With the 2-week extension of the Covid-19 lockdown in Lagos State, many Lagosians have been lamenting hunger and a lack of money to meet their basic needs.
However, the experience of many residents of Dejuwogbo Community Development Association via White House Ota ona, Ikorodu has been quite different, as they are fed twice daily with two meals, breakfast and lunch, sponsored by some benevolent members of the community.
Sources who hinted Ikorodu Oga Radio about the initiative disclosed that the free daily feeding programme started like a joke when the community was installing street lights along its streets and has been sustained throughout the first phase of the 14-days lockdown, adding that, it has also continued non-stop during the on-going 2-weeks extension.
Our correspondent visited the community and witnessed a community bonded by love and brotherliness. Young, old men and women across different age brackets were seen eating in what can be termed a ‘love’ feast, while throwing banters among themselves.
In a chat with our correspondent, Dejuwogbo CDA Chairman,Mr Ismail Oredein stated that, ‘the programme started during the lockdown of this pandemic thing. What we actually started with is on the issue of security because we realized that, with this stay-at-home order, there might be hoodlums that may want to take advantage to carry out criminal activities. We used the opportunity to solicit for financial support to install our street light. At the end of the day, Honourable S.O.B Agunbiade did a great job. He donated materials for the street light and when the street light project ended, we did a feed-a- soul love feast and that is what has metamorphosed into this daily feeding programme’.
Speaking on the sources of fund for the project, Mr revealed that, ‘the funding is not from the C.D.A. account. What we did was to rub minds together, raised voluntary contributions from residents to fund the feeding programme’, he said.
‘We have ran it in the last two weeks and we have started another two weeks, with the extension of the lockdown. I heard that government is planning a street kitchen, I really appeal to them to use the community development associations C.D.A leaders to do that. It will really go a long way to help them if it is done at the CDA level where it will be served on the basis of the houses in the community. I think they will go a long way in achieving their aim better’, he added.
Also speaking on the response of residents to the feeding programme, another resident, Mr Akeem Abiodun disclosed that when the programme was skipped for one day, the feedback from residents showed that the community people were disappointed as many were already accustomed to it. He noted that. once a resident called and was told there was no provision, she left disappointed.
‘We realised we need to continue and that’s what we have been doing and people are so happy. Our people are happy that they can come out daily and eat for free, without thinking about money to buy food. Even visitors who come around also benefit. We don’t discriminate, we treat everyone equally.
a volunteer chef for the daily feeding programme commended the CDA leadership and the Committee in charge for the noble initiative.
Babajide Animashaun, a member of the Committee noted that the committee ensured the enforcement of health and safety rules.
‘We observe our social distancing rules, we enforce the use of hand-sanitzers and washing of hands. No one enters this community without washing their hands. We have also fumigated the entire 150 households in the community on our own’, he said.
One of the volunteer chef, Yemi Osibanjo gives details on our the street kitchen runs on a daily basis.
‘It started like a childsplay, after day 2 of the electrification project, we started to have a meal, something like a love feast. We started with feeding 10 people. But, we later realized that this has to continue, due to the lockdown. We feed 30 people in the morning and afternoon, making 60 people on a daily basis. We serve bread and tea as breakfast and solid food as lunch. This has gone a long way in enhancing our bond as a community and we have been able to touch almost every household in the community. It has really been very helpful’, he concluded.
They have also encouraged other community development associations and well-meaning individuals to sponsor similar initiative, in order to bring succour to the indigents in the society.