By Biyi Akinnodi
As poverty reduction among communities in Ondo State remains a key policy in the present administration led by Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akaradolu, SAN, the Ondo State Community and Social Development Agency (ODCSDA), (World Bank Assisted) has embarked on sensitisation and advocacy meeting on community-driven.
According to a report three local government areas are the poorest in the State. They are Odigbo, Ondo East and Ilaje.
General Manager, ODCSDA, Mr. Bosun Ogundipe believed that the statewide sensitisation and advocacy of various levels of stakeholders at the budding stage of the project is a deliberate drive to reach the people in the most remote parts of the state to feel the pulse of the government and to give the people voice in any government.
The ODCSDA boss represented at the event by the Operations Manager, Mr. Olumide Igbaroola said the programme aimed at improving access to services for human development as well as sustainably increasing access of poor people to social and natural resource infrastructures and services.
Igbaroola said it will empower communities to identity, implements, maintain and use community social development plans to better their lives; develop and improve the standard of the community. It also strengthens partnership of Local Government Areas and communities on human development and natural resources related micro-projects.
“It improves capacity of Local Government Areas, States and Federal Agencies to implement and monitor community driven development related policies and interventions. It leverages federal, state and local government resources for greater coverage of community driven development interventions in communities”.
He described Gender and Vulnerable Group (GVG) as a set of vulnerable people who have common interest and who are willing to work together to access common social and natural resource infrastructure services supported by the Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) which consist of ten or more but not more than fifty people who are connected to one another by common interest.
“A GVG shall not be formed by mere plurality of members, but by common interest, shared values and norms. Communication and interaction should be reciprocal and mutually reinforcing of support within the GVG.
“The GVG must be registered and organised and this shall serve as one of the preconditions for providing support to them. Decisions are made by the GVG members collectively as one body, with each member participating on the basis of his or her individual skills and interest”, he added.
He urged the Odigbo communities to key in to the programme saying the agency have completed over six projects in the area since its establishment eight years ago but needs to benefit more now because the World Bank have asked the agency to focus more on the poor local government areas in the state.
Responding, representative of Odigbo Local Government Chairman, Hon. Amudu Takuro promised council support for the programme and thanked the agency for their moves to develop more remote areas in the state.
Takuro commended his people for their large turnout urged them to cooperate with the stakeholders so as to gain from the developmental drives of the government.
“On our own part, we will do everything possible to be the number one. Our communities need development as well as our people so let us support the programme. We will continue to sensitisate our people on the important of the programme “.
Some of the fundable micro projects for GVGSI include construction or rehabilitation of classrooms, dormitories for people with special needs and vulnerable children, provision of school bus for people with special needs, group wheel chairs provision system, nutritional support for vulnerable people, construction or rehabilitation of health centres, drug revolving fund and fee waiver program managed.
Specialised market stalls and shops, construction and equipping skill acquisition centre like mat weaving etc, group horticultural and nursery production systems, motorised boreholes for a group, group electrification projects, provision of wheel chairs and tricycles for a group of physically challenged among others.
Fundable micro projects for Community Development Investment (CDI) are rural electrification, portable water supply facilities, construction and rehabilitation of primary and secondary schools, television viewing centres, rural market facilities, water catchment systems, drainage system, agro-forestry, community common facilities, culverts, bridges, drifts and stock routes among others.
“The ODCSDP shall primarily finance Community Development Plans (CDPs) which focus on projects initiated by communities. Which are demand driven micro projects that are eligible for assistance under these projects”.
The agency also meets people of Ilaje Local Government areas at a Primary School in Igbokoda.