Clean water brings safety and security to vulnerable communitiesApr 5, 2017
The only sources of water for Biriri in Yobe was a dried up lake and a 30-year old borehole. Women and children had to walk up to 10 kilometres to fetch clean water putting them in danger.
“We risked running into Boko Haram insurgents who were also out looking for water,” said 71-year old resident, Alhaji Husseini. “It was very dangerous for our families.”
It’s a risk he knows well. The father of 31 children was kidnapped and held hostage for 21 days by the insurgents. After he was released, he made his way back to his village where access to basic services was limited, but after it was secured by the military, hundreds of internally displaced people came to stay, adding to 4,000 population rate.
In early 2017, UNDP drilled a new borehole providing much needed clean water right inside the community.
“We are very happy that we have been remembered, we thought we have been abandoned by everyone” Husseini said.
UNDP is implementing its early recovery programme in affected communities in Northeast Nigeria to improve the living standards of the people affected by the insurgency.
With funding from the Government of Japan, UNDP’s early recovery work is channelled through two projects; Livelihoods and Social Cohesion, and Deradicalization, Counter-Terrorism and Migration.
“This is timely. We have suffered a shortage of water for years,” said Mohammed Gidado Abubakar, the local government chairman of Tarmuwa local government. “Our people were really suffering. Water is life, and you have brought life to our village.”
“Many, many villages around here will benefit from this, for the people and their animals”, he continued.
UNDP has rolled out its integrated community stabilization programme in three of the most-affected states in Northeast Nigeria. The programme comprises four areas: security and social cohesion, economic opportunities, basic services and infrastructure, and local governance.