Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The United Nations Development Project (UNDP) has began itâ€™s rebuilding plan for the troubled Northeast Nigeria with the reconstruction of a village in Borno State.
The UNDP with assistance from Governments of Switzerland and Japan expended over a million dollars on Ngwom, totally razed by insurgents at the peak of their expansionist agenda in the North-east.
The UNDP yesterday handed over a 300-unit permanent houses, one health clinic, 288 market stalls, a primary school, a twenty-store shopping center and two solar powered water boreholes to Borno State Government built from the rubbles of destruction left by Boko Haram about four years ago.
Speaking at the inauguration of the edifice, the United Nations, HumanitarianÂ Â Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative, Edward Kallon, said it was a pilot scheme towards the reconstruction of the North-east destroyed by Boko Haram
He said: â€œThe United Nations as the lead agency in providing early recovery support to the region, we have invested a lot of resources in making sure that Ngwom and other affected communities bounce back.
â€œTogether with partners; the Government of Switzerland, the Government of Japan, over a million dollars has been spent in rebuilding Ngwom. We are 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.â€
He added that: â€œWe are committed to meeting the urgent early recovery needs of the affected populations as we lay a foundation for them to be self-reliant the day after the crisis.â€
Kallon said: â€œUsing Ngwom as pilot for our community stabilization programme, we have built 300 permanent houses, one health clinic, 288 market stalls, a primary school, a 20-storey shopping centre, and two solar powered water boreholes.
â€œToday, these will be handed over to the community. This integrated approach using permanent structures is arguably the first of its kind of in the North-east for now â€“ a police station and infrastructure for power transmission are still under construction.â€
He said: â€œThroughout the process we have engaged local labour and provided emergency employment to more than 500 youths, men and women, most of them internally displaced. The income from this opportunity has helped families buy food, medicines and send their children to school in Maiduguri. The rainy-season agricultural inputs we have distributed to over 550 farmers in the community have helped boost household food security.â€
He added that: â€œOur investment in the State is already helping improve human security, promote reconciliation, enhanced citizensâ€™ engagement in service delivery. We are steadily strengthening community self-reliance.â€
He noted that: â€œAs the tide of the insurgency recedes and people begin to return to the communities, our interventions will facilitate not only easy restarting of lives but also provide a solid foundation for long term development in the area. We remain committed to supporting the Government and people of Nigeria, especially those in crisis-affected areas.â€
He praised the Borno State Government and the people of the state for their support after the tragic event that â€œled to loss of lives of our beloved colleagues in Rann on March 1st 2018, he said that will not deter the UN from serving humanity.
The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima who inaugurated the project and handed over certificate of occupancy to the beneficiaries, thanked the United Nations for being there for his people.