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Seed Distribution: We have gained more respect in our community – Bakassi IDP Women

A Cross section of women who were internally displaced from Bakassi and camped in Akwa Ikot Eyo Edem Village in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River have disclosed that they have gained more respect in their community.

The women made the assertion on Friday in their community during a distribution of Okra, Cucumber and pumpkin seeds by Care for Social Welfare International (CASWI).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the empowerment initiatives which started in 2022 were implemented by CASWI with funds from the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund and supported by UN Women.

NAN also reports that the women who were part of the Bakassi returnees and could not be settled in Ekpri obutong where others are due to shortage of houses, settled in Akwa Ikot Eyo Edem Village in Akpabuyo LGA.

Speaking with NAN, Mrs Arit Friday, Leader of one of the two groups in which the women were divided for effective management, said they now have their cooperative society and personal bank accounts after the training on financial management.

While noting that all the selected women of their community were part of the project, she appealed to CASWI and its partners for more initiatives to empower the women and make them more self-reliant in their community.

Seed Distribution: We have gained more respect in our community - Bakassi IDP Women

Similarly, Mrs Blessing Ekpenyong, Leader of the second group of about 100 women said what the women needed more was actually training which would enable them to catch their fish themselves and not just money.

Commending the Initiative, she said before the distribution of seeds to the women on Friday, they were first trained on proper ways of cultivating cucumber, pumpkin and other plants in a demonstration farm in Ikpan-Nkaya community in 2023.

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She said the farm was very successful but they suffered a lot of losses because people around Ikpan-Nkaya community kept on stealing from the farm and the women could not get much.

“However, today we have adopted a new strategy as the seeds are distributed to the women who now have their personal farms in Akwa Ikot Eyo Edem and they will plant and harvest their produce.

“We are very grateful but as you know, not all women like farming, so we appeal for training in soap making, tailoring, to also empower other women who may not like to farm,” she said.

Speaking on the project, Mr Ifeanyi Damian, Project Manager for CASWI said the essence of the project was to empower women and raise their voices in their community so that they could be part of the decision-making process.

Damian said after distributing the seeds to the women, they would be coming back in three weeks’ time to inspect the farms to see how well they were doing.

“Also, following the demands of the women, in a week’s time, we will be coming again to train all the women of this community on soap making and give them starter packs to enable them to commence operation.

“However, the starter packs will be only for the women who were part of the training, as we do not want wastages,” he maintained.

It would be recalled that CASWI and its partners had earlier inaugurated a “garri” processing plant in Ekpri Obutong IDP Camp in Bakassi and were constructing another plant in Calabar Municipality for refugees. (NAN)

Frank Ulom
Frank Ulom
Frank Ulom is an experienced Journalist, Blogger and Writer with several years of experience. His stories are based on community development and have brought positive change across board.

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