FEED THE FUTURE
The Feed the Future project was a 5-year livelihoods Project implemented in rural communities in Northern Nigeria – Sokoto, Kebbi, Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). A multi-sectoral approach was used in the project to help 52,000 very poor households (HHs) to grow their agriculture production, incomes and to achieve improved nutrition.
The Feed the Future Nigeria Livelihoods Project was rooted in agricultural-led growth. For HHs to prosper, they must balance agriculture for personal consumption and income generation through market engagement. The Feed the Future Nigeria Livelihoods Project improved agricultural practices, including post-harvest storage for nutrient rich crops/livestock already being produced; and promoted a market-oriented approach to diversifying production. This was accomplished by adapting agricultural activities to specific agro-ecological and cultural contexts. The Project helped vulnerable families to diversify their income and implement strong and comprehensive nutrition activities in their communities, by which most vulnerable families were graduated into the Prosperity pathway. The cash transfers distributed, helped in meeting the nutritional needs, recover assets and overcome barriers to income-generating activities. The project also strengthened the institutional capacity of government systems to implement poverty reduction programs and reinforced mutual accountability between government and citizens.
Specifically, the key achievement of this project were:
- Centre LSD Supported 8 caseworkers, 64 liaison supervisors and 281liaisons through training and mentoring to deliver services and key messages on nutrition and hygiene to twelve thousand households.
- Centre LSD collaborated with community agricultural field agents and trained 281 Liaisons on livestock management including housing, breed identification, fattening and common health challenges.
- Capacity of 345 liaison built on homestead gardening. This enabled the liaisons to mentor households through demonstration plots of vegetables in their respective villages. Sequel to this, 2168 households established home garden. This translated to increased households’ nutrition and dietary diversity scores.
- Successful cash transfer cycle of 15 months for 1240 benefiting Households in 2 LGAs and 8 cluster communities (The classification is based on payment mode which is either monthly 5000 Naira payment or Lump-sum 15000 Naira payment). A total of 305 treatment household benefited from the monthly payment while 326 control monthly household benefited from the control villages from the lump sum analysis. A total of 294 treatment household benefited from the lump sum payment while 315 household were engaged from the control villages.
- In both LGAs, a total of 279 new businesses were started with Cash transfer while 348 businesses were improved with cash transfer. From the analysis Danko wasagu beneficiaries had 228 new businesses and 132 improved businesses, while Birnin kebbi had 51 new businesses and 132 improved businesses with Cash transfers.
- During the 3-year engagement process, Centre LSD through the community agents reached out to 3,047 Class B Household (Year one Households and 5825 Households Class C (year two households).
- A total of 122410 beneficiaries were trained on child health and nutrition, including 5099 caregivers who were reached through households and caregiver group sessions. Also, a total of 23524 children under 5 were reached with nutrition and health services particularly malnutrition screening and referrals.
COMMUNITY LED COLLECTIVE ACTION FOR GIRLS EDUCATION (C-CAGE)
The Community Led Collective Action for Girls Education (C-CAGE) project is conceptualized to address the root causes of barriers to girl child enrolment and retention in public primary and secondary schools in Numan, Song and Maiha Local Government Areas of Adamawa State, Nigeria.
The Centre under this project built the capacity of 150 education stakeholders through training on leadership, Advocacy and the understanding of community development through girl education. Stakeholders afterwards, stepped down the training to community members and leaders. Maiha stakeholders raised the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand Naira, to organize a town hall meeting and the step-down training. Many residents keyed into it and took up the challenge to send their daughters back to school. A total of 104 girls were enrolled back to school. Out of which were, 4 girls who got pregnant and were accepted back to school. Prior to the training most community leaders felt the education of boys was of more value compared to that of the girl child. After several interactions, training meetings and advocacies.
The Centre created 7 safe spaces called in local dialect Masu Son Ilimi (Advocate/Lovers of Education). The 254 girls in the safe space are taught English, Mathematics and how to advocate for their right to education.
