NGO presents needs assessment to chairmen of two LGAs in rivers

A Non –Governmental Organization Center for Human Right, Health Ethnic Harmony and Livelihood Development (CHHELD) has presented needs assessment to two local government chairmen in Rivers Sate. The local government are Asari-toru and the Degema LGA respectively.

Executive Director, CHHELD Dandyson Harry Dandyson while addressing Ido community members explained the reason behind conducting needs assessment which will help local  government councils to put priority on the development they want to give the people who elected them. The NGO is partnering with Sama and Ido communities in Asari-toru LGA, and Obuama and Ipokuma communities in Degema all in Rivers State.

Dandyson maintained that due to scare resources at the third tier of government it is imperative to plan with community members who will contribute to the development that affected them
noting that without needs assessment and proper consultation, any project build without their buy-in will end in futility thereby rendering the project meaningless. He expressed satisfaction with the quality of the input from the community stakeholders, saying they are the direct beneficiaries of the project and their participation is key so that whatever project that will be built by the local government council will be protected by all and the communities will also fight against the vandalization of such project, while urging the people to always put the interest of the people first.

“The Local Government is the third level of government in every federal structure. It is considered to be the government at the grass root level. Each Local Government looks after the interest of the people in the particular Local Government Area. In Nigeria, the socio-economic and political structure of a local government area is headed by the local Government Chairman and is pre-dominantly elected by direct elections. It is the primary duty of the Local government to ensure the basic needs of the residents in the Local Government Area are being met, hence the
need for carrying out a NEEDS assessment which helps to ascertain the true needs and vulnerabilities of the people.” He stated.

“NEEDS assessment is a very important process that involves determining the community’s needs and setting criteria for understanding how to best allocate available resources such as money, people, and facilities in order to improve the living conditions of indigenes and residents of targeted communities”. He said.

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Earlier, the Asari-toru LGA Chairman, Hon. Onengiyeofori George upon receiving the delegation from CHHELD, CDC and the ALAT teams from Sama and Ido communities praised the efforts of Sama and Ido communities for carrying out this exercise and bringing forth their vulnerabilities and NEEDS to the notice of the council. The chairman posited that every government means well for the people, however, funds for implementation and execution of already existing projects is a challenge of every government and thus, the council is willing and open to partner with NGOs and International bodies such as the British Council in bringing development projects that will improve the life and livelihood of the people in the Local government. The Asari-toru chairman, Hon. George also highlighted the efforts made by the council in addressing two out of the five needs presented, namely the construction of the Sama community civic centre and electricity project.

In his remark, the Degema LGA chairman, Hon. Michael J. Williams who also received the delegation from CHHELD, councilors, CDC and ALAT team of Obuama and Ipokuma (Degema Consulate) communities in his office said he will work with the document. Hon. Williams appreciated the teams for carrying out this important exercise and assured the communities of the council’s intervention as regards the vulnerabilities presented. The chairman also encouraged other communities in Degema LGA to follow suit in carrying out vulnerability and NEEDS
assessment in their communities, while urging other NGOs and International bodies to also come to the aid of the local government by siting developmental projects for the people.

Some of the needs of Sama and Ido communities in Asari-toru LGA, and Obuama and Ipokuma communities in Degema communities are:

Electricity (metering of houses in the community); Construction of civic center (Community Townhall) Renovation/construction of internal drainage in the community to reduce flood Interlocking of the community internal roads , Fencing of Community Secondary School, Ido; Provision of electricity prepaid metered to Ido households.

Human capital development (i.e,provision of 21 st century employability skills which include grants/loans for SMES, software development/digital marketing, rigging, seamanship, deep sea
diving, pipe-fitting, animation, data management,etc.) It could be recalled that the result from the NEEDS assessment in these 4 communities were presented to the council Chairmen of Degema and Asari-toru LGAs of Rivers State in order for these NEEDS to be included in the 2023 appropriation bill in the 2 local government councils as the meeting gave Obuama and Ipokuma communities the opportunity to present their needs and vulnerabilities to the chairman to be included in the appropriation bill of 2023.


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