COVID-19: Rural Women in Kaduna Laments Hardship in Transporting Goods to Market…..as NGO Reaches 160 Households with Palliatives
By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna
Women in rural communities of Giwa, Kudan and Zaria Local Government in Kaduna State has lamented the untold hardship brought upon them and their means of livelihood by the lockdown in the State occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The women said despite the lifting of the lockdown by the government, things has remained difficult for them.
According to them, transporting their goods to the township markets remained difficult as hike in fares remain high and unaffordable for them.
Hajiya Rahama Suleiman, who spoke on behalf of the women, when a women-led non-government organization, Women Connect Initiative (WCI), donated palliatives to 160 households in the three communities, explained that “the restriction of movements have affected the transportation of our goods to the city centre and we cannot afford the exorbitant prices being asked of us by motorists.
“We hardly sell our goods and agricultural products as it has become difficult for us and our husbands to survive. Government should please come to our rescue.
“We are dying of hunger and economic hardship. Since the compulsory lockdown we have not been able to carry our goods to town for market. The patronage within the community market is not good and people are becoming desperate. Mallam El-Rufai should come to rescue us”, she said.
The palliatives by Women Connect Initiative, is being distributed under the auspices of ACTIVE 4 Rural Women, a RiseUp Initiative, project.
The initiative which targeted only rural women in hard-to-reach communities in the LGAs saw over one thousand two hundred and eighty (1,280) women go home with 12.5kg bag of rice, maize and a gallon of oil.
While addressing newsmen during the distribution in Kudan, Kwaba, Kwatarawa, Panta and Wazarta communities of Kudan, Giwa and Zaria local governments, the advocacy manager for ACTIVE 4 Rural Women, Victor Osae Ihidero and the Director of the women-led group, Hajiya Murjanatu Suleiman-Shika noted that the palliatives became necessary considering the economic impact the stay-at-home policy has had on rural women in the communities.
“This is the first batch in our effort to reach 25,000 rural women across 14 local government areas in Kaduna State. So far, we have been able to reach 160 households across three LGAs and by implication 1, 280 women.
“From our baseline study conducted between March and April we discovered that every household has at least eight to nine women and our goal is to reach everyone within the limit of our organization’s capacity.
“We call on well-meaning individuals in Kaduna State to come to the rescue of rural women as the lockdown is beginning to have impacts on them. While we appreciate the effort of Governor El-Rufai in combating the pandemic, we specifically call on him to do more for rural women as they are the most hit”, she said.