans, had foreign materials.
in; “Which organisation didn’t...
Apollo Nyegaheme of Aponye Uganda Limited dismissed the minister’s allegations
saying that he has not received any reports indicating that his supplies have been refused.
the supplies and they offloaded them. they haven’t sent me any document from
any laboratory indicating that my supplies are substandard,” Nyegamehe told Uganda
The Minister for Kampala Metropolitan Affairs Betty Amongi
further explains that among other reasons why the supply has been moving slowly
is the fact that some of the suppliers had halted supply during the Easter
weekend thus affecting the distribution partner.
in: “this process has…
Amongi adds that investigations into the procurement
scandal at the Office of the Prime Minister also slowed the purchase since the government
had to change staff and accounting officers and also re-negotiating contracts.
She further argues that the task force has decided to multiply
suppliers and double distribution so that each division gets three distributing groups per day. With such interventions, Amongi is confident that in
a space of one week they will have covered Kampala and rolled out to Wakiso and
The task force has also appointed ministers to oversee
the distribution process in the five divisions of Kampala to help the
distributing teams make quick political decisions. The ministers include Peter
Ogwang, Jackson Kafuuzi, Benny Namugwanya, Rephael Magyezi, and Chris Balyomunsi.
Available statistics indicate that since April 4, over 30,290
households and 94,242 individuals and 60 children homes have so far received
the food items. The task force is also set to deliver supplies to all hospitals
across the country.
The government embarked on distribution of food and
other essential items to 1.5 million people in Kampala and Wakiso districts as
an intervention towards vulnerable communities, and families whose livelihood
was affected by the ongoing lockdown. Each beneficiary receives three kilograms
of beans, six kilograms of flour and a half kg of salt. Lactating mothers and
the sick are given two kilograms of powdered milk and two kilograms of sugar.