March 21, 2022

Nigeria – Disaster Relief Update

Recovery efforts continue in several villages that were attacked by Fulani herdsmen in May 2021. While the first phase of relief focused mainly on immediate needs such as food and medical care, the second phase is focused on rebuilding the homes and incomes of the people affected.

There are several categories of recipients. The Nigeria Reformed Synod disaster relief committee has prioritized help to 17 widows whose homes were completely destroyed. Many of them had extended family members living with them. Construction has begun on 12 of these 17 homes with the others beginning in the coming days. The second category of aid is being distributed to 54 families who owned their own homes. Rather than rebuilding the entire home for each family, the Synod relief committee is providing an allocation of zinc bundles for roofing (one of the most expensive parts of home construction) and a cash allowance of about $600 CAD to be spent on other rebuilding supplies. The remaining two groups of beneficiaries are landlords and tenants. Each landlord will receive five zinc bundles and a cash allowance to aid in the rebuilding of their homes. About 200 people were tenants who were left homeless and without possessions when the rooms they were renting were destroyed so they will each receive a lesser cash allowance of around $300 CAD to help them replace tools, clothing, and other household goods.  Most of the zinc for the roofing has been purchased and the relief committee is coordinating distribution of the materials and the cash. Each village that was affected has a member of the Synod relief committee overseeing needs and activities in that village.

Finally, last week, Stephanos Foundation provided another round of intensive biblical trauma counseling training to church pastors, elders, and relief committee members.  Pastors there report that this training is very difficult and emotional but very helpful in counseling victims.

Physical rebuilding and recovery will take many more months to complete and emotional recovery will be many years, but we thank God for what has been accomplished thus far.