We were pleased to hear from John Dada during our weekly online meeting that, following the post-election disruption, there are now some developments regarding Fantsuam Foundation’s Sickle Cell Programme. John has had discussions with a representative of the Michigan State University (who also attended the Global Sickle Cell Day in Abuja) who was due to visit FF on Friday to confirm the state of readiness of the laboratory.
John reported that he has received applications from prospective staff already (one medical doctor 1 nurse, 2 community health workers) and that the physical structure and furniture is ready. What is now needed is a source of reliable and clean water. John has identified the best solution for this as being a solar powered borehole.
Fantsuam Foundation’s concept note submitted to USAID for their Development Grants Program has been approved.
The USAID DGP focuses on Microentreprise, Water and sanitation and Climate Change
This led John to explain that “ In a way water security is one of the remote causes of the recent violence in Kafanchan, although it is not widely recognized as an issue. Competition for water and vegetation between pastoralists (Fulani) and farmers often create tensions”
John went on to explain that he “wants to suggest a collaboration that gives a Win-Win solution to both groups as a main focus of Attachab ie The interdependence of both livelihoods: pastoralists and farmers. Pastoralists and farmers have a lot to gain in a mutual dependency programme: The pastoralists need pasture and fodder, which can be produced by the farmers. Properly delineated areas of pasture and recycling of manure will help the farmers.
I think no effort has been made so far to integrate both forms of food production: a wholistic approach will benefit all groups. Integration is what Attachab wants to emphasise, providing training on simple methods of integration, sharing resources, water conservation techniques like rainwater harvesting etc.
The resources appear scarce due to lack of planning, and long years of failed Government initiatives
We will have a proof of concept at Attachab that shows an integrated farming community with herdsmen sharing water, land, grains etc. Integrated farming is the way to go in our communities and this recent crisis makes it a more urgent need.”
Pam commented that: “climate change, water security, and social unrest seem to be focusing minds in new ways"
and John summed it up for us when he said: “There is a close link between the three issues”.
Kafanchan Peace Market and the Traders:
John was able to tell us that they seven woman who have been supported with a part grant/part loan from Dadamac Foundation appear to be settling down to re-establishing their livelihoods.
The new market which has spontaneously grown on the proposed new site appears to be well populated now. However, we were sad to hear that site of the old market which was razed to the ground remains an unsightly and continual reminder of the post-election violence.
We believe that the World Bank approved a loan 2 years ago for construction of a new market and hope(d) the funds will be deployed to build a more modern structure with amenities, etc but so far this seems a long way off and in typical fashion the community is sorting out matters as best it can with its scant resources.