ACHIEVING A HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NIGER DELTA
The project – Achieving a healthy and sustainable environment in the Niger Delta is part of effort to restoring the social contract in the Niger Delta and particularly focused on the clean-up of Ogoni land and the Niger Delta region. The lobby and advocacy project engaged and consistently championed campaign for the clean-up of Ogoni land and the Niger Delta. The engagement has yielded some fruits including;
- The birthing of Journalist Against the Delay of Ogoni Clean-Up (JADOC). The body stepped up the discourse on the clean-up through writing of feature articles, documentary, radio commentaries and media advocacy – engaging top media organizations and executives in Abuja. JADOC has a life of its own.
- Centre LSD collaboration with the National Oil Spill Detection and Regulatory Agency (NOSDRA) triggered a mutual push and support for the amendment of the NOSDRA Act which had been with the National Assembly -The Centre developed a position paper which was presented at the public hearing on the Act.
- Centre LSD created a platform for interaction and harmonization of the Strategic Partners (SP) position on the ESHRIA-which was presented at the House Committee on Environment and Habitat public hearing on the review of the 1992 EIA Act in 2018.
- Centre LSD in collaboration with CISLAC instituted an annual discourse on the clean-up of Ogoni land code named “National summit on Ogoni clean up” where they have consistently put the issues on the front burner for the Federal government.
- Various communities and traditional rulers in Ogoni land have identified and see Centre LSD as a trusted ally in the struggle for the Clean-Up of Ogoni land. One of the Community leaders from Ogoni said – “If not for Centre LSD. HYPREP would not have come or remembered my community. Work is going on now in my community”
- Stakeholders including government and its agencies, oil companies and even the communities have been influenced to take their roles forward through Centre LSD quarterly press briefing in accordance with the UNEP report.
- The Honourable Minister for Environment alongside the Permanent Secretary, Director and top management of the Ministry addressed participants at the rally for the first time throughout the four years the Centre alongside other SP partners have engaged the Ministry on the Clean-up issue. The Centre LSD organized rally/road show on the clean-up of Ogoni land brought the change of narrative about.
- HYPREP Project Coordinator who has never attended any CSO organized event outside the one organized by HYPREP, for the first time attended Centre LSD High level Policy Dialogue held in November 2019, where he committed to taking CSOs on a site visit to impacted site where remediation work is on-going for confirmation. The lived up to the commitment.
Open Government Partnership (OGP)
The project, promoting transparency in Nigeria through the implementation of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a project created to contribute to addressing the menace of corruption by advocating governments to embrace and adopt the OGP. Some of the significant results and from the project include;
- Brokerage of a Permanent Dialogue Mechanism with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in line with Commitment 12 of the National Action Plan which is influencing a culture of openness, accountability, and inclusion in governance.
- Centre LSD support to the Open Alliance Network and CSOs at the sub-national levels influenced the increase in the number of States that signed up to the OGP to 13 (States supported in this regard include: Niger, Anambra, Ebonyi, Jigawa, Edo, Abia, Kano and Enugu States) – with State Action Plans developed and now being implementation.
- The Centre mobilized and built the capacity of 134 CSOs on the OGP in 6 States including Imo, Oyo, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Nasarawa, Niger and Ekiti States and supported Edo CSOs by linking them to funding and technical support for the development of the State Action Plan (SAP).
- The Centre’s work on the OGP influenced the Passage of the NFIU Law in Nigeria.
- The Centre’s work on the OGP provided support to MDAs (NOA, FMOJ, SERVICOM, NITDA) in achieving their commitments on the OGP.
- The Centre’s work influenced the development of a framework that currently supports the anti-corruption fight though enhanced laws and regulations with the review of relevant anti-corruptions laws where it also made necessary recommendations to stakeholders.
- Fostering the collaboration between CSOs and the state governments and replicating the co-creation principle in other project intervention, etc.
