Communities Against Flood Initiative

2012 is still remembered as one of the worst in Nigeria's history. Over 90% of affected communities were left with a large number of displaced persons all placed in displacement camps. The project carried out research, mobile education support, children's literacy support and child care. I carried out advocacy to policy leaders for urgent support and supply of relief materials and built capacity of displaced people to be able to protect themselves against communicable and noncommunicable diseases. Relief and medical supplies were constantly made and I normally set aside time to support in teaching women on healthy cooking amidst the mobile situation and reproductive health education so they can protect themselves and prevent early pregnancy of teenage and younger girls. The project is an integrated campaign to protect the rights of displaced people and provide access to basic amenities, rights, continues literacy and alternative livelihood so as not to lag behind.

CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES

1. To provide access to basic amenities for displaced people.

2. Bridge the education divide through mobile literacy initiatives and adult education.

3. Promote the rights of displaced people through advocacy and lobbying of policymakers and legislature.

4. Build a network of displaced persons across the affected areas so as to share experience and peer to peer support.

5. Carry out extensive research on the impact of flood on socioeconomic livelihood to enhance project design to meet target beneficiaries needs.

6. To provide access to relief materials and medical supplies for sustenance.

7. To provide alternative skills.

HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED

1. We supported the construction/setting up of a water and sanitation project to address the intense water and access to sanitation shortage.

2. We provided literacy classes and distributed a massive number of books and educational supplies as well as toys. Training the kids in basic literacy.

3. We trained the IDPs on rights and privileges and ensured we followed up with legislatures and policymakers to supporting the needs to protect the rights of the citizens. We trained leaders on how they can support IDPs and implications of not supporting them.

4. Using basic mobile technology and social media we were able to set in place a database of IDPS and us in simple tools like texts, enabled them share experiences with affected people in other Arab. This was highly reviving.

5. Research by experts were carried out to ide toy core issues and tragedies to addressing them.

6. There were massive supply of relief materials, clothes, toiletries, etc to meet the intense and urgent needs.

CAMPAIGN INNOVATIONS

1. The mobile literacy classes was strategic, timely and innovative. Books were distributed to several classes of ages and they were grouped and basic literacy classes held.

2. IDPs had no idea their rights will be considered so setting you the Rights for IDPS aspect of it opened up opportunities for improved benefits of target groups.

3. It was beautiful to teach women innovative and healthy low budget cooking styles. This helped a lot with limited food in the camps and still provided the needed healthy options.

4. The men were not left out. The kids enjoyed social programs as a circus. A playground was set up to support mothers as the kids were cared for.

CAMPAIGN IMPACT

About 3900 internally displaced people from 3 states were directly impacted and had their apace ties built to manage life in the displacements camps. New mothers received support. Also, there was little gap in education as the children were opportune to, in spite of lack of facilities, get basic literacy trainings which enabled them to continue school after the flood era. Importantly too, the rate of teenage pregnancy was drastically reduced as the continued awareness campaign helped provide best practice information so they could make informed decisions. Intra communal conflicts were dramatically reduced as peace building was mainstreamed across all phases of the project implementation process.

CHALLENGES FACED

The terrain of most of the communities were difficult to reach as you needed to go on the Atlantic ocean and related high seas to get to target. The needs of the IDPs were intense and urgent and growing by the day with limited funds. Governments had so many priority needs to meet making the advocacy for support for displaced persons to be at the background therefore there needed to be consistent and continuous lobbying and advocacy. The rights of women were treated as being of little priority and his exposed the women and made them most vulnerable. The rights of women in emergencies had to be at the fore of our advocacy and the outcomes of the red arches enabled empirical evidences that helped garner interest and support from the target policymakers. The fear of massive outbreak of epidemics was a core concern and with health care support and awareness, this was addressed.

LESSONS LEARNT

1. The needs of the target IDPs through a baseline survey enabled us identify priorities and therefore enabled us address the exact needs of the target group especially as funds were limited. Those documentation also provided a baseline for the design of programs and projects.

2. Adaptation and disaster risk reduction was at the heart of the programs which enabled target groups identify priority areas for intervention. Today, the outcome of those rapid rural appraisal and vulnerability risk assessments enabled predictions as to potential dangers and enabled us address.

3. The importance of continued literacy enabled target groups to adapt to the new life when they went back.

4. Skills on basic house construction enabled the men to get their homes off the ground earlier and therefore low cost housing found to be a priority need was identified and till date still being pursued to actualisation as most are still relatively homeless.

COUNTRY

Nigeria

CITY

Port Harcourt

WEBSITE

http://cedsinigeria.org/wp2/

FACEBOOK PAGE

https://www.facebook.com/mina.ogbanga

TWITTER PAGE

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