By Olimatou Coker
As the Nafa program is transforming the lives of the most vulnerable people in the rural Gambia, the National Nutrition Agency and its numerous partners; the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) and the Department of Community Development (DCD), currently implementing the Nafa program of the Gambia Social Net Project (GSSNP), recently disbursed cash to over 3000 extremely poor households.
The project was funded by the World Bank and the government of The Gambia with a tune of 31 million dollars.
After a series of preparatory activities for the rollout of the Nafa the program, the implementing partners are on a second phase of the cashtransfer in extremely poor households in the regions.
The Nafa program aims to improve the coordination of social assistance activities and increase the inclusion of the extremely poor in the 20 poorest Districts of The Gambia.
Speaking at Sinhu Alagie in the Njiamina Districts Central River Region South, Jai Mbaye said this particular program is helping in transforming their lives as most of them are living in very remote areas.
She also expressed delight after receiving the cash.
“The cash is really helping us and our children because this has found us in a very different difficult situation and will help us in so many years. With this cash am given, I will use some part of it to buy small ruminants as an investment to help myself and my family even when the project phases out,” she explained.
Mbaye thanked the World Bank and the government of The Gambia for supporting them while urging them to continue supporting the women since they are the most vulnerable ones in society.
Ebrima Dibba, the Program Officer for Monitoring and Evaluation at NaNA, said every two months they give cash to households that are already registered or enrolled with them, and that is aggressively into Social and Behavioural Change Communication (SBCC) so that the households or communities that are benefitting from the the program would be able to adopt desirable behaviors.
He added that they use different communication modes to be able to reach out to the beneficiaries such as Tvs, radios and printed communication materials, as well as trained community members called the IPC in order to get to the households and teach them on areas that need improvements.
He outlined that before they started giving cash, they first organized the beneficiaries and sensitized them on SBCC which aims to equip and inform the beneficiaries to help better their living conditions.
“Our target for CRR South is three thousand four hundred and fifty-one (3,451) beneficiaries. We are targeting them and hopefully, we will get to all of them,” he said.
According to him, the project encourages women to be receiving money for numerous reasons.
“Women are those who go to the market, and they are the ones who listen to the health and nutrition education and if they are knowledgeable and informed, they will be able to better take
care of the family.”
Pateh Sabally, the Assistant Community Development Officer in CRR South, described the project as significant to community development.
Sabally said their role as a community development office is to mobilize the communities so that payment can be easily done. He added that they also organized the communities to inform the people to come out on time to receive.
Sabally said the importance of the project cannot be over-emphasized as it comes to helping extremely poor households and they want them to move from the level they found them.