Post-Election Violence - Fantsuam Assessment

An Executive Summary by John Dada

There was a sudden outbreak of politically motivated ethnic-religious violence in Kafanchan, on Tuesday 19th April, 2011. The magnitude of the violence was unprecendented and it caught most people unawares, with resulting loss of lives, property and means of livelihoods. Fantsuam Foundation's immediate concern has been to provide as much basic shelter, food clothes and security for over 200 people who escaped and took refuge in the Fantsuam compound. Three weeks later, the magnitude of the loss suffered by our microfinance clients and the entire Kafanchan community is becoming clearer. As a caring community-based organization, Fantsuam Foundation must share in these losses. Coping with such “force majure” has tasked the Fantsuam Foundation microfinance management and we have quickly come to the conclusion that we must support a medium and long-term economic recovery of Kafanchan.

As a community development organization, our host communities determine Fantsuam Foundation’s priorities. The initial post-conflict assessment has shown the scale of losses by Fantsuam clients alone (other victims have not been included in this estimate) is about 68Million Naira (USD460,000). This comprises loss of market stall and goods, loss of homes, agricultural produce, domestic animals and other valuables. Most of these clients were at various stages of repayment of their microfinance loans to Fantsuam Foundation; the outstanding loans stand at 25Million Naira (US$167,000). Any support given to these women at this stage, will eventually help Fantsuam Foundation to recover the loans so that we can continue to support these women to rebuild their lives and communities. Our records show that over 200 women have lost at least one family member, including their spouses, while 460 women have lost their homes and means of livelihoods.

The population of children at risk due to this crisis from the affected communities, has risen to over 3,000, and the other vulnerable population of elderly, and people with long term illnesses (HIV/AIDs and Sickle Cell Disease) who have also lost their homes and what subsistent livelihood they had is about 2,500.

Four levels of medium- to long-term intervention are hereby proposed:

  1. Combination of grants and loans of N30,000 (US$200.00) each to 500 women
  2. Provision of one cooked meal per day, 7 days a week for 6 months for 500 vulnerable children and adults
  3. Establishment of Community Gardens to grow vegetables year-round
  4. Support to 50 families of most-at-risk disabled and vulnerable people to rebuild their homes using communal labour and resources.

These interventions can be undertaken sequentially or in various combinations.

Background , context and proposal justification:

Fantsuam Foundation has been working in the Kafanchan area for over 10 years, providing services in various areas including Microfinance,
Education, and rural ICT deployment, and in the last 12 months, value chain development. Fantsuam’s current active microfinance clients
(savings and loans) is close to 2,000, spread over 73 centres across Kafanchan. Over 70% of these clients are women and they lost their
micro-businesses, while 30% have lost their homes in the recent violence. These losses have become even more life-threatening because
typically, microbusinesses in Nigeria have no form of insurance whatsoever. Fantsuam Foundation had just concluded negotiations with
an insurance provider to provide some cover to our clients, when the tragedy struck. Current estimate is that our clients have lost about
68Million Naira (USD460,000) in this tragedy, and about N25 Million (US$167,000) of Fantsuam loans are at serious risk. As a development
organization, our aim is not the mere recovery of our loan capital, but rather the rebuilding of Kafanchan economy while addressing the
perennial problems of malnutrition, homelessness and unemployment.
The primary economic activity of the microfinance women is agriculture, in which they participate at different levels of the value chain. This
proposal will be supporting them to recoup their losses, re-engage them in their various agro micro-businesses using the Making Markets Work for the Poor approach while ensuring that business and personal links across the sectarian divide are given space to thrive. The proposal will engage the women more actively in their traditional roles of providing food for their families and extend this to families of other vulnerable groups: OVCs, People Living with HIV/AIDs, and people with Sickle Cell Disease.

This is a women-centred proposal aimed at acknowledging and enhancing their role as economic drivers and community builders in post-
conflict situations. This project will raise the profiles of women in their respective communities and enhance a recognition of their rights

Project Beneficiaries:

Women are the focus of this proposal because of the multiplier effect of investing in them. Investing in women is more likely to ensure that the economic gains are shared their families and communities at large. The International Food Policy Institute (IFPI) recognized that women supply more than 70% of agricultural labour in sub-Saharan Africa, and have been at the forefront of ensuring household food security.

