The Gombe State Government has provided N600 million to communities and groups in the state to implement 256 micro projects of critical needs.
Alhaji Abubakar Kumo, General Manager of the Gombe State Agency for Community and Social Development (GMCSDA), disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Gombe on Wednesday. GMCSDA was established in 2009 to empower communities in the state by supporting them with grants and building their capacities for projects implementation and supervision.
Kumo said the 256 micro projects undertaken in 64 communities cut in the 11 Local Government Areas of the state are to benefit about 480, 000 people. He said that the support was given to the communities and groups to implement various projects in their communities in line with agency`s mandate to galvanise development at the grassroots.
Kumo said that the projects cut across eight sectors of education, health, water, socio-economic, rural roads, electricity, environment and Gender and Vulnerable.
He added that they are targeted at poor communities, vulnerable groups and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The general manager said the support from the state government was attracting resources and attention from different developmental partners especially World Bank because “when you are not giving counterpart as a state government, they won’t give you resources. “The communities and groups plan the projects, they draw up the cost estimate while we vet the cost estimate; they do everything and elect leaders while ours is to monitor, supervise and then fund the projects.
“The communities are contributing 10 per cent while groups contribute five per cent. In a nutshell, we have disbursed N600 million in last one year under the present administration of Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State. “We have 256 communities/group micro projects implemented across the state and the bulk of the projects are in water, health and education but we have a lot in electricity, skill acquisition centres and environment,’’ he said. Kumo said that in line with the maintenance culture of the governor, about 2,560 community members across the state were trained on maintenance and sustainability of these projects and on conflicts resolution.
The agency`s boss stated that the impact of these projects from assessment carried out in 2019 were ‘marvelous’ having achieved a lot in acute health issues leading to a reduction in maternal deaths. He said that it was very difficult for most communities assisted by the agency to access healthcare services especially during the raining season before the intervention projects. “In education, there were lots of communities where their children were not attending school before but now they are attending schools. For water, we have reduced the long distances children walk to get water,’’ he said.
He commended the state government for prioritizing project interventions in communities.
Kumo charged the benefitting communities to continue to maintain these projects for maximum benefits of their communities.
Story by Sunday Francis