Effective Natural Resource Governance in Nigeria Achievements and Results (Ebonyi, Ekiti and Taraba States)
The Project Strengthening civic engagement and advocacy for effective natural resource governance in Nigeria, was developed to improve citizens (state and non-state actors) involvement and participation in the governance of natural resources in Nigeria. The following results were recorded during the implementation of the first phase of the project:
- The intervention in Taraba State influenced the creation of a Ministry responsible solely for solid minerals by the state government. Before the intervention, solid minerals department was subsumed under the State Ministry of Environment.
- Formation and establishment of Magakap Co-operative established in Ngoroje Community of Sardauna Local Government of the State. The registration of the Co-operative with the State Ministry of Commerce and Industry was finalized November 2018 as part of effort towards formalization. Three other co-operatives including the Mambila Mining co-operative have registered and gone ahead to formalize their engagement with the MMSD by registering with the ASM office in Abuja.
- In Gashaka, Taraba State, one of the trained mined got grant approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria through the Directorate of Employment to boost his mining activities. He also registered his own company (WEZAN multipurpose company) with the mining Cadastre office to obtain a small-scale mining lease.
- Centre LSD through the project, influenced the creation of miners database by the Ministry of Solid Minerals in Ebonyi State, who before the intervention were having issues organizing the miners. The Ministry said “getting them to speak to us was a major challenge. We are happy with your coming and this obviously will help us in reaching out to them”.
- The intervention also influenced the creation of a regular dialogue session with Miners, Companies and Traditional Rulers in Ebonyi State.
- Ameri Miners Co-operative in Agalegu Ndifu Alike in Ebonyi State was established in the project’s community of focus.
- Artisanal miners and some elders in Agalegu Ndifu Alike community now have improved skill for negotiation with the management of Royal Salt Company, the major mining company in the community to respect the spirit and letters of the Community Development Agreement (CDA), entered between the company and the community. As a result, Royal Salt on account of this engagement provided employment to 355 youths of the community, constructed their roads and gave scholarship to 5 of the community youths in higher institution and opened a N600,000 annual education endowment fund.
- In Ekiti State the miners formed and established two major Co-operatives, Ekiti State Alliance Gems Miners Association and Ijero Feldspar Miners Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society.
- The intervention brought better relationship between the Ekiti State government and the miners. With the coming of Kayode Fayemi as Governor, the relationship has further improved.
- The Ekiti State government also developed a database of miners on account of the intervention. They meet every Tuesday of the week. For ease of communication, the Ekiti State Governor appointed a liaison officer to be liaising with the miners from time to time.
- The intervention also influenced Miners adherence and respect for the content of Community Development Agreement – They built a 3 block of classroom and provided a borehole for Ijero community.
- Centre LSD advocacy and campaign with other Civil Society Groups influenced the passage by the 8th National Assembly the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill.
Voice to the People (V2P)
The V2P project is a voice and accountability project that empowered the poor and marginalized to hold duty bearers to account to achieve service delivery. The project focus was; Health, Education, Agriculture and Infrastructure. Centre LSD led the National level advocacy, ensured state and national level linkages (even international) and strengthened the capacity of partners. Key results of the project were;
- Capacity enhancement of implementing partners on key programming areas vide Centre LSD trainings.
- Centre LSD researches on the policy process and procedures brought and offered policy recommendations to the issues affecting the poor and marginalized group in Anambra State to the fore.
- The eleven (11) research reports on budget, procurement, due process, internally generated revenue, Paris club refund, bailout funds, southeast regional development, southwest regional development, and Local Government Elections Manual provided evidence that fed the advocacy and buy-in by influential stakeholders’ and ensured their involvement and engagement with the project
- Centre LSD influenced the adoption of the V2P model and replication by other African Civil Society Organization in their clime through sharing of the V2P model in fora, particularly at the CIVICUS World Assembly.
- Sharing of the V2P model also influenced the formation of a Civil Society Hub for expansive learning on replication for an effective Civil Society Voice in Africa.
