The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Nigeria Red Cross, have disbursed a sum of N175m to 5000 households in three councils in Kaduna as part of a measure to mitigate flooding in the 2022 rainy season.
The 5000 households affected by floods along the Kaduna River area in the last 10 years, were handed the sum of N35, 000 each to help them prepare for anticipated floods, as the water level of River Kaduna increases.
Beneficiaries of the cash transfer, under the Shock Responsive Social Protection (SRSP) project in Kaduna State, were selected from six (6) flood-prone communities of Narayi, Romi, Nasarawa, Kigo, Bashama and Kabala West in Chikun, Kaduna North and Kaduna South LGAs respectively, who either have had their properties destroyed or have their farms washed off by floods.
The breakdown for each community is as follows Abubakar Kigo Road 1000, Kabala West 796, Bashama Road, 807, Nassarawa 792, Romi 794 and Narayi 811. 5,000 in total.
The SRSP is a pilot programme of UNICEF country office in Nigeria, International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), and the Nigerian Red Cross with European Community Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) funding, in cooperation with the Red Cross affiliated Climate Center based in the Hague.
The Nigerian Red Cross, between May and June 2022, pre-identified the 5000 households, meeting the climate vulnerability criteria according to a community targeting approach based on five (5) selection criteria, that is; pregnant and breastfeeding women; (women-headed households), children aged 0-5, (child-headed households), people with disabilities (sight, hearing, walking, intellectual impediment, e.g. amnesia, etc.) and the elderly (from 60 years of age) multidimensional poverty (based on income and assets).
The purpose of the cash is to enable vulnerable communities to have adequate financial resources to mitigate and respond to the effects of floods, thereby minimizing losses and reducing protection risks. Studies have found that assistance provided prior to the climate-related shock event lasts longer.
The early action and cash transfer prior to floods will enable affected households to mitigate the impact of predicted floods in terms of maintaining and increasing food consumption; securing shelters; protecting assets; ensuring access to jerrycans, as well as to clean water, water purification solutions to avoid waterborne disease, and access to health-related provisions (medicines, transport for health facilities).
The objective is to avoid negative coping mechanisms, such as borrowing, and exchanging sex for food or/and other necessities.
Addressing the crowds of beneficiaries at various payment locations, Sunday Awulu, Kaduna State, Coordinator of Red Cross, cautioned them not to use the funds for any things outside what they are meant for.
“This money is not meant for wedding ceremonies or buying expensive clothes or for organizing parties, not be shared with anyone, but strictly for you to mitigate the impact of the anticipated floods before the happen.
“Use it to establish small businesses, settle issues concerning your houses, erosion, clear your drainages. Use this money to really help yourself to address some of this areas so that when subsequent flood come it go a long way for you to cope. let’s begin to intervene in advance so that when it happens the impact of it will be minimal. He added.
UNICEF Emergency Programme Specialist, Lucia Jofrice, urged the beneficiaries to prepare themselves adequately before and after the floods which is anticipated to come before the end of August, by gathering all their important documents in leather bag and keep it handy.
She advised the farmers to harvest their crops, store food and move to higher ground when they hear or notice that the water level is rising. Remember to carry children, the sick, the old and persons with disabilities as they move to safety. They should move to a safe place when they hear or notice an impending flood and that they should not walk on roads and bridges covered with water.
Lucia, also cautioned them to be very careful when returning to their houses after a flood as it may still not be safe, but should ensure they verified information on floods from local authorities.
The beneficiaries thanked UNICEF and Red Cross for the humanitarian gesture, saying their hopes have been rekindled, promising they will use the funds judiciously.