YUMBE. A section of the Local Council ones and Village Health Teams in Yumbe district seem to be unaware of the Covid-19 funds sent to the district to facilitate them in Covid-19 activities in their villages.

Mr Moses Ibrahim the LC I chairperson of Idralu village in Romogi sub county said, he is not aware that money has been sent for the LCs and VHTs.

"We are not officially informed by the authority that there has been money sent for us as LCs and VHTs. We are getting this information as rumours from the people and how much we are supposed to get has not been revealed but the concerned authority is quiet about it", he said.

But According to Ms Everline Candiru, a village health team member (VHT) at senior quarter village in Yumbe town council, they were informed by a section of the members of the district taskforce in a meeting about the money meant for the VHTs and LCs to facilitate Covid-19 activities in the area.

"We were informed that each village is allocated Shs 400,000 where the Shs 300,000 goes to the VHTs and Shs 100,000 is for the LCs. Since that meeting up to now, we have not gotten any information about the money and leaders who informed us about the money are also quiet about it", she said.

"The villages have been left in suspense because they didn't specify when the money is supposed to be paid. We have a plan of going to the town council offices to inquire about the money because in other districts, the villages have already received the money", she added.

She said, since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, the government has ignored the VHTs, yet they are doing a great job in the villages.

Mr Akibaru Ciriga, another LCI chairperson said: "Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, we have not received any support from the government in fighting the pandemic but we have been volunteering in following up cases and reporting to the health personnel without any facilitation. The Shs 100,000 allocated for villages for a period of three months is completely not enough so the government should rethink and allocate more money for the villages".

Yumbe district received about Shs 613million to support Covid-19 activities in the district for one quarter covering July, August and September.

Mr Manisour Abasi, the Acting district health officer said payment of the money was delayed due to some changes in the various sub county bank accounts.

"We had some changes in the bank accounts and then supply numbers were being updated in the systems in Kampala. Our district was specifically affected because the office of the Chief Administrative Officer authorised the transfer of all accounts from the various banks in Arua for accessibility to Centenary Bank branch in Yumbe and then each sub county had to be updated with the supply system for them to effect payment that delayed the transfer of the money", he said.

Mr Rasul Drajiga the Assistant Chief Administrative Officer acknowledges that Yumbe has received money for Covid-19 activities in the district.

He said the funds came with clear guidelines from the ministry on how it's supposed to be spent.

Drajiga revealed that each sub county will get Shs1.2 million to handle sub county task force activities and it will also be wired to the sub county accounts. Each village will receive Shs 400,000(VHTs will receive Shs 300,000 and the LCs will get Shs 100,000) per village but the remaining amount of money will be used to facilitate the district taskforce activities, fuel, repair works, surveillance among others.

"By the end of this week or early next week, the monies should be ready in the sub county accounts because the processes have reached an advanced level and the sub counties should get them and give them to the respective villages. This money is not for the sub county and village leaders to eat but to facilitate them to do Covid-19 activities in their areas", Drajiga warned.

He said It's unfortunate that some villages are going to miss the covid-19 funds because the data of the affected villages were not in the ministry of health's database.

"There have been many creations of administrative units in the district in terms of sub counties, parishes and villages and these were submitted and approved. Electoral commission conducted elections for village councils in 1,159 villages and these are villages the ministry has budgeted for but our data indicates that we have gotten 1,260 villages, that means about 101 villages are not on the list that will miss the money", he said.

He said they have communicated back to the ministry on this difference but they haven't gotten a clear response about the matter.

Drajiga appealed to the affected villages to bear with them that they shouldn't cause alarm over this but they should patiently wait for the response from the ministry.