- Centre LSD skills training brought to fore the effectiveness of community organization in the monitoring of community projects. Group like the Community Empowerment Network (COMEN) became better organized and effectively monitored projects in their respective communities.
- Centre LSD advocacy to Traditional rulers’ and other influential citizens from Anambra State, empowered and influenced their engagements with government officials to take up the V2P issues. This also emboldened COMEN in carrying out their activities at the grass root.
Side by Side Faith Movement for Gender Justice
The Side by Side Movement is an initiative made up of people of faith, traditional leaders and faith-based organizations (FBOs) across the world committed to partnering together to challenge barriers to gender justice. The movement is functions in many parts of the world, including Africa, and in May 2018, the West Africa Chapter was flagged off in Ghana to pave way for the launch of national chapters in the West Africa sub-region including Nigeria.
Centre LSD is the Nigerian secretariat of the movement. The 11-person Steering Committee saddled with the responsibility of driving the movement in Nigeria include:
- Prof. Mustafa Ismail Hussein: Co-Chair
- Rev. Dr. Israel Akanji: Co-Chair
- Imam Onike Abdulazeez: Member
- Hadjia Halima Jibril: Member
- Pst. Dr. Mrs. Mabel O. Sowoolo: Member
- Prof James O. I. Ayatse (Tor Tiv): Member
- Bishop Kingsley Enakhirere: Member
- Prof (Mrs.) Joy Ezeilo: Member
- Mrs. Leah Solomon: Member
- Barr. Mariya Haruna Dogondaji : Member
- Dr. Otive Igbuzor : Member
The movement was launched formally in Nigeria and members of the movement committed to promoting gender justice in Nigeria through;
- Awareness raising by encouraging Faith leaders to interpret scriptures to promote gender justice as recorded in the sacred texts without discrimination against women.
- Partnership through information sharing about existing work by faith leaders on development issues to address gender justice.
- Capacity building of faith leaders to address development and gender justice issues.
- Advocacy and Campaign for gender justice issues at the local, national and global levels. Members recognize that the National Gender Policy can be a good tool for advocacy.
- Platform for engagement for people of faith and tradition to engage in open debate on gender justice issues.
- Research and evidence to build evidence for gender justice issues. The reports of the research will be disseminated to faith and traditional leaders to use in promoting gender justice.
- Amplify the voice of faith leaders and faith-based organisation in Nigeria for gender justice to hold elected leaders accountable on gender issues.
- Build and promote champions of gender justice from faith-based organisation.
- Members agreed to develop principles, priorities and action plans for addressing gender justice in Nigeria.
The Nigerian chapter has commissioned a research to look at the theological perspectives to gender justice in Nigeria to examine the relationship between religion and gender justice in Nigeria from a theological perspective.
LEADERSHIP CAPACITY BUILDING FOR YOUTH IN THE NIGER DELTA
The leadership capacity building for youth of the Niger Delta project, was a response to youth assessment studies carried out by the Foundation for the Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta. The assessment focused on aspirations and issues of concern to youth and opportunities and challenges facing youth. The assessment report recommended support for equipping youth with leadership and life skills as the concerns were around; Lack of strong youth leaders, The ability to have realistic expectations for the future and hope in the future and Lack of soft skills that are necessary for employment. Centre LSD) accordingly built the capacity of 80 Niger Delta youth on leadership, entrepreneurship, project management, peace building and Information Technology (ICT).
The Centre’s target at the beginning of the programme was to produce at least 50% role models on leadership (40 participants) and 40% for business (32 participants). The rationale for the target was premised on the understanding of the Pareto principle that at least 20 percent of any group of persons trained will put the knowledge to maximum use. But the methodology deployed gave us reason to believe that hitting 50 percent target for role models on leadership and 40 percent on business is possible. The target for business was placed at 40% because of the underlying belief that people in the region target job and rent from oil rather than doing business. The optimism of the Centre was confirmed by the result of an assessment it carried out early December 2014. The result showed thus;
Role models (Leadership): project target 50 Percent
1st set: 15 participants ie 15/36 x 100 = 41.6%
2nd set: 42 participants ie 42/44 x 100 = 95.5%
Business: 40 percent
1st set: 13 participants ie 13/36 x 100 = 36.1%
2nd set: 19 participants ie 19/44 x 100 = (43.2%)
The trainings ensured development of skill sets for the 80 Niger Delta change agents, increase knowledge, attitudes and positive behaviours to live productive and exemplary lives, equipped them with capability for immediate and future leadership responsibilities and capacity to engage in decision making.
