Founder and leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Akwasi Addai Odike has urged President Nana Akufo-Addo to consider doling out money to individuals identified as “vulnerable” in lockdown areas instead of dry food packages and cooked meals, which are almost always rice.
According to him, the strategy employed by the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) in the distribution of the hot meals instead of alleviating the hunger of families and individuals, contributes to spreading the disease, because they are unable to ensure proper social distancing protocols.
He says it would be more dignifying also, to give money to people so that they are able to manage and decide on what they want to eat on a particular day, no matter how small the amount may be, rather than they chasing after food distribution vans for meals which may not even suit their tastes.
“if you give them rice today, tomorrow and the next, u don’t expect them to be happy with it; they are not birds to be eating rice everyday; we could give each household at least $100 each week or even less, so that the decide on what to eat; forcing people to eat one kind of meal could also have its own consequences after COVID-19 has been defeated”, he argued.
Contributing to a discussion on Kumasi-based Angel FM monitored by MyNewsGh.com on Tuesday morning, Mr Odike said he envisages the partial lockdown of parts of the country to travel a minimum of 3 months to make way for a thorough enhanced testing and contact tracing; “so you can’t cage people in the room for 3 months and be feeding them rice everyday; they are not poultry birds”.
“So they should give people money and ensure that it get to those whom it is intended for; that’s why they have taken money from the IMF. They should put it in the pockets of the people instead of hiring people to cook and later pay them; they could give each individual at least $10 or $100 for households per week, through the various assembly members”, he said.
President Nana Akufo Addo in his fifth national address on COVID-19 announced the provision of hot meals and dry food packages to an estimated 400,000 “vulnerable people” in the Greater Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Areas for the period of the partial lockdown of those areas.
The food distribution since its commencement has been largely inundated with masses of people jostling to get their fair share as officials from the NADMO and security agencies try unsuccessfully to maintain order, let alone to enforce social distancing.
Source:MyNewsGh.com/Teddy Brown Onimbede/2020