By Musa Abdullahi Sufi
On Saturday 30th May, 2020 his excellency Governor Umar Abdullahi Ganduje, his deputy Dr Nasir Gawuna and their entourage attended CSOs orientation to fight against COVID-19. The activity was organized by Kano COVID-19 Responses Committee headed by the deputy governor with support from Lafiya Heath Programme funded by DFID.
During his long and exciting speech in both English and Hausa, his excellency appreciated and commended the Kano CSOs for their hard work in touching the lives of the people in the state. He instructed using the trained CSOs to help in effectively distributing the face mask of over 20,000 pieces. These face masks were produced by local tailors across the 44 LGA.
As soon as the CSOs team received these face masks handed over at Africa House, Government House Kano, the CSOs immediately summoned emergency meeting and planned how to effectively ensure the face masks reach down to the community people across the state with high level of accountability framework.
Furthermore, ensure government and community confidence on CSOs maintained, despite late evening time, but in less than 24 hour the distributions to CSOs commenced.
Similarly, in less than 48 hours, the masks distribution to people at the grassroots across rural and urban locations happening as seen through pictures and physical visits.
The Trust is becoming stronger ….
Because of the fastness in CSOs response and ensuring these masks reach the community and the needy voluntarily including sensitization; the government is seeing it glaringly clear that Kano CSOs are trustworthy system to leverage for more beyond COVID-19. There was no payment of transport for the CSOs to support distribution but they passionately continue to do their job in ensuring people lives are protected and save.
My prayer is simple and straight forward as follows;
To Government and Governor Governor Ganduje;
1- To ensure CSOs are maximally use in the distribution of palliative Support both from LGA, State and Federal will reduce delay and improve accountability
2- The need to create a board under his excellency office to support CSOs and advocates planned activities to touch lives. A team are currently working on the draft Bill to support the establishment of ‘KanoAid’
3- Governor to instruct all government ministries and parastatals to be working with CSOs and update of such meetings to be provided during State Executive Council meeting time to time.
4- Governor to organized quarterly debriefing meeting with the CSOs for productive discussions and feedback. This is an opportunity for governor to get the first hand information on how CSOs are complimenting government efforts and building partnerships etc.
5- CSOs to be supported for intensive community engagements on COVID-19 response. CSOs do penetrates nooks and corners of the state and influencing people behaviors in various health and other program. They can use same approach to increase people awareness on wearing face masks and understanding the danger of COVID-19 through sharing the right messages.
To the CSOs….
1- Continue keeping aside the political differences and compliment government efforts as shown during the COVID-19 Sensitization meeting and the ongoing distribution of face masks across the state
2- Strengthen coordination and increase voluntary activities to massively engages community beyond sensitization only
3- improve in networking and partnership to leverage expertise and skills across among one another
4- Hold monthly or bi monthly meeting to explore opportunities and provide feedback to government using ‘Objective Critics Lens’ to improve Government services to common man
5- Ensuring poor of the poorest are always inclusive in all programming by CSOs, LGAs, States and Federal.
6- Documentation and promotion of the story of impact or change to showcase achievements and life changing experiences
7- Use and promote the use of social media platforms for strengthening system and exploring opportunities
8- Collaboration and partnership for training on Fundraising, Smart Advocacy, proposal writing, effective use of social media to promote your organisation, etc.
These and more can help in making Kano the number one most successful state in working together between Government and CSOs. More importantly more lives will be touched at a little or no cost, because the real actors are fully involve in work. That is the CSOs!