Chevron Nigeria Ltd and First E & P on Sunday donated staple food to support its host communities in Bayelsa to cope with the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Representatives of the benefiting eight communities in Southern Ijaw and Brass local governments of Bayelsa took delivery of 1,600 bags of garri on Sunday in Yenagoa.
The communities are Koluama 1 and 2, Ezetu 1 and 2, Foropa, Fishtown, , Ekeni and Sangana forming the acronym KEFFES as parties of Global Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Chevron and First E & P.
Speaking at a brief presentation ceremony, Mr Mathew Sele-Epri, Chairman KEFFES Rural Development Foundation, said that the gesture from the two oil firms was to show emphaty and care to members of its host communities.
Sele-Epri, on behalf of the donours, handed the 1,600 bags of garri to Community Development Chairman (CDC) of the eight benefiting communities
He said that the sit at home directive aimed at containing the spread of the corona virus had presented challenges with the communities, a development that compelled the KRDF to seek the assistance of the oil firms operating in the area..
“The intervention came from Chevron and First E & P who are our partners in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,to cushion the harsh effects of the lockdown on the residents in their host communities.
“This is a crucial time to show genuine love and we are glad that they have responded and the food we have here will sustain the people for at least one month and we have the governance structure for judicious and equitable distribution.
“Each of the eight communities will get 200 bags of 50 kg of garri.On our own at the KRDF we reiterate providing the enabling peaceful environment for their operations to thrive,” Sele-Epri said.
Mr Ekubo Patrick, Chairman, Koluama 2 CDC Chairman and leader of CDC Chairmen Forum received the food on behalf of the communities.
He applauded the oil firms for their sensitivity to the needs of their host communities and urged other companies operating in the area to emulate Chevron and First E & P.
Also Ms Beatrice Mienye, Financial Secretary of KRDF noted that with food security in the rural communities, compliance with the stay-at-home directive would be much easier to comply with.
KRDF was set up for eight Chevron host communities in Bayelsa comprising Koluama 1 and 2, Ezetu 1 and 2, Foropa, Fish Town, Ekeni and Sangana located along the Atlantic coastline within Bayelsa.
Following the 2015 divestment from Oil Mining Leases 83 and 85 by Chevron to First E&P, an indigenous firm, the new owners entered into agreement with the host communities and adopted the governance structure of KRDF.