Boko Haram survivors receive new livelihoods and infrastructure as Ngwom community reopensMar 20, 2018
Hundreds of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of Ngwom Community rolled out the drums on 13 March 2018 as UNDP handed over the rebuilt community to the State Government – they have been living in IDP Camps and communities, most of them up to four years, after fleeing their community.
Ngwom was attacked by Boko Haram twice between 2014 and 2016; around 100 people were killed and the entire community was destroyed - many public buildings, including the only primary school that served the community, the only healthcare centre, trading areas and other essential public infrastructure were significantly destroyed.
An estimated 2,300 residents, accounting for over 370 households, who survived the attack fled to neighbouring communities. More than 1600 are registered as IDPs within the State while many more are currently living within host communities. Following the nine yearlong Boko Haram crisis in North-East Nigeria, more than two million people have been displaced across the region and neighbouring countries. While Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State remains the epicentre of the crisis, the crisis has had the most impact on two other States, Adamawa and Yobe.
Until 2014, Ngwom was a thriving agrarian settlement in Mafa Local Government Area 30kms East of Maiduguri. The village had an enviable reputation of being the livestock and grains trading hub of Borno State and its neighbouring States including countries of the Chad Basin namely Chad, Cameroon, Niger and as far as to Libya and the Central Africa Republic.
The once-vibrant and prosperous community was reduced to a waste land as people were forced to relocate in search of safety and livelihoods. The impact of the crisis on this community has consigned families to destitution and dependency on humanitarian handouts.
On the day of its reopening, 300 permanent houses, a Health Clinic, 288 Market Stalls, a Primary school, a twenty-store shopping centre, and two solar powered water boreholes were ready for reoccupation and use by community members. As soon as security is beefed up around the community, the State Government will allow owners to take up their new houses. Construction of a police station and infrastructure for power transmission is still underway.
UNDP engaged local labour and provided emergency employment to more than 800 youths, men and women, most of them internally displaced through her “cash for work” modality. The income from this opportunity helped families buy food, medicines and send their children to school. UNDP also supported over 550 farmers in the community with rainy and dry season agricultural inputs which helped boast household food security.
UNDP's investment in the State and the region is already helping improve human security, promoting reconciliation and enhancing citizens’ engagement in service delivery. As communities become self-resiliant, UNDP's interventions will provide a solid foundation for long term development to take place in the region. UNDP, as the lead agency in providing early recovery and livelihood support to the region, has invested resources in making sure that Ngwom and other affected communities bounce back - with enhanced community security, sustainable sources of livelihoods, adequate basic infrastructure and general social stability.
In delivering his speech at the reopening ceremony, Edward Kallon, Resident Representative, stated that UNDP was rolling out an integrated package focusing on strengthening community resilience by addressing the socio-economic and security-related challenges being faced by both the internally displaced people and host communities.
Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima expressed his appreciation for the support noting that efforts by UNDP were creating strong linkages along immediate humanitarian needs and the medium and the long term development requirements for building resilience and livelihoods amongst his people.
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, while appluading the efforts by UNDP, stated that the Government of Nigeria remained committed to supporting efforts aimed at reconstruction and rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure and resettlement of affected populations.
Ngwom has been rebuild with funding support from Governments of Switzerland and Japan. Over a million dollars been invested in rebuilding efforts for Ngwom village.