By; MOHAMMED MUNIRAT NASIR, Gusau
SDG platform of Save the Children International (SCI) has appealed to the Zamfara State Government to take proactive actions to ban girls almajiri system cropping up the state to avoid it from disintegrating into social problems.
The call was made when members of the SDG Platform of the Reaching and Empowering Adolescent to Make Choices of their Health in Nigeria (REACH), a Canadian government Sponsored project implemented by the SCI visited an almajiri school in Gusau as parts activities to mark the 2019 World Children Day.
The Chairman of the Platform, which comprises of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Academia and the media, Malam Yusuf Yahaya said it is pathetic that girls are now getting into almajiri (street begging) and therefore calls for concerted efforts by the state government to ensure that those encouraging the girls almajiri are stopped.
“We are not happy with the discovery of girl child almajiri in the state. We discovered that girls are now kept like their male counterparts in the name of almajiranci (begging), this is very disheartening and therefore should be a wake up call to government and well-to-do individuals in the society to intervene and address the issue before it gets out of hand”, he said.
Yahaya said almajiri issues over the years are surrounded with challenges and problems.
“It is rather very unfortunate, that we are now beginning to have girls almajiri issues in the state. If care is not taken, the problem is going to skyrocket and we will begin to have problems of child abuse, molestation, child labour, rape and other problems that may come with it”, he said.
The Community, Engagement and Advocacy Coordinator of the REACH project, Hajiya Fatima Musa said the visit to the Almajiri school was to interact with the children especially the vulnerable among them in society.
She thanked the Media, CSOs, and other relevant stakeholders over their cooperation to ensure the success of the activities of the project in the state.
The leader of the almajiri school, Makarantar Malam Mai Mari located at Gangren Makabarta area Gusau, Malam Muhammad Bawa said he had been running the almjiri school over for 60 years.
REACH programme is a three year project funded by Global Affairs of Canada and implemented in three states of Northern Nigeria of Gombe, Katsina and Zamfara by the SCI.
The project is working to ensure improvement of the ability of adolescents boys and girls aged 10 to 19 years, in hard to reach rural communities in Northern Nigeria claim their rights to sexually and reproductive health.