By Ndey Sowe
Hundreds of households at Niamina West in the Central River Region (CRR) South have received cash transfer from the Gambia Government’s ‘Nafa Quick’ initiative, a program designed to aid the most needy Gambians across various parts of the country in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ‘Nafa Quick initiative is supported by the World Bank and implemented by National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare and the Department of Community Development.
The project total cost is $31 million dollars, out of which one million dollars was provided by the Government of the Gambia with this $10 million dollars was bankrolled to provide the ‘Nafa Quick’ Covid-19 Response.
This is the second phase of the project. During the first phase, a total of sixty-nine thousand, seven hundred and ninety-three (69,793) households registered with the initiative. Of these figure, 27,470 were in URR, 12,238 were in LRR, 25, 156 were in CRR, 2, 683 were in NBR and 7, 246 were in WCR.
Ngai Dampha, the Chief of Niamina West who is also a beneficiary, said Covid-19 has hindered lot of their activities especially in the business sector, such as ‘Lumos’ (weekly market).
“I thank God for receiving money during the Covid-19 pandemic, because it came at a better time,” he said.
He added that the number of his family has increase due to the impact of Covid-19 as many of his children left the Kombos for the province because there is no business.
“The money has elevated me from a point to another,” he said. “With this money, I will be able to buy two bags of rice and the rest of the money will be used wisely to sustain myself and family.”
Lamin Jassey, a beneficiary working as a Senior Nurse at Katamina in Niamina West, said the cash transfer came at a good time.
“Being a nurse during the coronavirus crisis was not easy because many places were shut down and businesses were at stand still,” he said.
Jassey said Covid-19 has affected many families and being a nurse, he could not save anything because of the pandemic.
“This project is a very good initiative that everybody welcomes and I don’t think even if not in The Gambia, there will not be any country whereby people will not support this kind of initiative,” he said.
He commended the initiators and implementing partners of the ‘Nafa Quick’ for ensuring all eligible households receive their monies to help their families.
Fatou Cham, also a beneficiary, reiterated the impact of Covid-19 on her, and especially the women in their village, adding that the money she receives will help her greatly.
“I am the breadwinner of the family. My husband died and I am responsible for the family as my children are teenagers. I therefore thank the initiators for the timely intervention,” she said.
Meanwhile, the ‘Nafa Quick’ also aims to contribute to the mitigation of the social and economic impact of Covid-19 on the population by providing immediate universal cash transfer of D1,500 per month (2 transfers of D3,000) with 4 months to about 83,000 households in the 30 districts.