Andy Essiet, Calabar
After over 30 years of suffering, three communities and schools in Cross River state have benefited from General T. Y. Danjuma’s Victims Support Fund (VSF) programme on water.
Similarly, VSF donated food and medical items worth over N150 million to the poor ones in Cross River.
Before now these communities trekked kilometres to other communities for portable water but with the intervention of VSF such suffering has come to an end.
The benefiting communities are Okurike in Biase Local Government Area (LGA), Uchu Yache,Yala LGA and Ekureku in Abi LGA of Cross River State while the schools are Presbyterian Primary School in Okurike, Community Secondary School, Uchu Yache,Yala and Abote Comprehensive Secondary School, Ekureku, Abi in the three senatorial districts of the state.
VSF, a Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) in Nigeria yesterday said such gesture is to ameliorate the suffering of people in the rural areas as
it has created a lot of impact across 35 States Of Nigeria despite the economic hardship faced by the nation.
Chairperson, VSF COVID-19 Taskforce, Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, who said this yesterday at the official commissioning of a motorized borehole project donated by VSF at Okurike Community in Biase LGA, stated that “with the exception of Rivers, every other state has benefited from the VSF Covid 19 intervention project since it began in March 2020.”
She enumerated part of the interventionist projects to include distribution of health facilities and consumables, food items, provision of boreholes among several others as the organisation has made serious impact by touching several lives that may have been forgotten by many.
Ogunsiji said VSA had to scale up it’s interventionist programme to meet up with the numerous challenges associated with outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that brought setbacks to economies of households adding, “we have the responsibility of going into the hinterlands to identify projects that can touch human lives; the people hitherto forgotten by the government.
“You can see the water project here in Okurike Primary School, it will not only be beneficial to the school alone but the community as well…We don’t just throw money at projects but ensure that we are maximizing impact on our intended beneficiaries.
“The VSF has the responsibility to go into the hinterlands, rural communities that were hitherto forgotten perhaps by the government and individuals to really do programmes that can touch People’s lives. The children here need water and the important thing is that projects like this will benefit the entire community”,
Earlier, representative of Okurike community, Chief Dickson Osetu, stated that the water project would help in solving the water challenge faced by residents of the community.
He said, “it is indeed a big project to us and we are happy that it has come. For years we have suffered without water”.
In the same vein, Head Teacher of Okurike Presbyterian Primary School PCN, Mrs Jessie Okorie, commended the organisation for extending his hand of fellowship through the water scheme project to the community stressing that with the project,the problem of Community residents travelling several kilometers to get portable drinking water would have become a thing of the past.
She said that the initiative is to help in reducing the level of hunger and starvation and solved the health challenges faced by the people occasioned by the pandemic explaining that the items would be distributed by selected Civil Society organisations (CSOs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and NGOs.
According to her, “The food items that you see today here are just 50% of our entire cumulative donation to Cross River State. Behind me is 1,500 50kg bags each containing rice, beans, garri, vegetables oil and salt. This is because at VSF the nutritional value of our beneficiaries is important.