Photo Anadolu Agency

 

Turkey’s state-run aid agency on Friday donated materials to be used by women to make sandals in South Sudan, a landlocked country in East-Central Africa.

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) donated several sandal-making items to empower women by providing them opportunities to earn independently.

“We support humanitarian and developmental projects for the benefit of the people of South Sudan,” said Mustafa Kemal Akbulut, Turkey’s deputy chief of mission for political and economic affairs. He disclosed that about 46 women were trained on how to make sandals.

“This project will empower women and will generate income for them and we will be working together with relevant South Sudanese authorities and NGOs,” Akbulut added.

Peter Mayen Majongdit, the minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management, thanked the Turkish government for the support, saying it will improve livelihoods of people.

Angelina Abuk, one of the beneficiaries, said the project is very important for them because it is going to change their lives.

The project for making sandals is being implemented by a women-led national organization LULU CARE.

Turgut Gazigil, the acting coordinator for TIKA in Juba, was also present at the occasion. - Benjamin Takpiny, Anadolu Agency

The proposal is among suggestions revealed in a leaked Department of Health document looking at ways to encourage people with symptoms to get tested and to self-isolate if they test positive.

The universal payment could cost the Treasury up to £2 billion a month – 12 times the cost of the current system.

Despite the price tag, the universal payment is said to be the “preferred option” of health officials.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said no decision had been taken on the universal payment but indicated the current policy was being looked at.

 

“No decisions to be made on this, but this is a dynamic, fast-moving situation with the pandemic,” he told Sky News.

The current system allows people on low incomes who cannot work from home and are eligible for benefits to apply for a grant of £500.

The leaked document, first obtained by The Guardian, also suggests that police should for the first time be given powers to access health data to check on people who should be self-isolating.

The proposal also suggests scrapping the £500 payment to close contacts of infected people and instead to introduce nationwide self-testing.

Prof Susan Michie of University College London said the current system was not encouraging enough people with symptoms to get tested.

Prof Michie, who advises the government on behavioural psychology, said a universal payment could get funds “out to everyone and get it out quickly”, particularly to those who could not afford to miss work.

“The government is realising [the current system] is a weakness in the whole pandemic strategy,” she said on the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme.

The proposal will be discussed soon by the government’s Covid operations committee.

Treasury officials are said to be against the universal payment but some ministers are concerned that too many people are not staying at home and a decision needs to be made quickly. Source: N Coronavirus

President Uhuru Kenyatta has reportedly fired his private secretary Jomo Gecaga, several sources have claimed.

Gecaga, who is also the President’s nephew, has been working with Uhuru since his time as the Finance Minister in the Coalition Government. State House is yet to comment on the reports.

 

The bad blood between the President and his aide first played out during Uhuru’s visit to Namibia in March 2019. The President questioned why Gecaga, a man he described as a long-serving Personal Assistant, was not taking notes during a meeting with Kenyans living in the Southern African country.

Unconfirmed rumours also claim that Gecaga could have been fired due to his close relationship with ex-Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. Uhuru and Sonko are in a bear-knuckles fight, following revelations by the President that he engineered the latter’s impeachment.

It is also worth knowing that Gecaga has two kids with former K24 news anchor Anne Kiguta. Kiguta controversially quit from the Kenyatta family-owned in December last year, citing fundamental disagreements with her bosses. Her ‘Punchline Programme’ had been turned into a propaganda tool against Deputy President William Ruto.

 

Gecaga, a brother to KICC CEO Nana Gecaga, recently made headlines after former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero sued him over unpaid rent at a high-end apartment in Riverside, Nairobi. The President’s aide is said to have failed to pay Kshs 540,000 monthly rent, claiming that he had been financially affected by COVID-19 KDRTV

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