….to develop 5yrs work plan for Community Engagement
By Victor Osae IHIDERO, Gusau
The Governor of Zamfara State, His Excellency Alh. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, on Tuesday inaugurated the state “Advocacy and Community Engagement Workshop”, which according to him is aimed at developing a 5-year Advocacy and Community Engagement Plan to enhance demand for services in maternal and child health, nutrition, education, water, sanitation and hygiene and child protection in the State.
The work plan which is expected to be implemented by the traditional and religious institutions, and the media, is supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
UNICEF, had organized similar workshops in Sokoto and Kebbi state with special focus on the role of traditional leaders in child survival, development and protection and effective dissemination of key messages which encourages attitudinal change that leads to social and behavioral change in the community.
Governor of the state, Hon. Abdul’Aziz Yari, who was represented by the state Head of Service, Alhaji Mujitaba Isa, in a brief remark, noted that partnership between UNICEF and the state is not new and has yielded a lots of gains.
He charged traditional and religious leaders in the state to understand their roles in tackling the menace of women and children killer diseases in the state.
“I want to agree with UNICEF that women and children killer diseases most be tackled, and the best way to do that is through community engagement and advocacy.” he said.
In his address, Mohammad Mohiuddin, Chief of UNICEF Sokoto Field office, said the workshop also gave UNICEF an opportunity to sign Memorandum of Understanding with the government and an agreement with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Zamfara state council.
Under the MoU, according to him, “state government, UNICEF, and Religious Institutions will support and empower the Traditional Institutions to take responsibility for community mobilisation and enhancing the demand for basic social services.
On the agreement with the NUJ, he said “the partnership agreement takes consideration of the equity approach making special efforts to reach out to communities in hard-to-reach areas and socially excluded population/children and offer communities the opportunity to have access to critical information on child survival and development issues in the state.
He added that the launch of the “Faith for Life” booklet will enable traditional and religious leaders take the lead in providing the best opportunities to ensure that children in the state get the best opportunities in life for them to survive, develop and grow to their full potential.