Short Essay 38
By Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde
Since I posted the story of the flood disaster that affected some Hausa communities along the Dilimi River in Jos yesterday, there have been calls by prospective donors for finding an account to deposit their donations for the victims as we did in the case of their Fulani counterparts that were displaced a week earlier. I referred the matter to the leaders of the Hausa community in Jos for necessary action.
This morning I visited the scenes of the disaster, including the two schools where the IDPs were camped at Gangare and Rikos. NEMA relief materials started arriving last night, with the promise that more will arrive today, directly, not through the SEMA. The state government has, for the first time, sent a delegation this morning to the Hausa Community to comisserate with it on the disaster. It promised to send its assistance as soon as possible. This is a positive development. Then I attended a meeting with leaders of the Jasawa community at the Jos Central Mosque to work out the modalities of the relief fund.
The leaders decided that in the same manner we handled the Fulani IDP relief fund, we should do the same to the Hausa community. They agreed for the purpose of urgency to use my Zenith Bank Account – to prevent confusing it with the Fulani IDPs donations in GTB – and a text message be sent to the Barrister Sani Mudi containing the name of the donor and the amount he donated. The details of the account and the GSM number are as follows:
Zenith Bank Plc, Bauchi Branch. Aliyu U. Tilde. 1001030092.
The GSM number of Sani Mudi to whom the name of the donor and the amount donated would be sent is 08033494509.
The donations will be handled in the same way we handled the Fulani IDPs donations. We will publish online the names of donors and the amounts they donated as well as what the donations were used for, including quantities and rates of items purchased and any incidental cost incurred. As the Red Cross does it, relief will only be delivered to the beneficiaries directly, not their representatives or leaders or kept in a store, I promise.
The Flood IDPs Must Not Return
This flood disaster is unique. Whole families have been washed away. More than 200 houses destroyed, according to NEMA. But the problem is, unlike the case of the Fulani IDPs who have returned to their homes and all that is left undone now is the repair of burnt houses and replacement of killed cattle, the affected Hausa communities of Jos should not be allowed to return to those houses.
It will be the height of recklessness for anyone to advocate the repair of the destroyed houses. The entire communities are living right on the path of the river. This may not be the last flood this year. More rains are expected in August and September. I am glad that some survivors have vowed never to return to their houses. It was just last Friday I was wondering as i passed by Rikos what would happen to those houses in case of a flood. And it came, just two days later.
Our goal must be the relocation of the entire communities including those that have escaped the disaster this time to a new place entirely. To complicate matters, Jos is not endowed with flat land and the unending ethno-religious crisis has unfortunately divided the city into exclusive ethnic enclaves. The only area where the Hausa community can build now is along the Jos-Bauchi highway.
I left the leaders of the Hausa community to address this urgent issue. They have promised to convene a meeting of their council immediately.
Donate, Even If Little
Finally, let me say something about the donations. A pattern has emerged from those received on behalf of the Fulani IDPs: most of the donations are big – in the range of N5,000-N250,000. Even the first donation I received for the Hausa community some minutes ago was big: N210,000 from one Habibu Abubakar in Abuja. The small donors with N100 - N1000 are just not there.
People think they need to donate big in times like this. On the contrary, in our effort to build a donation culture among Nigerians, like in the US, it is the number of donors that matters not the amounts. We can approach a Dangote and get N50million instantly. But we prefere to build a culture of collective responsibility than depending on few individuals that may not be there tomorrow or who may grow tired. Disasters in Nigeria, human and natural, are unending. Do not belittle any good you do:
"And whatever good they do, they never belittle it. And God is aware of those who fear Him."
So if you have N50, fight the devil that belittles your effort and go ahead to donate it in the nearest bank to you now. Do not wait until you have big money. Tomorrow, God, isA, will endow you with the wealth that will make you donate a million naira or more. By then you are already used to it.
“And whatever good you do, God is aware of it.”
24 July 2012
N/B. The account for donating to the Fulani IDPs is GTB, Bauchi Branch, Aliyu U. Tilde, 0044453830. Even today, I received donations of 5,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 30,000 in that account. We have asked for a comprehensive list of people whose houses were burnt or lost their cattle in Barikin Ladi and Riyom LGAs two weeks ago. We hope to repair the houses and replace the cows, God willing.