We invite public attention to a report which came from Kafanchan, a town in southern Kaduna State in north-central Nigeria, where the recent opprobrium of post-election violence led to the overrun of the facilities of a Community Communication Service Centre.
Fantsuam Foundation is a voluntary service community organization which has over the last few years perfected the use of ICT enablement to provide community service to an underserved community in a farm yard located in the outskirts of Kafanchan.
At the facility, there is a Community Communications Centre, supported with funding from the Universal Service Provision Fund, USPF, leading a drive for microfinance, rural health, and other micro schemes to serve the immediate rural and poor community.
The Foundation it was whose operation served as research material for a joint effort of our Association and the Nigerian ICT Forum of Partnership Institutions to drive the initiation of a Broadband for Nigeria roadmap document to which all segments of the Nigerian Community was invited in July 2010 to endorse as a working document that a willing Nigerian Government may use to execute an access for all agenda.
The story is that with the General Hospital in Kafanchan shut down as a result of the recent post-election violence, the people, who apparently saw Fantsuam Foundation as the apparent government around them descended on the facility to request succor and the Foundation responded.
The facility was understandably overrun and it’s Founder, one Dr John Dada, a PhD, on whose experiences in rural communication management our Association has keyed a future plan to direct attention of businesses and government to reach our people with empowerment communication, reached out to our Association.
According to Dr Dada, ‘The destruction of the Kafanchan market, closure of banks for over one week, have all contributed to the worsening humanitarian crisis: there is serious shortage of cash and food’.
The immediate short term need of the Foundation is captured in Dr Dada’s words as ‘Health clinics that have run out of basic essentials: dressings, dettol, panadol, etc; households that have run out of food: grains, kerosene, cooking oils and inhabitants who have no clothes as they have lost all their possessions. The closure of banks for over one week did not help the unfolding humanitarian crisis’.
The minimum we can do is to invite attention of government presence to this plight. the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, The Nigerian Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, though not charity/donor agencies, have mandates which make their response relevant and appropriate, even if as a starting point to sustain the burning need to study the operations of the organization which is critical to planning to achieve the bigger picture.
We also draw attention of members of our Association and other players in our industry to the situation and request that whatever support they can give to the Foundation would be appropriate at these times.
Dr. Dada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 0703 834 0719 and we have his permission to publish these details.