COVID-19: Traditional rulers, others supervise distribution of palliatives in Kwara

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Traditional rulers, religious leaders and community-based organisations at various ward levels are to oversee the distribution of Kwara State government’s palliative packages to the poorest of the poor in the state.
The Emir of Shonga and Chairman of the committee on palliatives,Dr Haliru Yahaya, said on Wednesday.

The emir also said the palliatives would primarily target categories of persons considered to be worst hit by the government’s directive for people to stay at home,as part of the measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to the state.

“To enable seamless distribution and to ensure maximum coverage of the targeted beneficiaries, the distribution will be carried out at ward level,” Yahaya told a news briefing in Ilorin.
The chairman, who was flanked by some other members of the committee at the event also said, “Accordingly, each of the 16 local government areas and 193 wards in the state are hereby required to set up an implementation committee, respectively.
“Such should comprise a representative each of the following: the most senior traditional authority in the local government and ward; the most senior religious authority in the local government and ward.
“Others are two representatives of the community-based organisations in the local government and in the ward.

“The committees at the local government areas are only to supervise and provide independent monitoring of what happens at the ward levels.”

“The chsirmy directed the ward Implementation committees to, with immediate effect, draw up a list of beneficiaries that match the criteria stated to qualify them for the gesture.
Such list, he said, should reach the secretariat of the Committee on Palliatives on or before 12 noon on Friday, 3rd April 2020.
We believe that the necessary checks will be built into the exercise, with the constitution of these committees even as the palliative committee will have overall coordination of the exercise.

“This ward-level distribution of the palliatives will be carried out in phases and the number of packages going to each ward shall be announced.”
The monarch said the steering committee on palliatives “shall duly announce dates for the distribution of items for each ward, adding that “We are projecting to start distribution from this weekend.

According to him, it is expected that the DPM’s in all the local governments shall liaise with the palliative committee on the movement of the items to their respective local governments.

The emir, a medical doctor, also explained that the ward level distribution would involve strict adherence to COVID-19 prevention protocols, including temperature screening of beneficiaries and social distancing.

He appealed to individual donors to consider routing their palliatives to the ward committees which, supported by security agencies, are to ensure temperature screening (with thermometers) and social distancing as beneficiaries pick their own packages at spacious central locations.

An offshoot of the Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19, members of the committee on palliatives include former CAN Chairman, Professor Timothy Opoola; Dr Saudat Abdulbaqi; Umar Jimada (Secretary) and Special Adviser to the Governor (Strategy) Gidado Abdullateef Alakawa.
Others are; the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Rafiu Ajakaye; a community development expert, Mr Lawal Olohungbebe; TUC Chairman, Comradr Olumoh Kolawole Nasir; and NLC Chairman, Comrade Aliyu Issa Ore.

The emir, who said the stay at home directive was the best strategy to flatten the curve of COVID-19 infection, urged the people to abide by the government’s decision to check the spread of the pandemic disease to the state.

He commended the donors and the Road Transport Employers Association and the National Union of Road Transport Workers which volunteered to transport the food items free of charge.

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