As part of her deliberate efforts to reduce sexual gender based violence (GBV) among the vulnerable in liberated areas and other parts of Borno Satate, Actionaid Nigeria has embarked on training of traditional rulers and other stakeholders to create awareness against menace.
Against the backdrop of the training, participants under the tutelage of Actionaid have agreed to establish a network comprising of traditional rulers, security agencies, health personale, members of CSOs working on GBV, media, legal aid council, the judiciary etc for better coordination and coverage of GBV activities in the state.
The training which was conducted at Command Guest House Maiduguri had participants drawn from four local Governments of Kala-Bage, Kaga, Gwoza and Bama Local Government Areas of Borno State.
Actionaid had earlier trained about forty psycho-social support counselors who have already commenced psycho-social counseling services to the displaced people in liberated communities from the four local government councils.
Briefing journalists on the whole concept of the project after the training workshop, the Program Manager Health Actionaid Nigeria, Ms Marryann Obadike explained the project is fashioned towards Strengthening Sexual and Reproductive Health service provision in conflict affected communities in Northeast Borno state Nigeria (STRESPCIN) , a partnership agreement between ActionAid Nigeria and the United Nations for Population Fund (UNFPA).
She added that, “the goal of the project is to reduce excessive maternal mortality and morbidity in the targeted states and the output of the project is to increase national capacity to provide sexual and reproductive health services in humanitarian settings
“ActionAid Nigeria is expected to scale up care and support services that will contribute towards the reduction of maternal mortality and morbidity in this conflict affected states through the provision of Integrated Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) interventions and Sexual and Reproductive Health services based on the Minimum Initial Service Package for Reproductive Health in humanitarian settings (MISP).
“The project seeks to improve the provision of SGBV prevention and response and Reproductive Health services including psychosocial support in humanitarian settings in these affected areas. The project also plans towards increased awareness and knowledge of communities on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) issues, SGBV prevention and response services that are gender-responsive and meet human rights standards for quality of care and equity in access,”she said.
While speaking on the strategies to achieving the overall goal of the project, Ms Obadike said; “The project has as its strategies; Capacity Building, Systems Strengthening, Awareness Creation, Community Engagement, Promoting Integrated Partnership, Granting and Knowledge Management. Each of these strategies have a number of activities to be carried out that will all eventually lead towards the attainment of the projects overall goal.
“Part of the ongoing activities under the Systems Strengthening component, is the training of psychosocial support counselors (PSS) on prevention and response to GBV,” she explained.
Both the Zanna of Gwoza, Wali Ibrahim Abu and the District Head of Rann , Kala-Bage Local Government , Babagana Shettima told our correspondent that the training has added to their knowledge on how to deal with the Sexual Gender Based Violence which they admitted are prevalent in their communities.
Both were in agreement to ensure that cases of SGBV are no longer covered or hidden in their domains, pledging that whoever commits such offence would be exposed and handed over to the appropriate quarters not minding how highly placed such a person maybe in the community.
Both traditional rulers promised to step up their campaigns against SGBV by creating more awareness in their localities.