By Melvin Uche, Maiduguri
Mercy Corps in conjunction with USAID has provided dry food assistance to 13,436 households translating to over 94,052 internally displaced persons ( IDPs ) in Damboa local government area of Borno state.
Agada Stephen, the senior programme officer Mercy Corps disclosed this to newsmen on Tuesday in Maiduguri.
He said the gesture has provided the IDPs monthly food ration over the period, adding that another 5,000 households with under five years old children and pregnant women, a subset of the 13, 512 households targeted for staple food, were also provided with e-wallets for vegetables ,fruits and animal proteins to enable them have diet diversification at household level.
” The Responsive Economic Assistance to Conflict-affected Households ( REACH 4 ) program promoted household poultry production and kitchen gardening using agronomy concept to encourage dietary diversification at the household level.
” Similarly, community engagement was done in order to shape behaviours and promote good nutrition practices and diet diversification among vulnerable households,” he said.
He said working closely with women, community leaders and government officials, participants in the program were connected to a variety of interventions including the provision of monthly food baskets, promotion of good nutrition practices, nutrition surveillance, supporting long term food security and safe access to fuel and energy.
Sharing her experience in Damboa, Amina Adam , mother of five who lives in Damboa with her husband and extended family, said her family used to depend on farming to fend for themselves, but with insurgency, she has been unable to access her farm .
She said her other source of livelihood, which involves selling firewood is unstable due to the frequent attacks on community members who venture into the woods.
” Life is tough here,we are constantly living in fear, I cannot access my farm. The food we collect from Mercy Corps has been our major source of food. It is with the seeds that Mercy Corps gave me to start like kitchen gardening, that I was able to plant some crops and sell them to buy school uniform for my children”, said Amina Adam.