Mercy Corps a Non Governmental Organisation, in collaboration with the European Union and the Borno State Government has trained and empowered more than six thousand youths from 8 Local Government Areas in Borno State, North-east Nigeria.
The Coordinator, Monitoring and Evaluation of Mercy Corps, Peter Martin while addressing Journalists in Maiduguri the Borno State capital said the programme was in line with insurgency recovery project of the Borno State Government.
Martin disclosed that more households benefited from the projects more than what is being showcased which were monitored directly by the State Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement.
“We as an organization have partnered the State Government in the rehabilitation and resettlement of indigenes back to their ancestral homes as part of contribution to the State Government’s resolve to return all internally displaced persons by the end of year 2021.
“We have constructed 650 houses in 2 selected Local Government Areas of the State that is, 325 in Bama and Gwoza and donated them to displaced persons from those LGAs.
We have also trained and empowered six thousand four hundred and twenty-six youths on tailoring, welding, shoe making and other vocations.
These beneficiaries were carefully selected across host communities in the 8 Local Government Areas,” Martin said.
Recounting his experience, a humanitarian staff with Mercy Corps, Babakura Tijjani said insecurity had remained a challenge to accessing some of the communities due to the presence of Boko Haram terrorists in those places, he was, however optimistic that the affected communities will be a priority once the insecurity challenge is addressed.
For his part, the EU Representative, Kabiru Abbas commended the efforts of Mercy Corps and emphasized the need for sustainability of the programme by the relevant government agencies and communities to ensure that the impact of the programme is not short lived.
Speaking further on insurgency project of the Borno State Government, the Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Mustapha Gubio who was represented by a Director in the Ministry, Bitrus Mshelia said destroyed communities and villages deserted as a result of the boko haram insurgency are being rebuilt completely with basic socioeconomic infrastructures for the returnees.
According to him, the continued surrender of boko haram insurgents is opening up more communities and villages for reconstruction and safe return of the displaced persons who have been in camps for the better part of the last decade.
“It is on record that the boko haram insurgents are surrendering in thousands.
This is leading to more villages, communities and local government areas which were formally under the firm control of the terrorists being freed for safe return of the inhabitants.
We as a government will explore the opportunity and rebuild schools, hospitals, police stations and roads as well as houses for the return of our people who have been in IDP camps for about ten years now.
“The State Government has resolved to close all IDP camps by the end of this year as such, we as a Ministry are partnering organisations like Mercy corps and others to fast track the rebuilding and resettlement project of the Government because the Government cannot provide everything at once.
“But on the challenges of insecurity in some of the targeted communities, the State Government has continued to partner with the security forces to restore normalcy and safety to the areas for the impending return of the villagers,“ the commissioner stated.
Mustapha Gubio went ahead to state that more programmes have been executed in various communities by Mercy Corps including life support projects like provision of solar powered boreholes, provision of solar energy to hospitals and other supports aimed at providing livelihood to the traumatised and vulnerable groups of the State in the eight selected LGAs.
Post Insurgency: EU, NGO partner with Borno Government