The Pain of the Pandemic: Chinasa’s Story to Stability
Chinasa's new chicks (gotten from the profit of the first set) -25 chicks
Feb. 23, 2021
“During the lockdown, it was impossible for me to support my family. My husband’s
motorcycling repair job has been affected by the pandemic. I needed to do something about my family’s situation as feeding had become an issue. I anticipated receiving the money. I knew that with it I will be able to get my business running and my family going. The intervention was timely.”
Ngene Chinasa is a mother of five children. She lives in Ndibinagu Umunkwo community, Akegbe Ugwu LGA of Enugu state. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, things became very difficult for her and her family to survive. Chinasa was unemployed. Her husband is a mechanic, who needs to work long hours daily to earn a living. Life was unbearable, feeding became a struggle.
The effect of the pandemic has been felt by every sector of the economy and every class of people. No one spared. Nigeria is largely dominated by the informal sector which accounts for 60% of the working population. The main characteristic of the informal economy is that money changes hands on a daily, and the survival of workers in this sector is based on them showing up for work every day.
Since the lockdown in March, it has become difficult for informal economy workers like Chinasa’s husband to keep up, seeing that they make money daily.
The complications of COVID-19 didn’t only affect their means of livelihood but also brought about an undue scarcity. She had to walk about 4km with her suckling child to the major road junction, in order to go into town. “You have to call bike men to come to pick you. When they come, you will pay for both trips,” she said. The remote location of the settlement made it unattractive for motorcyclists. This meant that they had to walk if they didn’t want to wait for
hours to get transport.
Fortunately, Chinasa was opportune to be enrolled on the OVC project by a community volunteer early last year. In September 2020, Chinasa was one of the first beneficiaries under the OVC (Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s) program to benefit from the IGA (Income Generating Activity) intervention supported by the 4Gates project in Enugu state.
File Image: Receipt of the items for IGA -15 chicks
File Image: Bags of feed and medication for the chicks.
IGA is one of the implemented initiatives under Household Economic Strengthening, a domain of the OVC project. This initiative is aimed at helping beneficiaries attain economic stability by helping them establish businesses to support their families. “I have been thinking of how to scale through this pandemic. But with the cash, I will be able to provide for my children.”
Chinasa and other beneficiaries were trained on financial education to ensure that the businesses provided would be properly managed and utilized. After the training, she selected poultry as the business venture to embark on. “I had a poultry farm once but couldn’t sustain it due to funds,” she said.
She has taken full advantage of the initiative and has expanded the poultry business to include a piggery. “So far, there’s been no challenge, and I have been steadily growing the business,” she noted. Chinasa now has a farm with 25 chicks, 7 pigs, and has also started a nursery in her home.
File Image: Birds at 6weeks almost ready for sale.
File Image: Chinasa's pig farm (gotten from the profit of the first set) -7 Pigs.
“I make 6,000 Naira when I sell a chicken, and at least 50,000 Naira for a matured pig,” Chinasa stated. Her story has changed from what it used to be during the lockdown. She can now adequately support her family and have some savings.
35 people have been empowered so far by the initiative. The project is supported by CARITAS – 4GATES and implemented by South Saharan Social Development Organization (SSDO).