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Borno’s displaced persons heave sigh of relief

Hundreds of displaced persons, mostly women and children, at Amarwa Village in Konduga Local Government Area, Borno State, yesterday breathed a sigh of relief after…

Hundreds of displaced persons, mostly women and children, at Amarwa Village in Konduga Local Government Area, Borno State, yesterday breathed a sigh of relief after the federal government resolved to build 600 houses for them.

Most of the displaced persons, whose settlements were damaged by insurgents, were reportedly living in makeshift homes for between six and 10 years.

Fatimata Modu in Amarwa, said she lived with her husband and eight children in a temporary settlement for six years ‘under unpleasant situations.’

“I am happy today; the government has decided to come to our aid. I can put a roof over my head now,”

The houses were initiated by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) under the Resettlement City Reintegration and Rehabilitation Program.

NCFRMI’s National Commissioner, Sen. Basheer Mohammed said at the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the resettlement city at Amarwa that the houses would be completed this year.

“We have designed these resettlement cities with the help of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, where we intend to have 600 housing units of two-bedrooms a primary health care and education centres, security outposts, worship houses, skill acquisition centres, markets and adjoining farmlands for use by the occupants.

“The commission has also embarked on similar projects in Katsina State where we had a ground-breaking ceremony some weeks ago. Edo and Zamfara States will be next in line. It is my belief that displaced persons need to be resettled in areas where normalcy has been restored because it is the ultimate desire of the people,” he said.

He said Borno State had more displaced persons than any part of the country with over 1.5 million IDPs and another 400,000 citizens of the state who have fled to neighbouring countries due to insurgency as refugees.

He said based on the Post Insurgency Recovery and Peace Building Assessment Report on the Northeast, which was jointly validated by the World Bank, the European Union, the Presidency and the Borno State Government, Boko Haram had inflicted damages to the tune of $9 billion in the northeast. Of this amount, the destructions in Borno State alone amount to $6 billion.

In his remarks, Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum said though the official figure of the total houses damaged by insurgents across the state was put at 400,000, almost 800,000 settlements were destroyed.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the construction of 10,000 houses for displaced persons in the state of which three thousand were at various stages of completion. He said the Federal Ministry of Finance would in a little while, release funds for more houses to be built.

NCFRMI had also distributed food supplies, which consisted of bags of millet, beans, rice and cooking oil to 400 returnees at Kawuri village in Konduga LGA.


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