These were the sobering words of John Dada and summed up this week’s UK-Nigeria online meeting:
“This month we must focus on stocking up grains, be ready to respond to alerts on elderly and children who may be at risk of abuse”
The words followed on from last week’s discussion when we learned of Fantsuam Foundation’s rescue of an elderly mama who had been beaten and accused of witchcraft by her family and of the Rumbu (food bank) programme.
John explained that:
“The famine is most likely to hit Kafanchan and Kaduna state as a whole since many could not access their farm lands located in vulnerable areas ( post election turmoil) which means less farming activities for the year."
The storing of grains and witchcraft accusations may at first seem unrelated but John explained that
“ It is interesting that more cases of stigmatization and physical abuse are coming to light as the rural economy worsens “ and he went on to say that they "had anticipated that there will be hunger this year due to the low farm outputs last year....We did not expect that the vulnerable will be the first to start to bear the brunt, and so soon”
“The most vulnerable in rural (and urban) communities are the elderly and children, and I think we should brace up for more cases of abuse”
Sadly this proved to be the case as a member of the FF team informed us that he had received another report of abuse of an elderly woman that very morning.
Fantsuam also has a history of intervening when children are accused of witchcraft. However, John informed us that Ayuba, a new member of the Fantsuam team was attending a two day workshop on Kids Club in Kaduna. John explained that FF hopes that Ayuba's training will provide an entry point for early intervention for children who may be at risk and will compliment their Children’s services.The training was organised by CIHP ( Center for Integrated Health Program formally ICAP)
Other news in brief:
Fantsuam staff are all shocked about the bombings in Kano and sadly did know one of the victims of the bomb blasts.
Emmanuel will be representing FF at the NEWSAN steering committee meeting at Abuja - organised by Water aid.
Attachab: FF have been busy setting up the water tank at Attacab and the welders will be at work all this week