By Franca Ofili
The Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), has disbursed the sum of N35,000 each to 4,912 households in Kaduna State to enable them prepare for flood.
Mr Abubakar Kende, the Secretary-General of Red Cross said this in a statement issued by Mr Chima Nwankwo, the Coordinator, Communication and Advocacy of the society in Abuja on Monday.
Kende said that the beneficiaries were drawn from six communities from three flood prone local government areas of the state.
According to him, the areas are Kaduna South, Kaduna North and Chikum in Kaduna state.
“The six communities are Narayi, Kabala West, Bachma, Kigo Extension, Nasarawa and Romi.
“The communities are close to River Kaduna, which is presently overflown due to heavy rains as predicted by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET),’’ he said.
According to Kenda, the Shock Responsive Social Protection Programme (SRSP) of the Society is the first of its kind in Nigeria.
He said it was a pilot project that equips beneficiaries with financial resources as well as other community members with messages on flood mitigation.
Kende listed other messages to include hygiene promotion, protection against sexual abuse and exploitation, prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse as well as other empowerment initiatives.
“Flooding is not an unforeseen occurrence, there are usually early warning signs but most people choose to ignore them because of lack of resources to take action.
“This project helps people to plan, prepare and prevent devastation, which is better than responding when the disaster has already struck,’’ he said.
The statement quoted Mr Benson Agbro, the Director, Disaster Management of Red Cross as saying “as an anticipatory activity, this project will go a long way in shaping future approaches to disaster management.
“A time will come when few people will be affected by such predicted disasters and thus there will be less risk to human lives and property.’’
Agbro said that the SRSP was funded by the European Union Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), supported by the United Nations Childrens Fund, UNICEF, the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), and the IFRC Climate Centre. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams