In late 2012, Caritas Nigeria joined state actors like National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), CRS, and the Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to carry out a joint-assessment of flood-affected areas in Nigeria. Thereafter, Caritas Nigeria partnered with the local diocesan Caritas to distribute food and non-food relief items as well as cash transfers to various communities in five affected states in the wake of the 2012 flooding (Delta, Edo, Anambra, Imo and Cross River States).
In 2013, Caritas Nigeria joined with CAFOD, CRS and Lite Africa to support 6 flood-affected communities namely; Kpakiama, Esanma, Ogbein-ama, Adobu, Bedeseigha and Aven around Bomadi and Patani Local Government Areas in Delta State, through its Integrated Emergency Recovery (IER) program.
The IER was a 6-month grant-funded with a focus on addressing immediate needs among more vulnerable groups to reduce the risk of diarrheal disease (through provision of ‘Safe Water’ Kits, Hygiene Promotion and Rehabilitation of damaged boreholes), and to provide support for post-flood survival (through provision of Cash Grants). To complement this, the project supported livelihoods recovery with a focus on agricultural activities.
The goal of the program was “to enable the most vulnerable households affected by the recent flood recover their livelihoods in selected communities in Delta State.” The entire IER program aimed at ensuring that 2,500 households (17,500 vulnerable persons) had adequate access to integrated emergency response, through the provision of unconditional cash transfers, Livelihoods recovery and WASH interventions.
One of the beneficiaries of the IER project has this to say; “This is the first time ordinary people like us in this community are actually benefitting from interventions like this. We are grateful to CCFN for reaching out to the poor like us,” – Opuamba Prosper, a member of Bedeseigha community in Delta state.
The program witnessed some behavioural change with regards to improved hygiene practices like hand washing in some of the communities. They also have gone ahead to construct Tippy Tap in some of the schools and homes where Caritas Nigeria conducted sensitization and awareness creation activities.
In general, the program was successful within the communities; it met the objectives for which it was implemented. The lives of the beneficiaries were better off with the program; through unconditional cash transfers, which enabled beneficiaries to feed better and meet their basic needs as well as made many to open bank accounts for the first time in their life time; the livelihood component of the program enabled fishermen and farmers to recover their means of livelihood and income generation; and the WASH component led to improved hygiene, sanitation and reduction in the incidence of diseases for 3,500 individuals within the communities.
The IER program started from May, 2013 and ended in October, 2013. It was funded by the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO), through the Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) as Prime Recipient.