By Olimatou Coker
Officials of the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) in close partnership with the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) and the Department of Community Development (DCD) are currently implementing the Nafa Program of The Gambia Social Net Project (GSSNP). On Wednesday, the teams kicked off the second phase of the Nafa cash distribution in the 5 Districts in Foñi; Berefet, Kansala, Jarrol, Bondali, and Bintang in the West Coast Region.
The project, jointly funded by the World Bank and the government of The Gambia (GoG), is aimed at improving the coordination of social assistance activities and increases the inclusion of the extremely poor in The Gambia.
Speaking in Foñi Ndemban Japichum, Catherine Kutu Gibba Omo, program manager of monitoring, evaluation, and research officer at NaNA, said in the 4 expanded Districts within the Foñi their target.
“So far, the area that I am covering we have covered a lot of people because people have come out in their large numbers.”
According to Madam Gibba Omo, this time they are not only paying cash but are also distributing the printed beneficiary cards that contain the details of the households with photos of the principal recipient and the procurator. She said they are doing this because they know that biodata is so important as Gambians make a lot of common names so this card can help in differentiating them.
“Everything is going well but we have set up a GRM committee for people who may have a complaint or issue to log in, at the same time a toll-free number 1214 is available. We are doing all this just to promote transparency,” she explained.
Ramatoulie Kandeh, Assistant Community Development Officer West Coast Region, said: “My role in the community development as a partner in the Social Safety Net project is to monitor the multi-disciplinary facilitation team at field level to ensure that implementation is smoothly conducted and to see that all the necessary inputs and implementation processes are cordially put in place as a regional officer.”
She added that the cash transfer process is smoothly going at their level because there is nothing that they can mention as a challenge for now.
Jainaba Bojang, a native of Kanjabena Village in Foñi, said this project is very important to them because it is impactful. “Since I start receiving the cash, it has a great impact on me and the life of my family and we really welcome this gesture.”
Ebrima Jallow, a native of Ndemban Japichum, said: “This particular project has really helped us move from stage 1 to 5 because with the coming of it, we as head of families are no longer suffering like we used to do, and this is my second time receiving this cash which I also used to take care of my children’s schooling, medical bills, feeding and will also use some part of it to do a little business as well for sustainability purposes.”
Jallow thanked the World Bank and the government of The Gambia for coming to their aid, especially during this difficult time.