Sola Ojo, Kaduna
With support from the people of United Kingdom under UKAid, the Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women (LANW) in partnership with Christian Aid Nigeria, has expended about £1.4 million to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on poor and vulnerable households in Kaduna, Benue and Borno States between May and September, this year.
The partnering organisations had in May commenced a project tagged: Nigeria Afghanistan Localised Preparedness Emergency Response (C19 NALPER) designed to address primary and secondary impacts of COVID-19 on IDPs, returnees and vulnerable populations in hard-to-reach areas in the two countries.
Intimating newsmen on how the funds were expended during a media roundtable in Kaduna, Project Manager, Christian Aid Nigeria, Mr Fagbite Bamidele, said over £1.4million was expended across the 54 locations of the project in three states in Nigeria.
According to him, the intervention was a rapid response project cutting across recovery and livelihoods, water sanitation and hygiene, provisions of non-food items, drilling of boreholes, repairs of water points, and capacity building for the benefitting communities.
Other areas of interest include training, information dissemination, and communication to communities on understanding the protocols of COVID-19 and cash distributions to beneficiaries across the targeted 54 locations.
Speaking specifically on the expenditure and impacts of the project in Kaura, Kachia, Kajuru and Makarfi local government areas of Kaduna State, Bamidele said over 540 people benefitted from cash distributions, while 1,000 people benefitted from the non-food items.
‘In Kaduna, we were able to repair 48 water points across the 16 communities, while 4 new boreholes were drilled.
‘In the area of sensitization and awareness creation 28 health facilities benefitted from the Personal Protective Equipment, (PPE) donations, while over 100 health workers were trained on Gender-Based Violence, (GBV) bordering documentations, analysis, referrals and also in support of positive behaviour seeking for community members,’ he said.
Giving an overview of the progress of C19 NALPER in the three states, Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning Manager, Ms Talatu Aliyu, said cash distributions were given to 2,415 beneficiaries across 54 communities in Benue, Borno and Kaduna States.
According to her, 87 water points renovation has been completed in 3 states and 10 new ones drilled while some are to be completed the coming week in Benue and Borno.
‘720 Community influencers across Benue, Kaduna and Borno were trained on Covid19 WASH, and water points repairs and maintenance for increased hygiene practices and environmental sanitation
‘Fumigation of public places was done working with the state Emergency Operations Center (EOC) locations included local isolation centres, primary health facilities, traditional palaces, worship centres and markets places,’ she said.
On her own part, Executive Director of Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women, (LANW), Ms Rebecca Sako, informed that 48 Community Protection and Health Committees (CPHC) received refresher training on GBV with 3 reported cases and referrals to state GBV centres were recorded during the training.
A beneficiary and Village Head of Bontong Central, Manchok Chiefdom in Kaura LGA, Mr Matthew Ahu Lahi, commended Christian Aid Nigeria for the cash distributions, provisions of non-food items to vulnerable members of his community.
Mr Bitrus Damina of Idon Community in Kajuru said the intervention has brought changes into his community in the area of water supply.
He recounted how 3 children from the same parents were crushed to death while attempting to cross the road in search of water around 2018.
In the same vein, Simon Ali from Ankwa Community in Kachia, said his people suffered greatly during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown noting that, although they were not affected healthwise by the disease, but were badly hit economically.
He said about 43 members of his community including People Living With Disability, (PLWDs) benefitted from cash distributions from Christian Aid Nigeria.
It is important to add that, the intervention was coming amidst the economic crisis posed to small businesses by COVID-19 where the vast majority of the beneficiaries belong.