Borno state Governor Kashim Shettima on Sunday flagged off the distribution of food items and farm outreach targeting 40,000 victims of the Boko Haram insurgency through the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which donated one million dollars to the Borno State Government as a post conflict intervention that is meant to support victims who are returning to their communities.
Governor Shettima launched at the support with the distribution of 25 kilogram bag of rice and 10 kilogram bag of beans to each of 1,100 households at Mainok village in Kaga local government area, 45 kilometers away from Maiduguri.
The Governor announced that officials of the State Government working with the Gates Foundation used the $1m to procure the food items and commenced funding of 100 hectares of farm where beans is being cultivated.
He explained that 200 farm-families will be allocated tilled and fertile land measuring half hectare each along with improved seeds, fertilizer, chemicals and technical supervision so that they can start growing food crops.
The Governor also announced the release of two trucks of maize grid to add to the food procured with Gates donation.
“We are grateful to God for creating people like Mr Bill Gates and his dear wife, Melinda. These leading lights of philanthropy across the world have shown love to the good people of Borno State at a time we are on the ground and looking for any hand to hold in trying to lift ourselves up,” the Governor said.
Officials of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) witnessed the distribution with good will presented by them.
The Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement in Borno State, Dr Babagana Umara Zulum, explained that two trucks of food items as well as two farms in Damboa and Konduga funded through the Gates donation were ready for immediate access on Sunday while more communities were to benefit in a continuous exercise.