By Emma Daniel
Ebonyi-108 persons including widows, females heading Households and people with disabilities, yesterday, benefitted from the welfare items distributed by Participatory Development Alternatives, PDA, supported by Actionaid Nigeria, AAN, and Afikpo Health Support Group, AHSG in the State.
The beneficiaries who were drawn from Abakaliki and Afikpo North Local Government Areas of the State, respectively, received welfare packages worth N1,128,750 from the Non-governmental organisations to enable them tackle the economic challenges posed by the deadly pandemic ravaging the globe.
Distributing the packages at Amuro/Mgbom Community Secondary School, Afikpo North LGA, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO of Participatory Development Alternatives, Victoria Ebere Eze used the opportunity to call on Ebonyi State Government to fulfill its promise of distributing COVID-19 relief materials to citizens of the State.
The following items including 20kg bag of rice, 5 packs of noodles,10 pieces of onions, a litre of vegetable oil, a bottle of palm oil, 25 cubes of magi, 35 cups of beans, a sachet of salt were distributed during the exercise.
“I want to welcome everyone here present. I thank AAN and AHSG for making today a reality. Last week we took to social media, calling on the Ebonyi State Government to fulfill their promises by shifting from compilation of names to distribution of COVID-19 palliatives to the citizens.
“Today we are here, not because the citizens called on us; we are here because we want to challenge the State Government to sit up to their responsibilities. The Government has all the resources to distribute COVID-19 palliatives to everyone resident in Ebonyi State which they are yet to do.
“With support from AAN and AHSG, PDA will be giving out relief worth one million, one hundred and twenty-eight thousand, seven hundred and fifty naira (N1, 128,750.00) only. It is worth of note that Afikpo Health Support Group donated fifty thousand naira (N50, 000.00) only, to support this palliative distribution while ActionAid Nigeria supported the activity with one million, seventy-eight thousand, seven hundred and fifty naira (N1, 078,750.00), only.
“Out of this amount, Nine hundred and eighty thousand naira (N980, 000.00) only, was specifically used for the purchase of relief materials, while one hundred and forty-eight thousand, seven hundred and fifty naira (N148, 750) was used for all logistics.
“On the whole, 108 persons are to benefit from this relief items.
The beneficiaries cut across Abakaliki and Afikpo LGAs. This morning, 54 persons from Amuro, Anamgbala, Mgbom, Nkpoghoro, Amaizu, Ukpa communities are gathered here. From here, we shall proceed to Ozizza, where 24 persons will be gathered at Ozizza Civic Centre to benefit from this kind gesture.
“Thereafter, we shall be visit communities in Abakaliki LGA for the same purpose of relief distribution to 30 persons from Edda and Okpuitumo communities. We really hope to continue touching the lives of Ebonyi residents in our own little way.”
“PDA recommends that the State Government take the following steps to help restructure Ebonyi for good. The Government should begin the distribution of palliative relief efforts urgently and now collaborate with CSOs and Community Groups using data generated to reach affected citizens and communities now, as a matter of urgency.
“Invest through SEMA and LEMA in building the capacity of communities in emergency preparedness, leveraging competencies that exist in Ebonyi-based civic group; develop emergency preparedness plan at State, LGA and community levels and enforce the Violence Persons Prohibition Law in the State. This will help reduce incidences of violence against women and girls that has been on the surge since the COVID-19 crisis hit Nigeria and Ebonyi State in particular.
More distribution exercise, it was gathered, also took place in Edda and Okpuitumo Communities of Abakaliki LGA of the State.
The beneficiaries, Gloria Ibiam and Obinna Patrick who spoke during the event expressed happiness over the gesture adding that the items they received would assist them take care of their families. Ends