ICRI SEEKS GOVERNMENT COLLABORATION
By Patricia Ikpai and Sylvia Okoi
The Head of Sub Delegation Portharcourt and operational Manager South-South and South-East, International Committee of the Red Cross Joelle El Achkar has appealed to the State Government to collaborate with ICRI through the supervision and monitoring of projects.
Achkar Made the appeal during a courtesy call to the MLGA Commissioner Hon. Stella Odey-Ekpo in her office.
Acknowledging the supervisory role of the Ministry of Local Government Affairs, the Head of sub Delegation Portharcourt, stressed the need for the Government to collaborate with ICRI in ensuring that the organization’s Intervention programmes carried out in Local Government Areas were successfully implemented. She stated that the visit to the MLGA commissioner was further to establish a relationship with the ministry in view of the ministry’s support especially in the area of project monitotorong.
Establishing the relevance for Need Accessment to be carried out in L.G.A’s before ICRI’s Interventions. Achkar, pledged to keep the ministry abreast of the organization’s intending/pending projects in the state.
In the same vein, the Field Communication officer International Commitee of the Red Cross Uchechi Sophie Udoma pointed out some responsibilities of ICRI to include: restoration of broken family links in war torn Communities, promotion of international humanitarian laws, amongst others.
Udoma informed that with the influx of Cameroonian refugees in 2018, the international committee of red Cross increased it’s operation in Cross River State by supporting the host communities of refugees through the rehabilitation of six (6) primary health care Centres close to the Cameroon boarders as well as providing free medical treatment in those clinics.
She added that incentives were given to the workers in those health centres and also training and workshops to boost their manpower. While revealing that cash allowances were given to the refugees as means of reducing the burden on the host communities and also assisting the host Communities with farm implements to help make their farm activities easier .
On communal clashes interventions, the ICRI communication officer announced that provision of shelter materials were provided to some affected communities to rebuild their houses, stating that Obubra and Yala Local Government Areas were major beneficiaries while communities in the Up-Ranch were provided with latrines and eleven (11) bore holes as a means of improving their personal hygiene.
Responding, the commissioner for Local Government Affairs Hon. Stella Odey-Ekpo commended the efforts of ICRI in ensuring that displaced persons and the most vulnerable people are being reached out to.
Odey-Ekpo appreciated the visit of ICRI delegate and called for an expansion of the intervention programmes, admitting that various communities in Cross River State has overtime been involved in one communal clash or the other hence the need for ICRI and other organization to partner with the state Government in ensuring that more laudable strides are being achieved.
Speaking further, the MLGA boss promised to highten up the supervision and monitoring of projects by ICRI stating that it was imperative to form a Central Committee that would include the beneficiaries, chairmen of Councils and stakeholders of the Local communities.
The visit was crowned with the presentation of ICRI kits by the lead guest to the commissioner.
Management staff of the Ministry were witnesses to the visit.