This time last year, my team and I embarked on a tour of all the nooks and crannies of the 17 LGAs of Abia State inspecting the numerous projects of the Abia State Agency for Community and Social Development Projects (Abia CSDP). That tour was widely received and applauded as it turned out that all the Abia CSDP funded projects were people centric – designed, executed and managed by the people.
The United Nations defines community development as “a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems. It is a collective action that generates solutions to common problems of a given community’s wellbeing, be it economic, social, environmental or cultural. The Abia State Agency for Community and Social Development under the able leadership of its General Manager, Dr. Chinatu Njoku has under Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s watch redefined community development in Abia State through involving the benefiting communities in the projects done.
Known for adopting community driven development approach to improve access for the indigent to social and natural resource infrastructure, the Agency has contributed in no small measure to the development of Abia State. This Agency of the Abia State government is being funded by the State government through the assistance the State receives from the World Bank, following consistent payment of its counterpart funds. The Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has not relented in ensuring that counterpart funds are paid consistently to access the funds for the development of Abia communities.
The projects done by Abia CSDP include but not limited to community social/natural resource infrastructural projects such as electricity, constructions or rehabilitation of health centres, civic centres, roads, schools, skills acquisition centres, markets and community conveniences as well as special grants to the poor, vulnerable and internally displaced persons to assist them acquire life enhancement and productive assets. Abia CSDP funds micro projects which do not cost more than 5 million Naira and it is the benefiting communities that votes for the kind of project to be executed based their peculia needs.
As part of enlightening the benefiting communities,, Abia CSDP recently organized a 3 day training on Project Implementation Management for members of communities and groups involved in the implementations. The essence of the training was to commence and fully realize various community desired projects.