A. Women
Fantsuam Foundation currently has over 1,000 female microfinance clients running small enterprises, 640 who are involved in agriculture,
primarily growing, buying and selling rice, maize and guinea corn. These women have no links to improved seed and affordable fertiliser.
Their only outlet for selling is in local markets where prices are controlled by middle men and, as a result of the conflict, several of the markets, including the main Kafanchan market were destroyed. This proposal targets 500 of the most affected women.

B. Children under 5
The survival of children is closely linked to the health and well being of their mothers. Therefore as this project supports women, it can also
be designed to provide a cost-effective support for their children, and well as children whose parents and carers are dead due to the recent crisies or the subsisting HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Children were among the vulnerable groups subjected to the physical, psychological, and economic effects of these recent violence, this proposal targets 500 children under 5 years of age. Intervention targeting children from birth to age five are considered among the most cost-effective approaches for improving outcomes for such vulnerable and at-risk children.

C. People living with HIV and AIDS, and Sickle Cell Disease
In times of crisis, such as the recent one on Kafanchan, among the most badly affected are the elderly and people with long-term illnesses
such as HIV/AIDS. Fantsuam is currently working with over 1,500 PLWHs, mainly women and 1,800 people with Sickle Cell Disease mainly
youths and children. Most of them have very little/marginal income and are subsistence farmers. This proposal links their survival to the
support that will be provided to the women microfinance clients.

Problems Faced by Beneficiaries

  • Livelihoods destroyed: Over 800 market stalls were destroyed; 60% were microbusinesses owned by women
  • Homes destroyed: Over 2,000 families were rendered homeless, the bulk of this population were women and children
  • Food security threatened: May and June are the crop planting season in Kafanchan, but many subsistence farmers may be unable to plant. This means that in six month’s time there will be little or nothing in the area to harvest, resulting in additional food security challenges. The major proportion of farm work is undertaken by rural women and their children
  • Vulnerable groups of people living with HIV/AIDS, Sickle Cell Disease, Orphans and vulnerable children are exposed to further hardships and fragile survival
  • Lack of voice and legal recognition for women and vulnerable groups

Addressing the problems

Intervention logic
The focus of this proposal is for a community-level intervention that recognizes women as catalysts for generating economic opportunities. While the direct impact of the political violence fell primarily on young males, it is a fact that women and children suffer disproportionately from the indirect effects.

Fantsuam’s current active microfinance clients (savings and loans) is close to 2,000, spread over 73 centres across Kafanchan. Over 70% of
these clients are women and they lost their micro-businesses in the burnt market; they are involved in agriculture, primarily growing, buying and selling rice, maize and guinea corn. Microfinance has been the sustaining force of the several social support activities of Fantsuam Foundation.
Women clients of Fantsuam Foundation have been reliable in their loan repayments, at an average of 90% repayment rate. Since 70% of
agricultural and microenterprises in rural Kafanchan are run by women, the loan and grant facilities in this proposal is specifically targeted at
them.

Four levels of intervention are hereby proposed
1. Combination of grants and loans of N30,000 (US$200.00) each to 500 women (N15,000,000 = US$100,000)

The N30,000 will fund
a. N5,000, one-off Grant, not to be repaid, can be used to meet family expenses
b.N5,000 for purchase of fertilizer and other farm inputs
c.N20,000 as loan to be re-invested in micro-businesses

2. These women will work in groups to provide one cooked meal per day, 7 days a week for 6 months for 500 vulnerable children across the sectarian divide in Kafanchan (N7,350,000 = US$49,000).
a. Save The Children has provided N500,000 (US$3,300) and
b. Dadamac-UK has provided N60,000 (US$400.00) and have provided US$500.00 towards these costs

3. Establishment of Community Gardens to grow vegetables year-round; to be managed by some of the women farmers using facilities
of the Fantsuam Attachab site to provide technical support, training, mentoring and improved seeds.
a. The French Embassy in Nigeria has already approved a total of N11,000,000 (USD73,000) over a 12-month period for this
aspect of the project.

4. Support for 50 families of most-at-risk disabled and vulnerable people to rebuild their homes using communal labour and resources.
This activity will lead to job creation and employment for at least 100 youths in the host communities, thereby addressing a long-term cause of the cycle of violence in Kafanchan.
a. Each new home is estimated at N850,000 = US$5,500 each. 50 homes = (N42,700,000 = US$275,000)