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Humanitarian Crisis: Masari lists elements of poverty in North-West

By Faith Awa Maji, Katsina

KATSINA State Governor Aminu Bello Masari has lamented the growing insecurity, cultural and population explosion as factors causing acute and severe malnutrition in the North West of Nigeria.

Masari, while playing host to Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the United Nations Country Team in Nigeria, Mr. Mathias Schmel at the Government House said, “the drivers of malnutrition are insecurity, poverty and lack of skills.

“Then we get to the middle which is poverty, then, what is the main driver of poverty?

“There are cultural issues attach to issues of malnutrition that is very acute in our society.

“The problem you see in Katsina State and I assure you the same thing in Jigawa, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, parts of Kaduna, Niger States, are mainly cultural issues.

“A family of 10 or 20 that have one hectare of land and a situation where an average person has two wives, but majority have more than two wives.

“What is the projected statistics as provided by the United Nations? Here, the average of projection of an Hausa woman is to get nine children but then in southern parts of the country it is three.

“So when somebody has two or three wives given the land he inherited 30 years, himself and with his wives were 20 and you know our inheritance system is purely Islamic.

“The main driver is cultural and lack of skills aggravated by lack of education.

“We want to teach our people how to provide the needed supplements. Katsina State has approximately eight million population and it keeps on growing.

“So, the intervention we need in order to address poverty, has to do with education to ensure we give the people knowledge and skills to acquire increased production,” Masari said.

Earlier in his remarks, Schmel, noted that the state has nutritional crisis that needs serious efforts by the government to help tackle it.

He also expressed the need for a scale up the humanitarian efforts and to invest in preparedness and development.

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