NIGERIA JOINT RESPONSE II:  A RESPONSE TO THE PLIGHT OF INHABITANTS AFFECTED BY INSURGENCY IN THE NORTH EAST.

lassa iThe Nigeria Joint Response II (NJR II) is a program funded by some international partners to respond to the aftermath of the violent religious extremism that rocked the North East. The program began in 2015 and ended in May 2017. The climax of activities includes distribution of fertilizer, distribution of micro nutrient powder (MNP), and cash disbursement in Borno and Adamawa states.The importance of these items at this stage of the response (early recovery), first of, the fertilizer is to aid returnees, who virtually came back to nothing, to farm and get speedy and healthy harvest. It is said that a man’s first craving is food. Secondly the MNP is a form of nutrient boost in meals to avert malnutrition in women and children, and thirdly the cash of course would aid beneficiaries in purchasing seedlings, help them feed from and also provide those with capital that would want to go into some form of small scale business. The implementation of this program by CISCOPE was a huge success, to say the least, because, among others, interior communities like sina, kamale on the border of Cameroon, that covers over 220 kilometres from Yola the state capital of Adamawa and some communities on the mountain like mukula and mitre that were invaded by insurgents were reached, in spite of the difficult terrain and topography of the area. In the cases of mukula/mitre it takes an hour climb to get to the top of the mountain, the CISCOPE team had to undertake this task to mobilise the people and much thanks to them for their warm reception, setting aside their bitterness for what they have suffered and not minding the fact that they have not gotten any form of attention from anyone, not even the government since they returned to their communities. Under this program, over 6,000 households benefitted, either in form of cash,lassa ii fertilizer or MNP, in selected communities in Adamawa and Borno, that is reaching a total of 54,000 people given an average of 9 people per household. This is huge, you can say, but there are much more communities that should be reached but haven’t due to funding constraints.

In Askira Uba LGA alone of Borno state 1,215 people benefitted under the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT), each getting 17,000 naira.  Speaking with the beneficiaries, one could only sense a feeling of joy and relief, both from the young and elderly. Of particular interest is the story of a young man popularly called marvellous, whose photograph appears below, a native of Samua C in Lassa community of Askira Uba LGA, he left with his family to Yola, the capital of Adamawa state when the insurgents took over the town, him and other displaced persons had to leave their homes for months only to return to their ruins after normalcy was restored, in the ensuing invasion his brother in-law was shot. He said since they returned to their homes there have never been an intervention of this kind (NJR II) in the area, he confessed that the various relief mechanisms put in lassa ivplace by virtue of this intervention have helped in lifting lives from utter despair. He got the cash that was given in his community for four months. According to him, the UCT helped him hire labourers to work alongside him on his large farm and he was also able to buy a cow from the money he received, thereby resuscitating his source of livelihood and bringing hope to his entire family. He was happy and grateful because this intervention did not only bring succour to him and his family but to the community at large.

A trip to the north east, especially communities that were hardest hit by the spate of insurgency, Adamawa, Yobe and Borno, would reveal to the visitor that the inhabitants of these places, went through a harrowing experience. On entry to a LGA like Michika that was once taken by these insurgents, you cant help, but first notice the destruction of electric poles, burnt houses and even those that were destroyed in part by rocket propelled grenades, and brigdes that were blown in two by supposed dynamites leaving everywhere in total desolation. So we can see that with such level of destruction, there is a limit to what INGOs and national NGOs can achieve due to limited funds, so it is petinent that the government be more proactive to the plight of these communities and the people that have been courageous so far, shown that they are determined to succeed in their lands and have also displayed a high level of resilience. With the government taking concrete steps to address theses issues, the people will, at least, be relieved and also have a sense of belonging in the Nation. Ekene Maduka (Program Assistant CISCOPE)

                                                                       

…towards a poverty-free Nigeria

ABOUT CISCOPE

logo mainCivil Society Coalition for Poverty Eradication (CISCOPE) is a grouping of over eighty five (85) Nigerian civil society organizations with at least a member in every state of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

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