COVID-19: Kaduna Evacuates 5,904 Almajiri Days After CAMAC Made Special Appeal

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Almajiris on board about to be evacuated to their home state bthe Kaduna State Government following threats of the CoronaVirus pandemic


By; ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna


The Kaduna State Task Force on enforcement of the street begging/hawking (prohibition) law, has evacuated 5,904 of Almajiri from schools across the state as part of strategy to prevent spread of Coronavirus in the state, days after an advocacy NGO, appealed for special measure.
Center for Media Advocacy for Mother and Child (CAMAC), an NGO, had on Monday 24th, March 2020, called on government at all level to make special arrangement to protect the Almajiris who are roaming the streets on a daily basis.
The Center in a statement signed by the Executive Director, Alex Uangbaoje, noted that despite the pandemic, a large group of Nigerian children are homeless and helpless as they go about on the streets without adequate care.
CAMAC warned that any further delay on the part of the authorities may have dare consequences on the larger society, because they are always on the street scavenging for what to eat and have no access to hand sanitizer or nose and mouth mask.
The latest action of the government may not be unconnected to lack of possibility of maintenance of social distancing among these group of children especially as the State is shut down which automatically prevented movements.
The exercise, according to interim report obtained from the Ministry of Human Services and Social Development (MHSSD), took place after due consultation with proprietors of the Almajirai schools in Kaduna city.
 According to the report, Jigawa State top the list with 652 children followed closely by Bauchi State and Zaria town with 628 and 531 children respectively.
The least was 2 children evacuated to Chikun local government area of the State.
The task force began the exercise with Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi cluster of schools, notably Madrasatul Sikafil Islamiyya and Madrasatul Tarbiyyatul Islamiyya in Asikolaye and Unguwan Sanusi; the most populous of the Sheikh’s chain of schools in Kaduna with a combined population of over 1,900 children. 
Although these schools had already began evacuation of their children, the Task force discussed and agreed with the schools for government’s intervention and by Tuesday, March 24, 2020, a complete manifest was taken and 322 children were marked for evacuation to Lafia (Nasarawa State), Enugu, Kano, Bauchi and Sokoto States.
The report, shows that the Task Force partnered with administrators of Kaduna Line and agreed on modalities for provision of vehicles for the exercise.
Commenting on the development, Commissioner, MHSSD, Hajiya Hafsat Baba said, the evacuation became necessary in addition to stay-at-home directives as State government was not living any stone unturned to prevent Covid-19 in the State.

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