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Caribbean called to support SOAD Food assistance to Flood Victims of Kaduna, Nigeria

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#TheCaribbean, September 18, 2020 – An overflowing Kaduna River has again dealt a harsh blow to the villagers, which live along its banks.  At least four were killed and 15,000 people displaced following the deluge which fell for hours on August 10. And the rains came again, with intensity at the start of September.

Flooding September 3, Kaduna north. Photo from the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency

The report of the devastation in this North West territory of Nigeria has resonated with Pan Africanists around the world and has activated the State of the African Diaspora, SOAD that is mobilising immediate and long term help.

“The gesture is molded as the normal distress assistance offered all over the world. To this end we have decided to carry this out under SOAD’s Food Security Program. The efforts of the forerunners of this program, especially those of Nina Womack and brother, Melvin Brown motivated this new effort,” said Tijjani Zubairu Onuvajor, an educator and engineer.

Caribbean citizens know and appreciate their connection to the countries which comprise Africa.  In recent months, Caribbean citizens have also been electrified and awakened by the Black Lives Matter movement which has rocked the planet and re-exposed to new generations, the disparaging treatment of black people.  A bi-product of the BLM protests is heightened sensitivity and renewed interest in Africa, and her people. 

Photo from Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency; two women observe the damages of September 3 flooding

Deandrea Hamilton, a Caribbean region journalist is the SOAD MP for The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands.  Ms. Hamilton says, “Caribbean people understand what it means to have a natural disaster move in and overwhelmingly turn your world upside down.  The gravity of the loss of the flood victims at Kaduna River can become an opportunity for Caribbean residents to build bridges back to the ‘Motherland’ by being our brothers’ keeper.  It is just a question of whether or not the millions of African descendants who populate the islands of the Caribbean are ready, willing and able to support welfare initiatives like the SOAD Food Security program.”

The goal is to provide a month’s supply of food and toiletries, which SOAD Food Security Program managers explain will buy these otherwise enterprising villagers some time, giving them a good chance to get back on their feet quickly.

On a normal day, like any other community, the people are usually up and about fending for themselves in their personal businesses ranging from small to large-scale types.

Flooding of Kaduna, August 10. Six people were rescued, four others died. Photo by Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency

Appointed Ambassadors in countries and cities around the world represent SOAD.  In Nigeria, Bldr. Tijjani Zubairu Onuvajor, who is a SOAD MP, will manage the distribution.

“It is our desire to show to the victims that people of the diaspora care about them. It is the focus of SOAD Food Security program to achieve the following objectives:

  • Assist the needy with immediate essentials to cushion the effect of the flood
  • To prepare for both medium and long-term assistance of communities that suffers such fate in Nigeria and its environs.
  • To introduce SOAD as a provider of alternative help or solutions to people’s problems in our communities Thereby paving ways for more extensive engagements to improve the quality of life of our people.

Putting this gesture into context it is right to explain that the floods are a part of life in Kaduna, which is the capital of Kaduna State.”

Nigerian Red Cross joins the assessment effort of the recent flooding along the Kaduna River. Photo by the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency

There is a robust existence for the 1.3 million people who call the capital home.  It is a center for learning which is cradle to the Kaduna State University, the Nigerian Defense Academy, the Kaduna Business School, the Institute of Ophthalmology and the National Board for Islamic and National Studies.

The families impacted by the flooding are mainly traders and farmers, as Kaduna is also an agriculture and transportation gateway to the Northern region of the country.

Melvin Brown reports on SOAD Food Security program, which is moving into its eighth month. So far, 2,702 people were fed by SOAD.

The government, as a matter of responsibility, does issue flood alert warnings. In this particular case it had been issued by the Kaduna Emergency Disaster Management Agency; it called for the residents to evacuate the area.  News agencies reported however, that many did not leave because of apathy or largely because they underestimated the enormity of the devastation.

Senator Uba Sani, representative for Kaduna Central (APC) had ordered an assessment of the district, which listed Abubakar Kigo road in Kaduna North; Barnawa in Kaduna South; Karatudu, Romi, Narayi and Sabon Tasha in Chikun as the areas worse hit.

SOAD will raise, $10,000 USD; which will bring immediate relief to the thousands hardest hit in Kaduna.

Kaduna River overflows on September 3. Photo by the Kaduna State Emergency Agency

“Caribbean citizens interested in supporting should contact Ms. Hamilton,  (Deandrea@MagneticMediaTV.com) for onward delivery to the MP in charge of the distribution of items in Nigeria. We have put structures in place to ensure these gifts will make the right impact,” said Bldr. Onuvajor, SOAD MP for Nigeria.

And the need along the Kaduna river has increased. 

Devastating floods have continued in Kaduna State; on September 3, hundreds of residents were again displaced by the downpour which caused the river to breach its banks.  In the August floods, four people died.  In the September flood, the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency reported that thankfully, no lives were lost.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Africa

Putin in pursuit of Africa labelled ‘opportunistic’ and ‘calculating’

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Africa, October 28, 2022 – Vladimir Putin, president of Russia says he is seeking closer ties with African countries according to Russian state controlled media and the push seems to be working.

