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EU, Plan International launch Lake Chad Basin stability map

The Plan International Nigeria and the European Union (EU) has launched the Lake Chad Basin Stability Map under the ‘Youth Leading the Stabilization Effort in…

The Plan International Nigeria and the European Union (EU) has launched the Lake Chad Basin Stability Map under the ‘Youth Leading the Stabilization Effort in the Lake Chad Basin’.

Local youth-led organizations and others have been part of finding ways of mitigating the Boko Haram insurgency that is mostly affecting the four countries of the Lake Chad Basin region, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.

Speaking at the event, on Tuesday in Abuja, the Country Director, Plan International Nigeria, Mr. Charles Usie Emmamuzou, said the document is also a tool that could be activated to bring about development of the Lake Chad region and the country.

According to him, the project is expected to boost the participation of young people in peace-building efforts and close the data gap affecting the humanitarian response in the Lake Chad Basin.

“It is a document and a tool, that can be used to bring about development for any nation for any people anywhere in the world. In this instance, young people are holding on to opinions and issues based on facts.

“They generate this fact, they populate this fact put it out there for the public to engage and question and interrogate, and on the basis of this fact they use it to engage government, this is quite unique.

“It is firmly anchored on a rights-based approach with emphasis on building the capacity and knowledge base of right-holders, more specifically the youth (with strong emphasis on the female youth), empowering them to claim their rights as well as to create awareness among duty bearers on the importance of valuing the role of young people in peace building, community development and post-conflict reconstructions, rehabilitation, and rebuilding process in the region,” Emmamuzou said.

He also said that at the core of this intervention, youth collect real-time data on existing infrastructures and facilities in key sectors that can promote stability and peaceful co-existence in their communities.

He said, “This continuous stream of up-to-date information is uploaded on an online platform called the Lake Chad Basin Stability Map, which the youth then use for targeted advocacy toward local government authorities and community leaders to deliver on the identified gaps and needs.”

On her part, Regional Project Manager of the Europe Union (EU) Project, Lisa Maza Angulo, said the policy is an online map, where the youths that are part of the project have collected different facilities in their own communities.

She said, “The Lake Chad Basin Stability Map, under ‘Youth Leading the Stabilization Effort in the Lake Chad Basin’ is an EU-funded project that contributes to young people’s effective participation in peace-building efforts.

“So, they have mapped different facilities like health centers, education centers, centers for youth participation, and they have been uploaded on the online map where you can zoom into the Lake Chad Basin and see every infrastructure that already exists.

“The needs in the communities are not specific, there is a need for government to always include youths in decision making.”

A representative of the Kaleri youth group, Alima Yerima Muhammed, said the project had been impactful and had changed the mindset of the youths to become agents of change.

According to her, the group has many activities implemented in the community, which had improved the involvement of youths and reduced drug abuse, gender-based violence, and conflicts.

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