NEMA officials while distributing cows to victims of conflict and flood disasters in Taraba state. Photo: Sani Suleman
The Federal Government has launched the distribution of 6,800 cows to victims of conflict and flood disasters for 10 local government areas in Taraba State.
Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustafa Habib made this known on Monday during the distribution of some 3,996 cows to victims of the Mambila crisis in the Gembu local government area of the State.
Mr Habib, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Research and Forecast, in the agency, Abdullahi Adamu said the distribution of cows was part of the 2018 Emergency Agricultural Intervention Programme for victims of flood and conflict.
The programme was an initiative of the National Food Security Council (NFSC), which was split into crop farmers’ and pastoralists’ components, he explained.
According to him, the intervention to crop farmers has already been carried out, adding that the second component, namely, the distribution of cattle to pastoralists, has just begun in the state.
The delay in the implementation of the second phase of the program, he continued, was due to procurement challenges and the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Admonishing the beneficiaries to take advantage of the relief items, Mr Habib stressed it was important to do so because, according to him, it is a way of “restarting their source of livelihood”.
It was also a veritable way of placating the people of the Mambila plateau and encouraging them to eschew bitterness and embrace peace for the development of the area, he added.
11 Crisis-affected Communities
The Head of the NEMA operations office for Taraba and Adamawa States, Ayuba Ladan said 3,996 cows were distributed to 1,998 beneficiaries from 11 crisis-affected communities during the 2017 crisis in the Sardauna local government area of the state.
Mr Ladan said two cows each were distributed to beneficiaries for breeding, while he identified security threats as a major challenge in the course of the operation.
He assured the people that the cows distributed were healthy for reproduction, saying the officials of the state Ministry of Agriculture had verified the livestock and had certified their productive and health conditions.
He, therefore, advised beneficiaries not to sell their cows to merchants.
Appreciating the Government
The village head of Gembu, Alhaji Umaru Zubairu, and a beneficiary of the intervention, thanked the Federal government for the gesture.
Alhaji Zubairu said the intervention would go a long way in relieving victims of the 2017 crisis, who lost all their livestock.
He assured the government that his subjects would not sell their cows to merchants as the assistance was their source of regaining their livelihoods.
It could be recalled that the crisis erupted between the Mambila and Fulani tribes in Gembu in 2017, resulting in wanton destruction of lives and property, especially cattle.
Reporting by Sani Sulaiman; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino and Tony Okerafor