Through the Recovery and Peace Building of the Conflict-Affected Communities in the North-East Nigeria Project, funded by the Government of Japan, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has launched interventions aimed at supporting the early recovery and peace building of communities in Yobe, Adamawa and Borno states.

 

The prolonged conflict in the North-East region of Nigeria continues to cause human critical incidents with casualties, displacement of people and dependency on emergency humanitarian aid. In addition to the long-standing difficulties in the region, the spread of COVID-19 virus since 2020 caused deterioration of the security situation and the standard of living of the people in the regions. 

With these crises, Nigeria today is amongst the countries with the highest overall projected conflict risk index and increased risk in socioeconomic vulnerability, inequality, and food insecurity, therefore supporting the recovery and social cohesion of conflict affected communities is critical. These efforts help to ensure that people are empowered to rebuild their lives and will help to enhance the sustainable development of their communities. 

Through the Recovery and Peace Building of the Conflict-Affected Communities in the North-East Nigeria Project, funded by the Government of Japan, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has launched interventions aimed at supporting the early recovery and peace building of communities in Yobe, Adamawa and Borno states. 

Through support from the Government of Japan, the project will adopt an integrated resilience-based strategy that aims to enable community recovery and peace building, through the provisioning of livelihood and economic opportunities, restoration of basic services, the establishment of effective and accountable local governance and the revitalization of social cohesion and community security. 

Under the livelihood and economic component of this project, 800 community members were provided with the opportunity to attend a 2-month vocational skills training. At the end of the training, the beneficiaries were supported with a business start-up grant to enable them to support their own businesses thereby depending less on humanitarian aid.

Meet some of the beneficiaries from Borno State who have benefited from this programme:

Bulama Mohammed

Bulama Mohammed

 

Bulama Mohammed is 45-year-old from Dikwa Local Government Area, Borno State and is the sole bread winner for his family of 5 children. When the insurgents evaded Dikwa Town, they burnt down the entire community. All of the government and public infrastructures were destroyed, resulting in a massive loss of lives and livelihood opportunities. 

” I stopped pursuing education after my secondary school certificate and struggled to find a good job. To make ends meet, I learned the art of motorcycle mechanic and started my own business. I was earning enough money to take care of my family and life was going well as all basic needs were met, until the insurgents attacked our town.  I lost all of my income generating sources and we had no option than to rely solely on humanitarian aid for survival” said Bulama.

 Bulama was badly wounded by the insurgent’s attack. He was found unconscious at the outskirts of town by some of the fleeing community members and was taken to Maiduguri Hospital where he was rushed into emergency care to treat his fractured leg. Later, he discovered that his two brothers were killed in that tragic encounter. Upon his recovery, he struggled to feed his family until he was introduced and chosen as one of the beneficiaries of the UNDP Recovery and Peace Building Project. 

“UNDP offered me the opportunity to rebuild my life through the vocational skill training. I was left without a source of livelihood due to the conflict, one of my legs was seriously fractured in the process, which means I could no longer do everything. By selecting tailoring as the skill to be trained on, I am able to again find work now that I have these new skills. I am very thankful to the Government of Japan who has provided financial support for this project, with the skills and start up grant, I have started my business and I hope to become one of the best tailors in town” concluded Bulama.

 

 Zainab Mohammed Kyari

40-year-old Zainab Mohammed Kyari, her husband and children suffered through an attack in Dikwa Town about 8 years ago. During the process, she lost her husband which now made her the bread winner of her family, struggling to provide for her children while residing in an IDP camp in Maiduguri.

Zainab Mohammed Kyari

 

Recollecting on life before the insurgency, Zainab shared “My husband was a motor/auto mechanic and was proudly taking care of the family. There was adequate food, clothing, and shelter for the family, as well as all of my children were attending school. One horrible night, the militants attacked the community and killed men, women and children, looted our food, livestock and valuables and set ablaze houses, marketplaces, worship places, and government offices.  The insurgents abducted my husband and one of my children was hit by a bullet which led to the loss of his life.” 

