The South Saharan Social Development Organisation (SSDO), an NGO, has donated food and non-food palliative items worth multi-million naira to 254 vulnerable households in Enugu State.
SSDO’s donation, distributed in partnership with Nigeria Foundation for the Support of Victims of Terrorism (Victims Support Fund), included a bag of rice, beans, garri, and four-litre cooking oil to each of the vulnerable households.
Other non-food items donated were bottles of sanitizer and face masks.
Distributing the palliative to beneficiaries in Enugu East council area on Monday, Executive Director of SSDO, Dr Stanley Ilechukwu, said that the palliative was to give succour to the indigent.
According to Ilechukwu, most indigent livelihood and daily income have been affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The executive director said that the donation, at this time, was also meant to meet the physiological and safety needs of the people.
“The COVID-19 inspired lockdown has presented a stark choice to families – to risk death or disability due to the virus or hunger/starvation due to loss of income.
“South Saharan Social Development Organisations (SSDO) will continue to support the indigent and ensure they are not placed in a situation where they have to choose either,’’ he said.
Ilechukwu said that the exercise was being carried out simultaneously and successfully statewide with a working database of vulnerable households in the state.
He noted that palliatives were distributed with greater emphasis on Enugu East, Enugu South, Nkanu East, and Udi Local Government Areas; while focusing on widows, orphans, and People Living With Disabilities (PLWDs).
Ilechukwu noted that Nigeria was largely dominated by the informal sector that accounts for 60 per cent of the working population.
“The main characteristic of the informal economy is that it does not have fixed wages or fixed hours of work and mostly relies on daily earnings.
“The survival of workers in this sector is based on them showing up for work every day.
“Since the lockdown started in March, it has become difficult for informal economy workers to keep up, especially traders and artisans, seeing that they make money from daily sales and services rendered,’’ he said.
Responding, a beneficiary, Anosike Chidinma, who is a nursing mother of triplets in Enugu East council area, thanked the SSDO and her partners for remembering her family at this difficult time.
“You don’t know what this means to me; ever since my husband realized that I was pregnant, even though we already have four children, he left us and never came back,’’ Chidinma, who stays in a makeshift apartment, said.
Another beneficiary, Mrs Veronica Ani, a physically challenged woman, who lives in Ogui-Eke community in Udi council area, thanked the SSDO, and danced with excitement when she was informed of what the team brought to her.
Another physically challenged person, Mr Obinna Nweke, who lives in a zinc corrugated house in Oma-Eke community in Udi council area, thanked SSDO and her partners for the kind gesture.