Participants also set up an organization, “Change Niger-Delta Youth Organisation” with a vision of “a Niger Delta that is informed, empowered and development focussed’, and a mission ‘ to promote and sustain development and peace through information and citizens’ participation. Some of the participants stepped down the training in their different locations. Some set up leadership clubs in School, the case of participants from Imo State. Other outcomes of the project included the following;
- Change in mindset and attitude of youth to development.
- Creation of avenues by participants to empower other youths.
- Setting up of own businesses by participants instead of relying on government.
Centre LSD’s Work on Ending Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Nigeria
Nigeria is a highly patriarchal and a deeply religious society. According to a 2001 report from the World Factbook by CIA, about 50% of Nigeria’s population are Muslims, 40% are Christians and about 10% belong to African Traditional Religion (ATR).
Most anti-women behaviours, attitudes, and norms have their roots in either religious or traditional beliefs. Legislations and women empowerment efforts will not yield the desired results without addressing the underlying patriarchal structures that reinforce them. Men who perpetrate Violence Against Women and Girls are emboldened and driven by cultural and religious beliefs fuelled by misinterpretation of religious scriptures and socio-cultural norms.
Centre LSD deploys a strategic and holistic approach in its work of promoting gender justice and ending Violence against Women and Girls in Nigeria by;
- Engaging men and making them champions of gender equality.
- Engaging traditional and religious leaders who are the custodian of cultural and religious beliefs and making them advocates of gender-equitable norms and laws.
- Engaging social and traditional media practitioners to change negative gender narratives.
These approaches have not only improved men’s capacity to advocate for gender justice but have also influenced the change of norms to address the root causes of patriarchy, thereby creating a more gender-equitable society.
In 2013, The Network of Men Leaders to End Violence Against Women in Nigeria (NML) – an offshoot of the Global Network of Men Leaders – launched in November 2009 by the former UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki Moon, in which Dr. Otive Igbuzor is a member, was inaugurated in Nigeria and a Network was formed. The aim was to mobilize men and boys to Act, Advocate and Unite to change the practices and attitudes that incite, perpetuate and condone all forms of violence against women and girls in Nigeria. From the time of the inauguration till now, Centre LSD has been the Secretariat of the network. NoML currently has 450 members across 21 states in Nigeria. Members are made up of security agents like the Police, Gender Desk officers in MDAs, religious leaders, respected elders of the community, etc.
The NoML has executed projects in partnership with UN Women, National Agency for the Control of Aids, and Cordaid at separate times. The major task of this network is to mobilize male champions to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in Nigeria. Members of the network also engaged in mediation and provision of alternative dispute resolution in cases of domestic violence between intimate partners. Between 2013 and 2018, members of the NoML have reported intervention in at least 10 cases of intimate partner violence with no repeat offenders.
Centre LSD also serves as the national secretariat of the Side by Side Faith Movement for Gender Justice in Nigeria. Side by Side is a growing global movement of people of faith who want to see gender justice become a reality across the world http://sidebysidegender.org/about-us/).
Currently, Centre LSD is part of the implementing partners in the EU-UN funded Spotlight Initiative. As one of the Implementing Partners under UN Women, Centre LSD is implementing the project in Lagos and Cross River States and shall be working with men and boys to promote gender equality, elimination of Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG), Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR), Gender Based Violence (GBV), and Harmful Practices (HPs)
Centre LSD’s Anti-Corruption Work
Centre LSD anti-corruption work is programmed around Promoting transparency, accountability, citizens engagement, and service delivery at the national, sub-national and local government levels.
