Position Statement – released by Policy Forum

 

Introduction

We members of Policy Forum through the Local Government Working Group have the responsibility of lobbying national policies on the devolution of good governance, local government reforms and the raising of public voices in public matters and processes,

After reviewing the actual prevalence of the Coronavirus and increase of patients and deaths,

Being aware of the effects on humanity and the impact on the global economy and our country caused by the outbreak of Covid-19,

In addition to recognizing the major efforts made by the government of the United Republic of Tanzania through the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children and the Prime Minister’s Office Disaster Control Unit under the leadership of the President of the United Republic of Tanzania His Excellency Dr John Pombe Magufuli for setting a plan, forming a national team and allocating resources to fight the Covid-19 pandemic,

With an understanding of the role and responsibility of the local government as defined within the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977 Article 145 and 146 and the Local Government Act Chapter 287 and Chapter 288 of the year 1982, whereas, in conjunction with empowering the public, should ensure that the law is enforced, strengthen security and democracy to accelerate development in their respective areas.

We feel that it is best to use our influence as a Civil Society Organization with an obligation and position according to the NGO Act of 2002 as amended in 2019 to help the government reach out and defend its people, especially those living in the villages and in the margins of the central economy in which most of them are coordinated by the local government,

We decided to write this statement which is an analysis of the current Covid-19 situation, efforts that have been done, evident challenges and finally our recommendations to help strengthen local government efforts in the fight against Covid-19.

 

Recommendations

  1. Local Government Authorities should relieve fines to be paid by small businesses that have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.
  2. Local Government Authorities should enact By-laws to facilitate management and monitoring of hygiene and prevention methods and regulations rather than letting the question of masks and washing hands remain a matter of individual will.
  3. Local Government Authorities to collaborate with stakeholders in their areas including Civil Society Organizations to provide education on Covid-19 awareness to citizens under their jurisdiction through advertising by using billboards but also through driving around the streets with a car, educating the community about COVID-19.
  4. Local Government Authorities to put in place specific and transparent mechanisms to enable various stakeholders including Civil Society Organizations, companies and organizations in providing education, financial aid, food and other basic needs for people with special needs, especially persons with disabilities, the elderly, orphans and poor households so that they can make ends meet during this period of  COVID-19.
  5. Local Government leaders should provide more education to people who continue with business as usual during this period of COVID-19 to avoid escalating the problem and disrupting the government’s efforts against Corona.
  6. Local Governments should enforce the implementation of the directives set by of the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children and ensure that people are prohibited from gathering in large groups and markets without a specific activity and to make sure protective buying and selling procedures are adhered to, especially that of maintaining a distance of at least one meter between the seller and the buyer.
  7. The Central Government should send emergency funds intended to combat the Coronavirus to Local Government Authorities to strengthen the health care system and hasten the goal of eradicating Corona in Tanzania.
  8. The Government should be transparent regarding all the donations it receives, provides updates on the implementation status of the fight against Corona, receives feedback from the intended beneficiaries, and monitor whether the aid given reaches the intended beneficiaries.

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