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Boosting development in North-West via World Bank-funded projects 

The Community and Social Development Project of the World Bank (CSDP) is a programme initiated to boost development in poor communities.

Thirty states are participating in the community-driven programme that started in 2009.

The programme provides 90 per cent of funds needed for projects solely initiated by poor communities, for which they are to contribute at least 10 per cent in cash and in kind.

During a recent assessment tour of projects in the North-West states of Kebbi, Katsina and Zamfara, benefitting communities were in agreement that the programme has impacted positively on the lives of rural dwellers.

In Kebbi, the CSDP provided mini motorised water schemes, constructed one block of classrooms and health post in Kuyu and Chalgai communities in Gwandu, Local Government Area.

Kuyu with an estimated population of over 2000 people, are mainly farmers and cattle rearers, while the Chalgai, a hard to reach village, with a population of over 800 inhabitants, are mainly subsistence farmers.

Malam Bello Magawata, the Chairman, Kuyu Community Project Management Committee (CPMC), said this was the first time the community had motorised water scheme, block of classrooms and health post.

He said that before the construction of the borehole, the community relied on a 200- metre deep well for water.

Magawata said prior to the intervention of the CSDP in 2018, the community had its primary school operating under a tree with low pupil enrolment.

” I was born and brought up in this village over 50 years ago, I have never seen or heard of any water scheme, block of classrooms or health post provided for this community.

” We only see children in neighbouring communities attending schools and become nurses, soldiers, engineers and all that, but we don’t have such educational or health facilities in this community.“

Similarly, the Secretary of Chalgai, CPMC, Sani Mohammed, said before the construction of the solar mini water scheme by the CSDP, the community depended on an old well dug during the administration of former Premier of Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello.

Mohammed said the provision of the water scheme had improved the living condition and economic status of the people of the community.

” Our animals drink water at ease and we are also building many houses now due to the availability of water. No doubt the projects have changed the fortunes of this community,” he said.

Mohammed also said that the provision of classrooms was a welcome relief to the people of the community, adding that in the past, ” we used to send our children to Tambuwal and Dogon Daji local government areas  in Sokoto State to attend primary school.

The CSDP also upgraded and equipped Kalgo Youth Skills Acquisition Centre.

Coordinator of the centre Zulkiflu Mohammed disclosed that the centre is affiliated to Usman Danfodio University Sokoto Consultancy.

He added that the centre has graduated over 1,000 people on different skills in the last 10 years.

Alhaji Babale Yauri, Secretary to the Kebbi State Government (SSG), said CSDP was one of the best projects initiated by the Federal Government, adding that the government of Kebbi considered CSDP projects as one of the best because it touches the lives of rural dwellers.

Yauri, who stated that Kebbi was a rural state, added that any project that focused on the lives of rural people was a project that was dear to the state government.

“If you go round the state you will find a lot of sign boards indicating different CSDP projects across the state.

“In fact, the CSDP projects have boosted the morale of an ordinary man in Kebbi who now believes that he can contribute to the development of his locality in particular and state in general.

“CSDP is one of the projects that the government of Gov. Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi considers as one of the best projects initiated by the Federal Government and in fact it has been completely supported by the governor,” he said.

On his part, Alhaji Yakubu Yeldu, the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of Kebbi CSDP, said the organisation spent over N2 billion to finance over 669 micro projects in remote communities in 20 local government areas of the state over the last 10 years.

“As we speak, over 669 micro projects have been completed and people are benefiting from all of them. We don’t have a single abandoned project.

“Right now in our record, we have over 300 applications for new community projects, and not only that, we received phone calls every day,” Yeldu said.

He revealed that demand for provision of potable water constituted almost 80 per cent in every micro project application from most communities in the state.

In Zamfara CSDP built a Primary Health Care Clinic (PHC) in Gurbi, Talatan Mafara Local Government, build schools, drilled boreholes and renovated computer- based centre.

Malam Abdullahi Bello, the Vice- Chairman, Gurbi Community Project Management Committee, expressed delight for the execution of various projects in the area.

