Post- election violence in Kafanchan - the real people behind the headlines.

  I received this email from John Dada - which tells the human stories of the post - election violence in Kafanchan and the need for on-going humanitarian support.

"  I am writing to thank you all for your phone calls and emails when you heard of the outbreak of post-election violence in Kafanchan. The violence was ferocious and widespread from the night of 19th April. The Fantsuam Foundation compound was home for over 200 displaced persons, assisting them with basic shelter, food and clothing. Our Health Centre services were in high demand because the Kafanchan General Hospital was shut down and all patients forcibly evacuated. Our Finance Officer’s mother who was on admission sustained a fracture when armed men invaded the hospital.  Fantsuam Foundation undertook the evacuation of patients with gunshot wounds to the Kaura Rural Hospital.

As at the time of this reporting, one of our staff members, the award winning Abdul Afana, is still out in the bush with what is left of his family. They lost several family members. Our Health Centre staff, Mrs Atuk had her son shot over 8 times, and he still has a bullet embedded in his body. The homes of cashier Solomon, Emmanuel Atuk, Saidu Gambo, Kazanka Comfort’s uncle, Zakariya Sheyin’s younger sister, Mbah’s elder sister were all burnt down. Virtually everyone of our staff has lost relations and friends to the violence. Up till now we have not been able to make contact with our wireless engineer, Ahmed Adamu.

The loss of lives and livelihood is demonstrated through the burning down of the Kafanchan market. When the market was razed down, many of our microfinance clients, who took refuge in the Fantsuam compound, lost cash and properties. Survival has become difficult for many Kafanchan residents, and southerners, especially those traders who are among our clients are moving out in large numbers.

The destruction of the Kafanchan market, closure of banks for over one week, have all contributed to the worsening humanitarian crisis: there is serious shortage of cash and food. The week of the crises was the time our microfinance field officers would make their highest loan recoveries; all of that is now on hold. At the moment, FF has not been able to mobilize enough funds to pay the April staff salaries. 

We are still making efforts to compile details of losses suffered by our clients, from those of them who are still alive, and who are still in Kafanchan. The enormous scale of destruction indicates that economic recovery in Kafanchan will require sustained and committed planning and support. 

Fantsuam Foundation wishes to acknowledge the support we have been receiving from Dadamac As we embark on a new challenge of helping our host communities to meet the economic and social peace challenges of this crisis, we look forward to working more closely with you to rebuild our communities, so that restoration of peace is closely linked to poverty elimination and job creation. We will be happy to explore options of peace building, market reconstruction, and other social investment activities that may be feasible."