Foundation trains, distributes fertilisers to IDPs in Akwa Ibom
A non-governmental organisation, the Refuge Foundation, has trained no fewer than 50 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Akwa Ibom State on the 21st-century farming technique. They also distributed fertilisers to the beneficiaries.
Speaking at the IDP camp in Oron Council, during a one-day training, the founder of the group, Ms. Ogonna Kanu, said the intervention was necessary to equip the IDPs for this year’s planting season.
The IDPs fled their ancestral homes in 2011 owing to a raging communal clash between Afahaeduok and Ukpata communities against their community – Udung Ukung in Oron Council.
Her words: “Refuge Foundation focuses on internally displaced persons in Nigeria – that is, those who are forced out of their homes due to one thing or the other.
“We found out that a large percentage of people forcibly displaced were farmers and that’s their major source of income, we embarked on the intervention to add more knowledge to what they already have in farming.
“We are convinced that they will make good use of the knowledge we have given them because before we embarked on it, we found out that they had a farm in their settlement where they do some plantings.
“We also took measures to know the types of crops they easily plant and their challenges so that we don’t come and waste their time.”
Kanu admonished the IDPs not to lose hope in life due to their current challenges, but to leverage any skill they can to make their lives better.
She further called on government, organisations, and wealthy Nigerians to also render help to the IDPs across the nation either by partnering the foundation or having direct contact with them.
A beneficiary, Mrs. Nkoyo Bassey, appreciated the NGO for the training at this time, adding that the knowledge received will help to improve her crops for a better harvest this planting season.
Another beneficiary, Mr. Effanga Ofose, commended the foundation for their selfless service, particularly, for giving them the knowledge and also distributing fertilisers worth 50,000 each to 50 people.
He lamented that since they were forced out of the home for 13 years now, they have faced the worse phase of life living in shanties with no help from either the government or individuals.
During the training, the IDPs were exposed to yam, plantain and cassava multiplication techniques and how to use low-cost local methods to chase away pests and other harmful organisms from plants to increase crop yields.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.