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COVID-19: Namboole Stadium Rejected Sleeper Tents to Protect its Expensive Turf

The Ministry of Health has spoken out on why sleeper tents were not erected at Mandela National Stadium as earlier planned, saying the facility’s management opposed the plan.

20 Sleeper Tents worth Shs 3.8Bn were procured from M/s Lumious Uganda Limited.

The Finance Ministry’s Budget Committee said in a report that “all the tents procured failed and could not be used to accommodate patients as earlier anticipated due to their weak specifications and capacity.”

The Ministry said in a media statement that Namboole stadium’s managed expressed concern over damage of the turf.

“The Ministry would like to categorically state that the tents could not be erected in Namboole Auxiliary COVID-19 treatment Centre as this would damage the turf at the premises,” reads the statement in part.

“Therefore, in order to expand capacity for COVID-19 treatment at district level, the tents were reallocated to the Regional Referral Hospitals (RRHs).”

The Ministry further said all the 20 tents have since been delivered, erected and are under use at the Regional Referral Hospitals across the country.

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“For purposes of clarification, all the tents supplied meet the required specification.”

Properly maintaining a typical natural grass athletic field includes field scheduling, mowing, fertilization, irrigation, aeration, and overseeding.

All athletic fields are required by FIFA to have the correct maintenance, especially if they are used for more than one sport.

If for any reason the field has been damaged, it is increasingly likely that players could pick up an injury.

Namboole hosts a COVID-19 treatment centre.

Megaphones

The initial Finance Ministry report had indicated that the contract for megaphones worth Shs 2.9 bn was signed on 11th May 2020 and that the Health Ministry bought 108,863 megaphones at a unit cost of Shs 230,000 and 43,450 pieces of dry cells at Shs 10,000 each.

These were expected to facilitate communication of COVID19 messages in all parishes across the country.

The megaphones were delivered on 22nd June 2020.

However, the first Finance Ministry report indicated that districts visited by the monitoring team in July, August and September had not received these items. These included; Oyam, Omoro, Apac, Agago, Gomba and Butambala among others.

In response, the Ministry of Health said the contract to supply the megaphones was worth Shs 2.9 Bn (i.e. a total of 10,863 megaphones, 43,450 rechargeable and dry cell batteries) were procured.

“This is contrary to the number of 108,863 megaphones quoted by the monitoring team in their report, which implied that Government would have spent approximately Shs 25.47 Bn on the megaphones and batteries,” said the Health ministry.

“This is a gross misrepresentation of the facts regarding this procurement. The monitoring took place at the time when the distribution of the megaphones was ongoing. The megaphones were delivered to the Ministry on the 21st September 2020. It is unfortunate that the sampled districts had not yet received the megaphones at the time.”

So far, all districts except 10 districts have received the megaphones.

The 10 districts include: 4 Amudat, Bushenyi, Butaleja, Kaabong, Kamwenge, Kalangala, Karenga, Lwengo, Mitooma and Napak.

The Ministry of Health said it did not have funds to distribute the megaphones country wide.

“Therefore, it relied on using every opportunity that was available; either for the districts to pick them or to take advantage of any available means to deliver them to the respective districts.”

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