GBV Eradication: NGO empowers over 100 community, religious leaders in Gombe
A Gombe-based NGO, Jewel Environmental Initiative (JEI), on Wednesday, engaged 100 community and religious leaders in efforts to eradicate cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the state.
Mr Ismail Bima, the NGO’s Chief Executive Officer told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of a two-day training in Gombe that GBV had become a global concern.
Bima said that as a focal NGO to the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project handling World Bank-Assisted projects in the state, it had become imperative for JEI to carry out such sensitisation.
He added that “as we know, World Bank takes the issue of GBV seriously. There is no World Bank project without gender-based officers; so this goes to show how big such issue is.
“So, we are doing this to sensitise communities and religious stakeholders where NEWMAP projects cut across, especially in GSU to Malam-Inna, FCE, Kagarawal and other communities.
“We are doing this because we don’t want to have any problem. Sometimes back, there was a problem in another country which led World Bank to halt all projects in that country because of GBV.
“So we don’t want this to happen in Nigeria or Gombe state because a single case can affect so many things. We want the project of NEWMAP in the state to continue,’’ he said.
He stated that 100 participants comprising 50 men and 50 women were selected from more than 12 communities where the World Bank Assisted Project was being implemented.
He added that the training was expected to be cascaded down to the grassroots to ensure that issues of GBV were minimised if not eradicated in line with the expectation of the World Bank.
Bima said after the training, an assessment would be carried out to evaluate the impact of the training as a way of ascertaining the next strategy to take in the fight against GBV in the state.
One of the facilitators, Mr Andy Seglah told NAN that the training which included contractors and all stakeholders involved with the execution of World Bank Assisted Projects had become “extremely necessary.’’
“The issue of GBV is a serious issue affecting both girls and women. It has become a challenge globally and Nigeria cannot be an exception; so this training is to raise awareness
“People especially workers who come from different communities, thinking that because they have money, they use it to entice girls and abuse them sexually should know that this is wrong and won’t be tolerated.
“Because it is a criminal offence for a girl or woman to be harassed or molested and that’s why we advocate for the strengthening of our laws to punish offenders or perpetrators while protecting survivors.’’
Alhaji Haruna Bose, the Village Head of Mallam Inna- Sabon Fegi, said the training would help strengthen the awareness against GBV, adding that communities under him were already discouraging violence against women and girls.
On her part, Mrs Lydia Barde, another beneficiary called on the state government to set up points at the grassroots where cases of GBV could be reported as a way of encouraging people to report. (NAN)