Over the years, the Centre has collaborated with state and non-state actors in her effort to contribute to the fight against corruption in the country. One of such effort was with CLEEN Foundation, on the “Access Nigeria Project” to build relationship with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and access information to fight corruption in Nigeria”. This led to a follow-up meeting with the chairman of EFCC where he discussed with the CSOs present the challenges faced in the fight against corruption in this current administration and the implication of the passage of the bill seeking to make the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) autonomous. The bill, the EFCC chairman believes, will weaken the powers of the EFCC to fight corruption in Nigeria.
The Centre also made useful contributions in several meetings hosted by the Presidential Committee Against Corruption (PACAC). In addition, Centre LSD has organized several Citizens roundtable to discuss the anti-corruption commitments of the Open Government Partnership and how citizens can ensure the Nigerian Government keeps her OGP commitments.
A major area of concern for the Centre in the fight against corruption in Nigeria is the high level of opacity at the subnational levels. Strategies on how to devolve the anti-corruption campaign to sub-national levels is an issue the Centre is currently engaging through the Open Government Partnership Initiative.
In recent times, the civic space in countries around the world are fast shrinking and under threat with the increasing activities of governments across the globe using laws, policies, and practices that inhibit the ability of citizens to exercise their rights and the freedom of civil society actors to operate freely without fear or intimidation. In Nigeria, this is aptly the case as recent activities by the government contravenes the international human rights law and the fundamental rights provisions in the Nigerian Constitution which guarantees freedom of peaceful assembly and expression.
Within the last three years in Nigeria, citizens, especially journalists and bloggers have been arrested merely for expressing critical opinions on both conventional and social media platforms. Intimidation and arrests of journalists and bloggers, protesters, activists, etc have become problematic and have remained a concern to rights violation to peacefully assemble and free speech.
In sync with the above, the African Centre for Leadership Strategy and Development over the years has intensified her engagement and intervention to interrogate the statusquo through its activities to ultimately expand the civic space in Nigeria. Some of these interventions were:
- CSO Joint Press Release: Centre LSD mobilised/galvanised Abuja based NGO for the public hearing of the NGO Bill. A joint Press Release was produced with Centre facilitating and leading the process.
- Developed a Joint CSO Memorandum of Understanding for the December 7th, 2017 public hearing: A Committee was set up from the CSO Roundtable on the NGO Bill organised by the Centre. The Centre together with the Committee fine-tuned the draft MOU and submitted same Friday before the week of the public hearing.
- Operation occupy the Social Media: This operation started the week before the public hearing. Together with Centre LSD and Civicus media team, various social media platforms were fed with updates, news, campaigns against the NGO Bill. The Centre built more CSO allies who daily occupied the twitter, Facebook and all other platforms on the campaign against this bill. International allies were also mobilised and the social media campaign was held simultaneously with consistent feeds on the facts and implication of the bill on the different social media platforms. Most e-fliers used by Centre LSD for this campaign were developed by our partners in South Africa.
- Mobilization of CSOs for the Public hearing: The Centre mobilized CSOs from within and outside Abuja to the public hearing. The Centre presented the joint MOU. Non-state Actors including champions from Human Rights Commission, former parliamentarians, religious leaders (CAN, FOMWAN) traditional leaders, etc. participated.
- Taking the Campaign to the International sphere: Centre LSD introduced the international dimension to the campaign before and after the public hearing. Organisations and individuals abroad were mobilised from the international community. Allies from South Africa, Kenyan and Uganda linked up with the Centre LSD social media campaign on the Bill.
YOUTH PARTICIPATION IN POLITICS IN THE NIGER DELTA
The idea of youth participation in politics has become a popular part of contemporary political talk in every part of the world except Nigeria and particularly in the Niger Delta where one can note that youth participation in governance often end during electioneering campaigns and at the polls. The few opportunities that exist for the youths are hijacked by the older generation with 60-year-old as Youth Leader in political party(ies), despite the United Nations definition of youth as a person between the ages of 15-24.
