The Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition (KADSPAC) on Thursday praised the Kaduna State Government’s plan to provide food and other basic necessities to vulnerable groups in the state.
The group’s Chairperson, Ms Jessica Bartholomew, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna that the step would cushion the effect of shutting down the state over fears of further spread of the Coronavirus, code-named COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
NAN reports that the state government, had on Wednesday announced plans to provide food and other necessities to identified vulnerable groups should a lockdown become inevitable.
The Deputy Governor of the state, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, who made the announcement said that required supplies were being procured while a system of distribution to the target groups was being worked out.
Bartholomew described the step as “noble”, noting that the poor and vulnerable, who live from hand to mouth would be the most affected in the event of a lockdown as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world.
She said that life would become difficult for the poor and vulnerable, especially following the closure of markets and other sources of livelihood in the bid to prevent the spread of the virus.
“They have inevitably become endangered species now that the markets are closed, streets becoming empty, and economic activities coming to a grinding halt in the state.
“As such, they need all the support they can get, and providing them food and necessities will significantly cushion the effect of the harsh economic and social conditions that would come.
“This proactive step is a clear demonstration of the government’s concern for the safety and welfare of the people,” she added.
According to Bartholomew, KADSPAC will be on ground to provide support in monitoring the process to ensure that the palliative measure gets to the target groups.
She, therefore, urged the government and civil society organisations to carry out massive sensitisation in rural communities to enlighten residents on the virus and how to stay safe.
She said that while a lot of measures to suppress and stop transmission of the virus were being put in place in urban centres, not much of the same efforts were being made in rural and remote communities.
The chairperson said that the people were still going about their normal businesses with no adherence to the protocols provided by the WHO to prevent the spread of the virus.
“There is, therefore, the need for massive sensitisation campaign in rural areas to create the needed awareness on COVID-19 and how to prevent contracting or spreading the virus,” she said. (NAN)