Bill Gates Donates $1m Worth Of Food, Farming Aides To Nigerians


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Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima, yesterday
flagged off the distribution of food items and farm
outreach targeting 40,000 victims of the Boko
Haram insurgency through the support of the Bill
and Melinda Gates Foundation which donated one
million dollars to the Borno State Government as a post conflict intervention that is meant to support
victims who are returning to their communities.

Governor Shettima kicked off the distribution of
the food itemS to 1,100 households at Mainok
village in Kaga local government area yesterday
August 14th. The Governor announced that
officials of the State Government in partnership
with the Gates Foundation used the $1m to procure the food items and commenced funding
of 100 hectares of farm where beans is being
cultivated. He explained that 200 farm-families will
be allocated tilled and fertile land measuring half
hectare each along with improved seeds, fertilizer,
chemicals and technical supervision so that they can start growing food crops. The Governor also
announced the release of two trucks of maize grid
to add to the food procured with Gates donation.

“We are grateful to God for creating people like Mr
Bill Gates and his dear wife, Melinda. These leading
lights of philanthropy across the world have
shown love to the good people of Borno State at a
time we are on the ground and looking for any
hand to hold in trying to lift ourselves up. Now, with the emerging peace in Borno State, it is only
necessary that as Post Insurgency response, focus
should be combined in supporting all categories
of the victims from those at Internally Displaced
Persons, those in communities within Maiduguri,
those in our satellite camps outside Maiduguri, those in communities across different local
government areas who are returning to their
homes and those being resettled. It is in this
regard, that we are gathered today to Flag off the
distribution of a key intervention of one million
dollars food and farming aide donated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Let me say it for the
record, that unlike majority of interventions which
happily came to us in kind, the Bill and Melinda
Gates Foundation donated cash of one million
dollars to the Borno State Government. It is the
State Government that is carrying out procurements in the implementation of this
particular intervention. The intervention is
targeting returning and re-settling communities by
giving them food aide and also helping them to
return to their familiar ways of producing food for
themselves and for commercial purposes. The intervention from the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation is being used for food supplies and to
fund farming activities for households. As a
preliminary stage, beans is being cultivated in one
hundred hectares of land. Half hectare is being
allocated to a farm-family with a target of reaching 200 households. Each household may have from
2 to 10 family members. Already, farms have been
established in Konduga and Damboa. Each
household is to be allocated not only tilled and
fertile land but also improved variety of seeds,
fertilizer, chemicals and most importantly, technical field supervision by extension workers.

On the food aspect, one thousand, one hundred
households, not individuals, will be given a 25
kilogram bag of rice and a 10-kilogram bag for
each household here in Mainok, Kaga local
government area. The intervention aims at
reaching 40,000 victims of the insurgency through households on both food aide and
farming activity. We are particularly interested in
ensuring that citizens begin to produce food crops
in safe locations because direct food aide in post
conflict situations is never sustainable over a long
period of time” Shettima said.

Officials of the United Nations High Commission for
Refugees (UNHCR) and United Nations Office for
the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(UNOCHA) witnessed the distribution with good
will presented by them.

The Commissioner for Reconstruction,
Rehabilitation and Resettlement in Borno State, Dr
Babagana Umara Zulum explained that two trucks
of food items as well as two farms in Damboa and
Konduga funded through the Gates donation
were ready for immediate access on Sunday while more communities were to benefit in a continuous
exercise.

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