Realizing that the youth constitute the backbone and future of any nation, the African Union developed the African Youth Charter, where it prescribed responsibilities to Member States for the development of youth. In Nigeria, and particularly in the Niger Delta, there is little or no efforts at harnessing the potentials of the youth. The capacity building for youth interested in politics project was developed to address this gap to prepare youth to participate in the region’s decision-making process. Achievements recorded during the intervention were varied including;
- Capacity of 261 youths (male and female) built to participate in politics in the focal States of Edo, Delta and Bayelsa States by Centre LSD.
- Out of those trained in Delta State, one of them Innocent Anidi won a House of Assembly seat and he is currently the Minority leader in the House.
- Two others from those trained still in Delta State, Modesty Ogbalor and Solomon Osuemerai contested and won election during the Ward Congresses in Delta State as Ward Chairman (Oleh Ward 2) and Youth leader (Oleh Ward 2) respectively.
- Another trainee from Delta State, Mr. Paul Oyiborume contested for APC National Youth Leader South-South position but lost. He later got appointed as the Director of the Youth Wing of the Great Ogboru Campaign Organization to coordinate activities of the youth under the Ogboru platform in Delta State. He was subsequently appointed into the President Buhari Youth and Women Campaign organization to mobilize youths and women for the 2019 election. Recently, he was awarded for his contribution to building the capacity of youths in his church.
- Another two (Barr. Mathew Omonade and Kelvin Djagbo) from Delta State, got appointment as Special Assistants to the Deputy Senate President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- In Edo State, two of the trainees Amienye Omoregie and Grace Obakina used the training to launch themselves into mainstream politicking during the 2019 general election in the state. got their primary elections ticket and contested for Edo House of Assembly seats during the 2019 general election. Though they lost in the election, one of them, Grace Obakina elected to step up by working with youths and women in the state, where he won several awards. The other has become relevant in his party and in the discourse of youths, politics and governance.
- In Bayelsa State, Alfreder Ato (SDP), and Franklin Kemebimo Favourankie (YDP) picked their respective party ticket to contest the State Assembly seats but lost to the power of incumbency in the State. Another, Robert Bokolo now Co-ordinates Bayelsa chapter of Coalition of Young Candidates of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Nigerian Youth Social Responsibility Fund project, while Alfreder Ato is working to advance the cause of women and youths in the State.
IMPROVING DELIVERY OF SANITATION SERVICES AND ACCESS TO WATER IN PHC FACILITIES IN ANAMBRA STATE
Improving delivery of sanitation services and access to water in PHC facilities in Anambra State is project developed out of the belief that a good healthcare system is fundamental for citizens productivity and growth of any economy. As a result, countries across the World, have clear structure for organizing their healthcare systems. This places responsibility on Government to ensure the provision of good health care system for its people. In Nigeria, the health system is decentralized into three tiers with responsibilities at the Federal, State and Local Government levels. Local government are responsible for primary health institutions with health services organized through the ward.
The social target of governments, international organizations and communities across the World is the attainment by all peoples of the world a level of health that will permit them to lead a socially and economically productive life. Primary health care was identified as the key to attaining this target. Despite this, the tale in Nigeria primary health care institutions and including those in Anambra State has been largely a tale of underperformance, a reason the project was conceptualized.
PHCs facility assessment was undertaken to ascertain the actual status of facilities at the PHCs. Centre LSD developed a checklist based is expected in every Primary Health Centre in terms of water and sanitation. As technical lead, Centre LSD developed the checklist with the agencies including JDPC Nnewi and Community Empowerment Network (COMEN), as part of the process for sills transfer. The checklist guided and paved way for a seamless engagement of the assessment process.
The outcome of which, enabled the development of a terms of reference for the researcher on PHC policy review in Anambra State.