TASS says, in a recent meeting with Umaro Sissoco Embalo, Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Putin described the trade volume between ECOWAS and Russia as “rather hefty” citing the regions 400 million inhabitants.

The renewed and ‘up-scaled’ interest in Africa comes as the Kremlin is frozen out of Western relations because of the Ukraine invasion.  Russia now has significant animosity against Britain, the EU and the United States which is certainly mutual.

“We hope that a significant contribution will be made to the development of relations—with members of the organization, and the entire African continent in general during your presidency in ECOWAS,” Putin told Embalo.

Earlier this year several African countries remained neutral to the war in Ukraine.  In the UN General Assembly’s vote to suspend Russia’s membership on the Human Rights Council of the 54 African states in the UN only 10 voted in favor of the resolution, nine openly opposed, and 35 abstained or refused to turn up.

Despite worldwide condemnation of the atrocities committed in Ukraine, Europe’s long and sordid history of African exploitation is now working to Putin’s advantage.  Many criticisms of African nations’ reluctance to comment on the invasion are met on social media by lashing criticisms on Europe’s own sins committed on the continent.  In addition Russia is still recognized in countries like South Africa for their help in overturning European regimes like apartheid.

Germany’s embassy to South Africa criticized Russia for thanking SA for remaining neutral back in March.

“Sorry, but we can’t stay silent on this one, it’s just far too cynical.  What Russia is doing in Ukraine is slaughtering innocent children, women and men for its own gain.  It’s definitely not “fighting Nazism”. Shame on anyone who’s falling for this…” the Embassy said.

Replies ranged from: “How far are you with paying reparations to Namibian people?” to “Why is the Federal Republic of Germany taking more action against the invasion of Ukraine then it did against the invasion of Iraq?”

And while President Joe Biden recently hosted South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in talks at the White House regarding his neutral stance on Russia and other issues, so far South Africa and the rest of the continent for the most part has stuck to its guns.

The issue is a polarizing one though, as at the same time thousands of citizens across Africa have openly disagreed with the neutral lot cast by their countries.

Also taken into account is the fact that the Russian war has pushed several African countries further into famine faster than expected thanks to the rising prices of staples like grain.

The Africa Center for Strategic Studies describes the Russian foray into the continent as:

“Expanding geo-political influence through low-cost ventures that hold economic windfalls for Moscow and President Vladimir Putin’s close associates. In this way, Russia’s strategy in Africa is both opportunistic and calculating.”

Whatever the motive, the strategy to ‘make nice’ with the continent seems to be progressing for Putin as his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov just finished a tour where he was welcomed into at least four nations to further diplomatic relations.

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Africa

768 Million People and their Homelands in jeopardy says Ecological Threat Report

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Africa, October 28, 2022 – A great portion of Sub-Saharan Africa may become completely unsustainable in just 28 years. This prognosis is according to the Institute for Economics and Peace in their most recent Ecological Threat Report.

The Institute assesses major ecological threats of food risk, water risk, rapid population growth, temperature anomalies and natural disasters and rates countries on their Ecological Threat Resistance (ETR)

This year it identified 27 ‘hotspot countries’ across the globe that face ‘catastrophic ecological threat with extremely low societal resilience.’ It puts 768 million people at serious risk.

None of the countries identified are located in Europe or North America which have the highest ETR, instead the victims mainly spread across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and South Asia.

Seven of the eight of the most affected countries are in SSA., which also has the highest rate of food insecurity.

“Of the 52 Sub-Saharan African countries, 37 recorded an extremely high level of food insecurity in the ETR,” said the report which was published on October 19.

Extreme drought and extreme floods in the past year have caused record lows in food production with the Red Cross warning that casualties could become heavy if residents remain without food.

In addition mass migration and natural disasters will also put populations in sub-Saharan Africa at serious risk.

In order to slow the disastrous process, countries will have to fix the high rates of violence, air pollution and high birth rate, even as climate change ravages their shoes.

Only one Caribbean country, Haiti, was listed on the 27 most at risk countries.

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Africa

Unrelenting floods in Nigeria; 1.4 Million homeless and 500 dead

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Nigeria, October 13, 2022 – Seventy-six people drowned on Friday after their boat flipped as they tried to escape floodwaters in Nigeria.  Like Pakistan, Nigeria has been pounded by an overactive Monsoon season this year.

The boat was traveling through Anambra, one of the worst affected states which also includes Kogi, Lokoja , when it overturned.   Aerial response has been triggered and helicopters are out looking for other trapped residents according to The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).  More than 1.4 million people have been displaced and just over 500 have been killed.

NEMA representative Thickman Tanimu, told NEWS Agency of Nigeria, “Assessment teams observed that the flood has submerged houses, farmlands, schools, health centres, Police Stations, Churches and other critical infrastructure— we did the assessment tour with a boat because the access roads to the communities have been submerged by flood water” He said.

The floodwaters have brought down buildings crushing families and sweeping away others. Nigeria’s monsoon season is set to end in October hopefully bringing an end to the rain.

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