UNDP's package to help stabilise Kimba town in Borno State

Apr 20, 2017

Usman Kachala Ali lost four of his sons to Boko Haram in Kimba town (Photo, UNDP Nigeria)

Kimba used to be a bustling town of 5,000 people in Biu, until Boko Haram attacked; two schools (elementary and secondary) and a town hall were destroyed when the armed group attacked the town on two occassions in 2014. The following year, the group came back and burned down the entire village, killing more than a dozen men and boys and abducting a number of children, the youngest just 3-years old.

Usman Kachala Ali lost four of his sons that day. Two were murdered and two were kidnapped. He doesn’t know where they are now and he spends every day thinking of them. But he wants to rebuild his life as best he can.

He and 240 of his neighbours have returned to Kimba after spending a a year in a displacement camp in Biu Local Government Area located south of Borno State.

“Access to our fields is no problem, but we are afraid that they’ll come back,” Ali said.

With 37 households back in Kimba, they are piecing together their lives. They’ve rebuilt a few houses with any material lying around and they’ve started preparing their land for the planting season. The only help they’ve had is from the nearby local government, but with no town hall, meeting isn’t as easy as it used to be.

“We go into Biu and we tell them what we need and then we come back here to coordinate with the people who have returned,” said village Bulama (leader), Yusuf Mohammed. 

For now, they sit under a large tree on mats to discuss the many issues affecting their communities.  

Kimba needs help. It’s on the cusp of a small Boko Haram stronghold, but a new military outpost down the road eases some of the fear of renewed attacks. They worry about mines. Two community members were killed when they struck unexploded bombs in their fields in 2016.

UNDP conducted a rapid assessment of Kimba early April  and will create a plan of action to stabilize the town. UNDP will provide livelihoods support for the farmers as they plant their crops in May, help rebuild the schools, health clinic and homes, and facilitate the return of local government functions to help the people of Kimba.

UNDP works in three most-affected states in Northeast Nigeria: Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe. Its Integrated Community Stabilization Package addresses four main issues: security and social cohesion, livelihoods restoration, basic services and reconstruction of key infrastructure, and reviving local governance.

Communications Specialist

Lucky Musonda

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