Before she was chosen as a beneficiary, Zainab was barely able to meet the basic needs of her family and mostly dependent on humanitarian aid in IDP camps. This Recovery and Peace Building Project by UNDP provided her the opportunity to learn tailoring. She is keen to learn the art of cutting, stitching and designing. With this renewed hope, her goal is to establish and expand her business after graduation.

“I am very thankful to UNDP and Government of Japan who has provided me an opportunity to learn a new skill that I can now turn into income to support my family. I am very confident that I can make ends meet with the income that will be generated when I start my tailoring business” concluded Zainab.

 

Hadiza Mohammed Ibrahim

Soap and detergent making skills was chosen by 33-year-old, Hadiza Mohammed Ibrahim, as a skill she wanted to acquire. Hadiza is from Mafoni community, Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC) Local Government Area (LGA), where she lives and takes care of her 6 children.

“As a housewife, I took care of the household chores and attended to the needs of my children. My husband was a carpenter and had a booming business. We had all of our basic needs, there was adequate food, shelter, and clothing.” Said Hadiza.

Unfortunately, due to family conflict she was left to take care of her 6 children alone. With no education, Hadiza was not able to find a decent employment, so she resorted to selling peanuts to take care of her family. When her town was attacked as part of the conlfict, she was forced to flee with her family, losing the little livelihood support she once had. 

Hadiza Mohammed Ibrahim

 

With support from the UNDP Recovery and Peace Building Project, Hadiza learned how to make soap and detergent, and plans on starting her own production very soon by renting a small shop. With the funding, she also wants to employ youth from conflict affected communities, as it will help tackle poverty thereby making them to be more self-reliant. 

“I’m grateful for this opportunity provided by UNDP and Government of Japan enabling women and youth to learn different vocational skills in Borno State. I have no doubt that the soap and detergent making training will be a source of sustainable income for my family. I plan to start my own business which will enable me provide good quality of soap and detergent to the local users, all while providing income for me to take care of my family” concluded Hadiza.

 

Aisha Alhaji Bashir

Aisha Alhaji Bashir is from  Bulabulin community Dikwa Local Government Area (LGA) Borno State, with her husband and 7 children. Prior to the crisis that made them flee their community to the IDP camp, Aisha’s husband was the sole breadwinner, taking care of all of the needs of his family. 

“I was a housewife living with my husband and  he was working as a commercial driver before the conflict. Life was smooth and going well. My husband was the sole bread winner for whole family and took care of food, clothing, health care and education for our children.”

Aisha Alhaji Bashir

 

When the insurgents attacked Dikwa, they captured her husband and two children who are still missing to date. The insurgents destroyed houses, marketplaces, and all other infrastructure and because of this her family fled the town and moved to Maiduguri.

The UNDP Recovery and Peace Building Project, provided her the opportunity to learn tailoring. She is fully confident that she will be able to earn enough income to meet her family requirements. She praised the initiative provided by UNDP with the generous funding of Government of Japan to equip conflict affected persons with vocational skill training which will lead to sustainable income generation.

Hauwa Mohammed

Hauwa Mohammed is from Bama Town Bama Local Government Area. Her husband was a successful trader, earning enough income to take care of her and their seven children before the insurgency. 

During the insurgent’s attack in Bama Town, Hauwa lost her husband along with everything she had. She fled the town with her 7 children and arrived in an IDP camp Maiduguri. She managed to take care of her children by selling fried soyabean cake and used that income to feed herself and her children, but her earnings were so small that she could not send her children to school.

Hauwa Mohammed

 

“The training organized by UNDP has given me an opportunity to learn tailoring. Before coming to training, I had no idea of even how to paddle a sewing machine besides cutting, stitching, and designing of dresses. Now I have learnt different sewing styles, cuttings and latest designs emerging in the market. With these new skills, I am sure that I will definitely do well in the future” said Hauwa.

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