Sola Ojo, Kaduna
A Kaduna-based NGO, Shared Humanity Foundation, on Saturday donated aid consisting of food items, clothing and drugs to women and children recently displaced by bandits in Birni Gwari area of Kaduna State.
Bandits terrorising Birni Gwari Local Government Area of the state had in January attacked and sacked several villages including Rumanan Gbagyi, Rumanan Hausa, Malamu and Bada.
Available data shows that 110 children, several reproductive age women and the elderly from those villages are currently taking refuge at a proposed community secondary, Angwan Zawu, by Angwan Bije, Gonin Gora, in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
Unfortunately, the relief items meant for vulnerable households to cushion the effect of the lockdown by the Kaduna State Government did not reach the people at the camp even, when they were distributed in their local government.
A leader at the camp, Caleb Nayaro, who was physically distressed, decried the living condition of the women and children at the facility, saying that the people are in dire need of mobile toilets.
‘Sarkin Gonin Gora gave us this place when our people were displaced on January 6 this year and we are grateful to him because we were helpless when we came. I had to speak to the traditional father who empathised with us and gave us this proposed community secondary school to camp,’ he said.
‘Since these people came in January, we have had some non-governmental organisations coming to our aid. Today, we are having another one called Shared Humanity Foundation.
‘A particular one installed solar power and two television sets with programmed learning materials. That was for the intervention programme for our children. Before the Fulani bandits drove us, we had a mission school in the village where our children were schooling.
‘We registered 110 children and we are using that ACE programme to help them continue with their education.
‘One Hajiya Yahuza came a few days after we came here to interact with our people. But since then, we have not heard from her or any other person in government. The palliative shared by the state government too did not get to us.
‘We need mobile toilets and even a bathroom for our children and women. If you want to defecate, you have to go and look for a place in the faraway bush,’ he said.
The Executive Director, Shared Humanity Foundation, Reuben Kabantiyok, said his organisation reached out to the IDPs as its own contribution to easing their suffering.
‘We are here in Gonin Gora to see these internally displaced persons from Birni Gwari. We came to identify with them. We didn’t come empty-handed because we know they need help. So, we brought them some relief items which include rice, seasonings clothing for women and children and medical supplies.
‘This is our own way of sharing some palliative during this global crisis caused by COVID-19. We at the Shared Foundation believe that before the government would come we can reduce their sufferings in their present condition. And don’t forget, the majority of them are children and their mothers and that is important to us.’
Country Lead Director, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Dr Joan Kennedy Gwamna, who led the medical team to the camp, said a majority of people at the camp are hypertension patients without even knowing.
According to her, ‘today we are having medical and social outreach at this IDP camp here in Gonin Gora, Kaduna. We are reaching out to mostly hypertensive, diabetics and children who have some health issues.
‘So far, we have realised that quite a number of people do not even know whether they are hypertensive or diabetic. One key thing this intervention has done is that it has helped people to know their blood pressure and sugar levels.
‘And you know, there is no pharmacy close by and many of them don’t even have funds to spend on their health. With this programme, they have been able to get drugs for free and know their health status.’