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Women Farmers in Anambra Community Lament Denial of Palliatives, Demand their Fair Share



By Praise Chinecherem

Women farmers at Umunankwo, in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State have expressed dissatisfaction with the failure of flood palliatives from federal and state government to get to all of them who were affected by flood.

The women spoke during a sensitization programme organized under the Strategic Opportunity Fund, (SOF) by the Social and Integral Development Centre, SIDEC, supported by Action Aid Nigeria and funded by Global Affairs Canada,

One of them, Josephine Ogwuno, regretted that most of the flood victims of 2022 didn’t get anything from the government to cushion the effects of the disaster on them.

“It is not that government did not bring something but majority who were badly affected did not get it. They need to rethink their sharing formula,” she said.

Another woman farmer, Ann Okafor recounted the health problems they go through during the flood disaster, which destroys their livelihoods and compromise the quality of life.

“We lose huge sums of money making it impossible for us to pay back bank loans. Ailments increase during the period while health facilities, which are not submerged are overstretched with cases from flood victims,” she added.

Earlier, Executive Director, SIDEC, Ugochi Ehiahuruike, encouraged the farmers in the community to ensure they are captured in the state government database which will be used for the distribution of inputs and other incentives.

She said, “Go to your local government secretariat and make enquiries about data capturing. It is done by extension workers from the Ministry of Agriculture.

“This project is designed to promote food security, which is currently being threatened by flood, drought and pest infestation. I really believe that government needs to help farmers with soft loans and even grant to boost food production in agrarian communities like this.

“Regrettably, many women farmers are tired of farming because of constant loss incurred as a result of flooding. Worse still, they don’t get the type of attention they need from government.

“They cannot always get loan from bank especially after they have failed to repay the one they took before because of flooding”.

Ehiahuruike also educated the people about urine harvesting as alternative source of manure. “After harvesting the urine, you keep it for two weeks. Then mix it with ashes or ground charcoal. After that, you can apply it close to the crops.

In a presentation, the project consultant, Ifeoma Onuzulike, noted that, “Our food is our health and we must produce it in a manner that is climate smart. That is the whole explanation of agroecology.

“You are supposed to be farming all round the year through Climate Smart Agriculture. Human activities have brought the climate crisis. Increment in mindless and unwholesome agricultural activities worsened the climate change problem and that is why we need to be careful.

Onuzulike appealed to them to professionalize their vocation in a manner that does not pose any threat to humanity. “Stop the use of herbicide which is dangerous to crops and environment. You need to start planting flood and drought resistant crops.

“Let’s stop seeing agriculture as sufferings. Practice shifting cultivation to increase your yield every planting season. Your PG spoke about the need for storage facilities during our meeting with him. Honestly, this will help to reduce your losses during the flood disaster,” she concluded.

The woman leader of the community, Ononuju Patricia, assured that the women in attendance will put the knowledge they garnered during the sensitization into practice.

“We shall also share with our friends and relations this things you have taught us. We have learnt so much from you people. We thank you for coming “.

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