By Jovitta Iorshase
The Benue State Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) has conducted a two-day training for social welfare officers across local government areas in the state to act as the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) Actors for the ACReSAL Project.
The training workshop took place from 26th to 27th October at Precious Events Centre, Makurdi, where topics ranging from grievances, Gender Based Violence, Challenges arising from project implementation among others were discussed.
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Prof. Moses Ogbaji, who was represented by the state Director, life stock services, Dr Edward Amadi said, the training was relevant to the project, noting that, through the training, both the host communities and ACReSAL will work in harmony to achieve the purpose it is designed for.
He reiterated the Ministry’s commitment and support to the success of the project and advised that, sensitizing the host communities before the project commences implementation will go a long way to curtail disagreements that may lead to abandoning the project as it has been experienced in the past.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the state Project Coordinator, Mr Victor Ama, said the training was important to the success of the the project and charged participants to be attentive as to gather ample knowledge from the topics discussed.
“This is very important to the success of this project because whenever grievances are not resolved well, the set objective for any task will not be achieved. I hope that at the end of the training we would have a better ground for smooth implementation,” he stated.
In their separate presentations, the facilitators, GRM Officer, Federal Project Management Unit (FPMU), Mr. Roland Osaghae and GRM Consultant, Dr. Mary Bishop enumerated types and causes of grievances and how it should be handled.
Mr. Osaghae particularly explained that, since grievance is an inevitable factor among humans, it was pertinent for ACReSAL to prepare a ground before the project implementation in order to avoid or minimize project related grievances or conflicts.
He further encouraged trainees to make themselves accessible to complaints or aggrieved parties at the communities to avoid conflict by maintaining an orderly complaint submission channel.
The project Lawyer FPMU, Hajara Isah Esq made a presentation on the GBV response aspect of the project.
Speaking to The Voice in an interview, Mr Dav Titus, social welfare officer, Guma LGA appreciated the project organizers and promised to pass the knowledge to his community members.
He advised ACReSAL to liaise with network service providers for stable service at the rural areas to make ensure that emergency calls from the toll free lines provided connects both the complainants and GRM actors on time to avoid friction.
On his part, the Katsina -Ala social welfare sectional head, Mrs. Akile Sewuese said, with the training she has gained new insight on how to be more patient to settle social, physical and psychological problems that may arise in the community relating to the ACReSAL project.
She applauded such a project designed mainly on transforming the state at the grassroots level.
The training featured group discussions, exercises and case study presentations.