ALL municipal corporations can now access a maximum of $1 million from their unspent balances as of September 2019 to use in the fight against covid19.
Rural Development and Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein approved the measure under the Municipal Corporations Act.
In a statement on Thursday, Hosein said on a directive from the Prime Minister for the corporations to use their unspent balances to stem the spread of the virus, his ministry has been working closely with them to ensure the procedures were followed and requests to use the unspent balance were urgently processed.
On Monday Hosein met virtually with mayors and chairmen to discuss the use of the money to help provide critical services such as water trucking, more frequent public sanitisation, additional personal protective equipment (PPE) to staff and humanitarian aid to burgesses.
“These are very difficult times that we are facing and we must be our brother’s keeper in this fight against the novel coronavirus. The only way we can win this fight is to work together and put our burgesses first. With the approval to use up to $1 million, each corporation will be better able to help those in need in their regions, boroughs and cities.”
Hosein thanked employees at corporations and the ministry for continuing to work together to ensure communities and country remain clean during the crisis.
“To all the public health, sanitation workers, the very hardworking garbage collectors, our dedicated municipal police officers and all frontline workers, we commend you for the unreserved efforts demonstrated across all municipalities.”
He urged the public to adhere to guidelines and instructions to stay at home and only venture outside if absolutely necessary.
He also encouraged corporations to adopt an "All-of-Corporation" approach by activating their disaster management units and continuing efforts in their public health departments to ensure regular disinfecting and sanitising of key areas across municipalities such as transport hubs and local roads leading to supermarkets, pharmacies and local markets.
He added, “During this difficult time, we must all come together and adopt an ‘All-of Country’ approach to ensuring that best practices are maintained as it relates to personal hygiene and responsible social behaviour.
“We must listen to the advice of the experts at the Ministry of Health in order to flatten the curve. We all have our part to play in this crisis and together we will win the fight.”
He said his ministry is ready and prepared to assist in any way possible.