Group working around Social Protection, Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition (KADSPAC) on Monday kicked against looting of palliative items supplied by Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) aimed at ease the lockdown on poor and vulnerable homes in Kaduna State.
The Coalition specifically condemned the looting of CACOVID palliatives and destruction of public and private properties in Chikun and Kaduna South local government areas of the State.
Chairman of the Coalition, Ms Jessica Bartholomew in a statement appealed for calm and allow the palliative to get to the targeted poor and vulnerable homes.
According to her, “contrary to claims that the palliatives were hoarded by politicians for private use, we want to confirm that we are privy to information on the planned distribution of the CACOVID palliatives across the state by the government.
“Arrangement for the distribution of the palliatives to the poor and vulnerable households in Chikun Local Government and other LGAs have reached an advanced stage before the unfortunate incident.
“What many did not know is that the building in Barnawa, where the palliatives were looted was the same one used to distribute palliatives to poor and vulnerable in Chikun local government in the pilot phase across nine local government areas in April during the lockdown.
“As a coalition made up of civil society and media, we tracked the distribution from the same location to the various benefiting communities and reported our findings to the state-level committee and through the media.
“We raised concerns around the unclear criteria for identifying the beneficiaries, lack of uniform packages for beneficiaries, lack of use of the social register, poor awareness, absence of civil society and media involvement in the planning process, among others.
“As a coalition working to support the strengthening of the social protection system in Kaduna state, our major concern was to ensure that the palliative gets to the targeted groups to avoid the error of inclusion and exclusion in the process.
“Eventually, during the scale-up phase to the remaining 14 local government areas in May, the state government adopted some of the recommendations which improved the distribution of the palliative to the poor and vulnerable households.
“Based on our knowledge and working relationship with the government in the social protection space, the delay in distribution of the CACOVID palliatives was partly to allow the state government through the State Operations Coordinating Office (SOCU) to complete the tedious process of enumerating and capturing the poor and vulnerable into the Social Register.
“As part of our request for civil society and media to be included in the planning and implementation of social protection interventions, the government had requested from us a list of civil society actors working on social protection in the 255 wards of the state, which we have provided and they have been included in the ward committees as watchdogs to ensure that the poor and vulnerable households benefit from the palliatives.
“The various coordinators were finalizing the planning process when the property housing the palliatives meant for Chikun council was vandalized and the palliatives looted on Saturday.
“We, hereby, appeal to our fellow citizens across the State to allow these palliatives to get to the poor and vulnerable households, and join us in tracking the exercise to ensure that it gets to the targeted group rather than looting it.
“The government, on the other hand, should review the planning process to ensure wider community engagement and increase public awareness on the palliative distribution”, Jessica said.