KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – The United Nations Children’s Fund, (UNICEF) and the Nigeria Red Cross, have disbursed the sum of N175m to 5000 households to cushioned the effect of floods in three Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Kaduna State.
The 5000 households who have been affected by floods along the Kaduna River, area in the last 10 years, and either had their property destroyed or farms washed off by floods, were gifted the sum of N35, 000 each to help them plan for anticipated flooding as the water level of River Kaduna rises.
Beneficiaries of the cash transfer, under the Shock Responsive Social Protection, (SRSP) project in the state, were selected from six flood prone communities: Narayi, Romi, Nasarawa, Kigo, Bachama and Kabala West in Chikun, Kaduna North and Kaduna South LGAs respectively.
The breakdown for each community is as follow: Abubakar Kigo Road 1000, Kabala West 796, Bachama Road, 807; Nassarawa 792, Romi 794 and Narayi 811 giving a total 5,000 households.
The SRSP is a pilot project of UNICEF Country Office in Nigeria, International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), and the Nigerian Red Cross with European Community Humanitarian Aid Office, (ECHO) funding, in cooperation with the Red Cross affiliated Climate Center based in the Hague.
The Nigerian Red Cross, between May and June 2022, pre-identified the 5000 households, meeting the climate vulnerability criteria according to a community targeting approach based on five selection criteria: pregnant and breastfeeding women (women-headed households); children aged 0-5, (child-headed households); People with Disabilities (sight, hearing, walking, intellectual impediment, e.g. amnesia, etc.); the elderly (from 60 years of age); and multidimensional poverty (based on income and assets).
The purpose for the cash is to enable vulnerable communities to have adequate financial resources to mitigate and respond to the effects of floods, thereby minimizing losses and reducing protection risks. Studies have found that assistance provided prior to the climate related shock event lasts longer.
The early action and cash transfer prior to floods will enable affected households to mitigate the impact of predicted floods in terms of maintaining and increasing food consumption; securing shelters; protecting assets; ensuring access to Jerry cans, as well as to clean water, water purification solutions to avoid waterborne diseases, and access to health-related provisions (medicines, transport to health facilities).
The objective is to avoid negative coping mechanisms, such as borrowing, exchanging sex for food or/and other necessities.
Addressing the crowds of beneficiaries at various payment locations, Kaduna State, Coordinator of Red Cross Kaduna State, Sunday Awulu, cautioned them not to use the funds for any thing outside what they are meant for. “This money is not meant for wedding ceremonies or buying expensive clothes or for organizing parties, not to be shared with anyone, but strictly for you to mitigate the impact of the anticipated floods before it happens.
“Use it to establish small businesses, settle issues concerning your houses, erosion, clear your drainages. Use this money to really help yourself to address some of this areas so that when subsequent flood comes it will go a long way for you to cope. Let’s begin to intervene in advance so that when it happens the impact will be minimal,” he added.
UNICEF Emergency Programme Specialist, Lucia Jofrice, urged the beneficiaries to prepare themselves adequately before and after the floods which is anticipated to come before the end of August, by gathering all their important documents in leather bags and keep it handy.
She advised the farmers to harvest their crops, store food and move to higher ground when they hear or notice that the water level is rising. Remember to carry children, the sick, the old and persons with disabilities as they move to safety. They should move to a safe place when they hear or notice an impending flood and that they should not walk on roads and bridges covered with water.
Jofrice, also cautioned them to be very careful when returning to their houses after a flood as it may still not be safe, but should ensure they verify information from local authorities.
The beneficiaries thanked UNICEF and Red Cross for the humanitarian gesture, saying their hopes have been rekindled, promising to judiciously put the funds to use.
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