Over 600 conflict-affected people from across Borno state have been engaged in emergency employment to support the implementation of intensive community clean-up and waste management activities and delivery of sanitation-related services under the European Union-funded ''Sustainable Waste Management and Environmental Protection'' project, being implemented in the state by the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
The project, which aligns with the European Union's funding objectives, is part of UNDP's early recovery efforts, aimed at resuscitating household sources of livelihoods that will sustain communities beyond humanitarian aid. The beneficiaries of this intervention include Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and their hosts in communities. Income generated from opportunities like this helps families meet household needs, including feeding, medication and children's school fees. Previous beneficiaries from similar opportunities have used income earned to start small businesses and support even more community members.
Through partnership with the European Union, over US$8 million will be invested in activities aimed at ridding the region of debris both from the conflict and reconstruction and cleaning up communities in Maiduguri, Bama and Biu Local Government Areas.
The crisis, now in its tenth year, led to the displacement of over 10 million people across the North-East of Nigeria and into neighbouring Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. Borno state has been most affected by the crisis in the region, accounting for over 80% of IDP population. Due to increased population, especially in Maiduguri, solid waste and conflict debris have accumulated, exposing the already vulnerable populations to pollution and risk of disease infections.
At the launch of the project in Maiduguri, Ms. Mizuho Yokoi, Head of UNDP North-East Sub-Office expressed UNDP’s gratitude to the European Union for the partnership and support toward the recovery and rebuilding efforts in the region. “Activities to be implemented will help build capacities of local institutions in sustainable waste management and create jobs for members of participating communities,” Yokoi said.
Also speaking, Mr. Kurt Cornelis, the Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, stated: “It is our hope as well that the processes and procedures of the implementation would contribute significantly to attitudinal changes in caring for the environment in general.”
In a remark, Borno State Deputy Governor, Mr. Usman Durkwa said “The launch of the programme is timely as it will create jobs to teeming unemployed youth at the same time provide for proper waste management”.
The project will be implemented in partnership with local institutions through the Borno State Environmental Protection Agency (BOSEPA) and the Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation & Resettlement (MRRR).