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ICRC helps farming community in Nigeria’s Wuro Dadi

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has helped conflict-affected families in Wuro Dadi, north-eastern Nigeria, by rebuilding houses, distributing maize and rice seeds for planting and providing cash to purchase fertiliser and farming or fishing tools

Wuro Dadi village, situated on the banks of the Benue River, north-eastern Nigeria, has been adversely affected by communal violence. When it was attacked in 2018, the violence left five people dead and most of its homes and farm produce destroyed.

The residents of the village are predominantly farmers and fishermen. They grow grains and vegetables and fish from a nearby freshwater pond which is fed by the annual flood waters of the Benue river. Since the attack, no one has been able to return to their farms.

Despite the intense pressure to overfish the pond, the people of Wuro Dadi practice a simple form of sustainable fishing. The pond is only fished for a few months after the rains and then it is left to fallow for the rest of the year so that it can be replenished by the Benue River. During the fallow period, those who can afford the tools needed, proceed to fish in the river. Those who cannot, have to rely on their farm produce alone.

ICRC helped to rebuild the home of Safiratu, a mother of three and whose husband was killed during the conflict. The first of 77 destroyed shelters were scheduled for construction. Local workers and material from the village were used for the project.

The seeds and cash that were distributed to the families in Wuro Dadi is part of the ICRC's wider agricultural assistance to victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence in Nigeria.

The distribution targeted more than 80,000 families in nine states including Borno, Adamawa and Yobe all in the North-East, Plateau, Bauchi, Benue, Nassarawa, Kaduna in the north-central region and Cross River located in the south.

With the planting season well underway in Nigeria, the people of Wuro Dadi hope to return to farming their lands as they work towards being self-sufficient again.