Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: How Catholic Church Brought Succour to Families in Jigawa

Dutse — Jigawa State is one of the states that suffered severe flooding this year. Over 400,000 hectares were and hundreds of families displaced in the process. The devastation was so much that the state government called on the Federal Government and public spirited individuals and organizations to come to the aid of the victims as the disaster was beyond what the government alone can manage. In that regard Catholic Caritas Foundation Nigeria (CCFN), under the Caritas International (CI), led by Reverend Father Evaristus Bassey, responded by giving out assistance to alleviate the sufferings of the victims of the flood, from August to December 2012. They provide a monthly feeding allowance of N7, 500 to each of the 240 families selected from the five emirates of Kazure, Ringim, Dutse, Hadejia and Gumel in the state.

The Justice, Development and Peace Commission, an NGO under the diocese of Kano, led by Reverend (Dr) John Namaza Niyiring OSA, coordinated the distribution of the monthly allowances. Sunday Trust gathered that Father Niyiring's long standing relationship with the Emir of Hadejia Alhaji Abubakar Adamu Maje made contact with the affected communities easy.

Our Correspondent witnessed the distribution of the monies to the selected families recently and the Programme Assistant Coordinator MarkAsu-Obi, who led the distribution to the selected families in Jigawa, told Sunday Trust that after seeing the results of the CCFN-conducted needs assessment between July/August 2012, which showed high level of poverty and damages caused by food shortage in the affected communities, they decided to come up with the programme "Enhancing Food Security in Northern Nigeria" through the cash to the selected families in Jigawa. He said their findings showed that in the affected areas an average household, made up of 15 people, spend N500 and hence the arrival at the rate of N7,500 per family based on the available resources.

At Yakasawa Village, where 80 families benefitted from the five-month programme, the Dagaci (village head), Alhaji Yusuf Nadabo, was full of praise for the CCFN. He said the activities of the Catholic Church has succeeded in putting smiles on the faces of some of his people adding that God will put a smile on the face of anyone who puts smile on the faces of others.

Khadijat Adamu, a beneficiary, said apart from using the monthly allowance of N7,500 to buy essential food items, she had been able to start small business of frying bean cake (kosai) with the money. She thanked CCFN and prayed that God give them means to extend the gesture to other affected households in the area.

Another beneficiary, Alhaji Suaibu Adamu, who was visibly elated, told Sunday Trust that the only organisation they could compare with CCFN that has been consistent in assisting is NEMA, adding that the timely intervention of CCFN in the last five months has enabled them to plan their food consumption in such a way that it would not finish before the next monthly allowance come. He said most of them would like to go back to their homes but they did not have the means to rebuild their houses. Adamu appealed to the charity organisation to assist them with building materials so that they could return to their homes.

From analysis made available to Sunday Trust, the CCFN through the Caritas International had spent about N10 million from August through December. The distribution to the beneficiaries shows that 80 households benefitted in Yakasawa village in Ringim Local Government, 80 from Damashewa village in Hadejia Local Government, 40 from Dutse Local Government and Danzomo in Gumel Local Government. The beneficiaries praised the group and called for the expansion of the programme so that more families could benefit.

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