He explained that prior to the provision of the health facility, the people of the community used to travel a distance of five kilometres to get medical treatment in Talatan Mafara Local Government headquarters.

He also revealed that based on high demand for potable water, CSDP drilled hand pump borehole.

“We largely depended on well water which dry up during dry season. So, we decided to approach CSDP office in the state capital and seek their intervention to support us with two micro projects.

” The officials of CSDP came and conducted feasibility studies and directed us to mobilise our 10 per cent of the total sum of the project and to glory of God the project was completed and impacting positively on our lives.’’

Contributing, Ms Talatu Adamu, Senior Community Health Extension Worker at the PHC, disclosed that the centre was used as COVID-19 vaccination centre, adding that no fewer than 127 persons took their first jam of COVID-19 vaccine at the centre.

She also revealed that the clinic attended to over 25 patients daily, adding “sometimes I receive calls in the midnight to attend to pregnant women.’’

The CSDP also renovated and furnished the Talatan Mafara Development Trust Fund Computer-Based Centre.

The centre was also provided with

motorised water scheme and  cameras .

Alhaji Yusuf Mafara, manager of the centre and Chairman Community Project Management Committee (CPMC), said that the centre was dilapidated and inactive before the intervention of CSDP.

“Whenever our children want to write a computer-based test they have to go to the state capital which a distance of about 80km.

“That was why the community approached CSDP to help renovated the centre for the use of Gumi, Anka, Maradun, Bakura, Bukyu, Talatan Mafara local government areas.”

He said that as part of efforts to ensure sustainability of the centre, the community   partnered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that resulted to donation of  300 laptops with all networking equipment to the centre.

Commenting on CSDP , the Emir of Bungudu, Alhaji Hassan Attahiru, said CSDP projects were touching the lives of vulnerable people.

He said that the programme had positively impacted the lives of the vulnerable people since the creation of the state.

He also solicited support toward the rehabilitation of people and communities affected by the lingering security challenges in some parts of the state.

“If there is any single intervention programme in the state since its creation, I think it is the largest that has touched the lives of people who are very vulnerable and in dire need.’’

He disclosed that CSDP renovated and equipped a learning centre for an orphanage established by Yar Rugga Community under the Bungudu Emirate Council.

Prior to the intervention of CSDP, the hall was in deplorable condition. After we reached out to them and completed all the process, CSDP converted the hall into library, laboratory and semi skills acquisition centre,” Attahiru said.

On his part, Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, noted that the CSDP had impacted positively on the lives of the people due to the additional support and encouragement provided by the state government.

” The CSDP performed creditably  from 2019, when we assumed office. The state government has approved and released N150 million to the Zamfara State CSDP from 2019 to 2020.“

Also, Alhaji Garba Muhammad, the General Manager of Zamfara CSDP, disclosed that the project provided financial support to various communities in the state to implement 744 micro projects worth N2.063 billion.

Muhammad explained that the main areas of intervention were education, provision of health facilities and water.

According to him, educational projects took about 60 per cent of the resources that CSDP gave to communities to execute projects.

“From July 2009 to September 2020, CSDP has assisted 262 communities and groups to implement 744 projects at the total cost of over N2.063 billion.”

Appraising the performance of CSDP, Dr Mustapha Inuwa, the Secretary to the Katsina State Government, commended the community driven approach.

He advocated the adoption of the community driven development model in the country, saying that it was more economical and sustainable.

Inuwa assured that the state would continue to support CSDP and the state agency, noting that there was no better time that Katsina State needs support from CSDP than now.

Also, Alhaji Muhammad Abdul’aziz,

the General Manager, Katsina State CSDP, said that 494 micro projects were completed in the state, explaining  that 50 per cent of the interventions were in the  education sector.

“The sectors that follow are water and health. We spent N2.5 billion on projects from July 2009 to September, 2020.’’

Undoubtedly, CSDP has proved to be an

elixir to boost development in the North-West. Benefitting states of CSDP projects should sustain adherence to guidelines in order to deepen development, especially in poor communities.(NAN)

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