By Ndey Sowe
Stakeholders of the Nafa Programme on Friday, June 17, 2022 kickstarted the enrollment of beneficiaries into the Nafa Programme held in the Foni, West Coast Region (WCR).
The stakeholders include the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) and the Department of Community Development and Directorates of Social Welfare, who are implementing the Nafa Programme as part of The Gambia Social Safety Net project, which is aimed at strengthening the coordination of social assistance activities and increase the inclusion of the extremely poor in the Nafa Programme.
The Nafa Programme is a combination of Cash Transfer and Social and Behavioural Change Communication (SBCC) that is being implemented in phases. The first phase involved three districts (Foni Bintang in the West Coast Region, Nianija in the Central River Region, and Wuli West in the Upper River Region). The project is now rolling out to the remaining 17 other districts across the country.
The Nafa programme, a component of The Gambia Social Safety Net project”, is a US$ 31 million project jointly funded by the World Bank and The Gambia Government. It is designed to promote continuity and harmonisation with other programmes, by expanding an existing package of cash transfers with SBCC managed by NaNA to new districts and regions.
The Project Development Objective (PDO) aims to improve the coordination of social assistance activities, provide temporary social assistance, support rural households in the wake of Covid-19, and increase inclusion of the extremely poor in the Nafa Programme.
Speaking to Foroyaa at Kanjabena in Foni Berefet, Oumie Touray, Department of Community Development, said the project targets all the five regions in The Gambia, adding that they are not faced with challenges in identifying beneficiaries at the moment.
“We started in Kanaw, which is four households, but we registered three households; the remaining household, the procreator, was not there and promised to meet us in the next community,” she explained.
She stressed that to benefit 15,606 extremely poor household is important right, adding that these households will benefit from in phases of between one year and six months.
“Giving D3,000 to the extremely poor households for one year and six months I think is a lot for Gambian households,” she added.
A beneficiary, Ida Sanneh at Kanjabeba, expressed happiness for being enrolled into the programme.
“The project will help us alleviate our poverty and suffering as the COVID-19 has greatly impacted our livelihoods. This will help our school children,” she said.
Madam Sanneh thanked all partners, especially the World Bank and the Government of The Gambia for their support.
In Foni Kansala, Fatou Suso, an official at the Department of Community Development in an interview, said the enrollment is going on well and the turnout was very good.
“All of them are coming with their necessary documents and we are encouraging women as the principal beneficiaries and women are responding positively,” she said, adding that they have not come across any challenge yet.
She was quick to explain that they are targeting 294 households as beneficiaries in the whole of Kansala.
Another beneficiary, Nuwa Badjie from Foni Kansala, also commended the stakeholders for providing for the programme, saying it will support their families, especially school children.
“The money will help us buy ruminants and even when the project fades out, the ruminants will help and support me to help my children’s education in the future,” Badjie said.
“We are progressing smoothly and we haven’t got any major issues so far. There are about 36 expected beneficiaries to be enrolled and so far, we are closer to the target and people are cooperating very well especially with regards to who the principal recipient will be and also the procreator,” said Haruna Badjie in an interview at Sintet village.
Fatou Fatty, an official from the Directorate of Social Welfare, speaking at Kansala, said, “We encouraged women to be the recipient of these monies and most of the households are abiding by that”.
Communities visited during the enrollment in Foni Berefet were Kanaw, Kanjabena, and Ndemban Jola; in Foni Bondali includes Buramba, Kanwally, Kanjbat, Kanling; while in Foni Kansala were Luluchorr, Baipal, Ballen and Karunorr; and in Foni Jarrol was Sintet.