COMMUNITY-LED TOTAL SANITATION
The project, community led total sanitation in the FCT was implemented in Durunmi 3 and Ruwan Fulani in Abuja Municipal Council Area (AMAC) and later in Kuyizhi Community in Kuje Area Council. At the point of entry in the communities, there were clear absence of toilets in Durunmi 3 and Ruwan Fulani. Open defecation was the other of the day. Residents defecate and fling same through their window because of the absence of toilet facilities. On entry into Durunmi 3, what you see is a waste heap that may have existed for ages. It was a den of flies with feaces and other waste adorning the heap. The only toilet in the community was located close to a borehole where they get water. Attenuation may not be possible with the closeness of the water to the toilet. As a result, dysentery, cholera, malaria were regular health issues in the community. So also was Ruwan Fulani but unlike Durunmi 3, there was no heap of refuse. Theirs was open defecation with contaminated stream water as drinking source. At Kuyizhi Community, the baseline findings were not remarkably different. Only one household had toilet out of 34 household. Occupants’ of houses defecate in the surrounding which flows into their drinking water sources (streams) during the rains. Hygiene was a big issue. People defecate and do not bother to wash their hands after defecating. Oral feacal transmission was rampant, causing Malaria, typhoid fever etc.
All of these started changing during the triggering session in the intervention were the residents realized that they were eating their own feaces. They accordingly developed their action plans and initiated activities that brought changes and the attainment of Open Defecation Free status. The major results influenced by this project implemented in 2011/2012 and which is sustained till date include;
- Embrace of good hygiene practices – All 34 households in Kuyizhi Community now have toilets build and maintained by themselves with hand washing facilities.
- Holding of Bi-weekly sanitation exercise – There is regular bi-weekly sanitation exercise in the community. It started in 2012 and it is still maintained till date.
- Provision of a mini-clinic – Centre LSD in one of its outside meeting with civil society organizations shared the Kuyizhi community success story of hygiene and cleanliness, and the Nigeria Red Cross immediately took special interest in the community. The Centre took them to Kuyizhi, and promised to provide for them every material needed for a clinic if they could provide a building. The community immediately swung into action and built a two-bedroom apartment. The facility is functioning effectively and has been taking over by the Kuje Area Council with Nurse posted to the facility since 2013.
- Improved community organizing – there is cohesion and improved organization in Kuyizhi Community. This is evident in the maintenance of the bi-weekly sanitation exercise.
- Healthy rivalry in the community – The community was divided into 4 Angwa(s) after the training on Hygiene, leadership and management of household income. Till date, the angwas are still being maintained and there is competition amongst them during sanitation.
- Removal of the waste heap in Durunmi 3 with the advocacy success to the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB).
- Introduction and enforcement of the use of waste bags to residents by officials of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board in Durunmi 3.
- Construction and provision of toilet facilities in compound by landlords in Durunmi 3 and Runwan Fulani Communities.
ENHANCING CITIZENS PARTICIPATION IN THE BUDGETARY PROCESS IN BAYELSA STATE
Centre LSD implemented the project Enhancing Citizens’ Participation in the Budgetary Process in Bayelsa State from August, 2011-Janaury, 2012 and from 2012 – 2013. During the implementation of the project, there was analysis of Bayelsa State budget from 2007-2011. The second phase was to consolidate the gains and deepen the engagements of the first phase. Prior to the intervention 2011 – 2012, Bayelsa State budget process was characterized with some chronic challenges including.
- Incremental budgeting without linkage to sectoral priorities.
- Budgets were characterized by lumping and so disaggregation was an issue.
- Budget for government House was more than the budget of four ministries (Health, Agriculture, Education and Infrastructure put together.
- Teacher pupil ratio was 1:168
- The budget process was not opened for citizens participation.
The advocacy approach that was deployed in the project influenced the following;
- Declaration of a state of emergency in the educational sector in 2012.
- Embrace of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
- For the first time and which has remained a practice, the invitation and involvement of civil society in budget defense by Ministries.
- Improved budgetary allocation to Education, Health, Agriculture and infrastructure.