By Rita Iliya
Minna, Sept. 15, 2020 The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Tuesday donated grains to 64,715 households in Niger to cushion the effects of COVID-19 lockdown.
AVM Muhammadu Muhammed, Director-General, NEMA, presented the grains to the state government on in Minna.
Muhammed, represented by Dr Onimode Bamidele, Director, Relief and Rehabilitation, NEMA, said the palliatives were for vulnerable persons affected by the recent restriction of movement to curtail the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the items include; 1, 490.36 metric tonnes of maize, 1,557.6 metric tonnes of sorghum and 187.8 metric tonnes of millet.
The grains, he said, were approved by President Muhammadu Buhari from the National Food Reserve.
Muhammed also added that farmers would also benefit from the Emergency Agricultural Intervention Programme approved by President Buhari in 2019 to provide farm inputs such as seedlings, agrochemicals and knapsack sprayers.
He said that a total of 12, 242 farmers in the state were verified and would benefit from the final phase of the intervention which was fertilizer.
The director-general, however, called on the state government to activate all plans and measures in highly probable flood risk areas against the prediction of the 2020 rainfall as the season moves towards the peak.
Receiving the items, Gov. Sani Bello of Niger commended President Buhari, the Minister of Humanitarians Affairs, Sadiya Umaru and NEMA for the provision of the COVID-19 palliatives.
Bello, who was represented by his Deputy, Ahmed Ketso, noted that the intervention would go a long way to cushion the effects of COVID-19 and flood.
He said that the state government had commenced intervention in some of the communities in spite of paucity of funds.
He appealed to the agency to support farmers who lost their farmlands and produce to flood with farm inputs.
Bello disclosed that about 22 local government areas in the state were affected by flood, adding that the state would continue to update the agency with current number of victims for assistance.