Over $20 Million Needed To Resettle IDPs, Says Borno Governmen
Over $20 million is needed to resettle those displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency back to their homelands, Borno State government said on Tuesday.
It would be recalled that 22 out of the 27 local governments of the state were captured by the insurgents at the peak of the insurgency with about two million people forced to flee into Maiduguri, the state capital and a couple of others taking refuge in neighbouring countries of Niger, Cameroun and Chad.
The captured local government areas were left destroyed and infrastructure in Maiduguri overstretched.
Addressing a delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) led by its President, Mr. Peter Maurer in Maiduguri, the Borno State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Zannah Mustapha, who stood in for the Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, said the state government requires the assistance of all, including the federal government and international donor agencies to rehabilitate the internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Mustapha lamented that since the displacement of many residents from their communities by Boko Haram insurgents, the state government has been compelled to shoulder the responsibility of feeding the IDPs through the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
He noted that, although, military troops have liberated most of the communities under the control of Boko Haram in the state, government and the IDPs found it difficult to go back to their homes and pick up the pieces of their lives due to security reports that most of the roads and streets leading to the affected communities and their farmlands were not safe as Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and landmines were planted by departing terrorists.
He however commended the effort of the Red Cross for its humanitarian assistance to the victims of the insurgency.
“We, the government and good people of Borno State want to use this opportunity to thank you (Red Cross), NEMA and other donor agencies for supporting us in this our trying moment. 22 out of the 27 local government areas were destroyed, over 1million IDPs are living in Maiduguri, the state capital alone.
“Just yesterday, we received another batches of 4,500 IDPs from Geidam, who were sent away by government of Niger Republic and more are still on their way to Maiduguri.
“Borno state needs over $20 million to resettle it’s people that were displaced as most houses, business centres and places of worship were all destroyed by the insurgents.
“Though, the military has liberated 97 per cent of the communities taken over by insurgents in Borno, it will take time for the government to diffuse the landmines before they are relocated to their various communities,” the deputy governor stated.
Earlier in his address, the President of the ICRC, Mr. Maurer, told the Deputy Governor that they came to the state to personally see the IDPs and hear from them, particularly their conditions.
He said this may inform the action of the organisation to considerably increase its humanitarian gestures as a result of the renewed attacks and killings by the sect.
The President, while sympathising with government and people of the state and the North- east subregion over the activities of insurgents, also urged other donor agencies to assist in cushioning the hardship faced by the victims of Boko Haram terrorists.
He assured the people of the state, particularly the victims of Boko Haram that Red Cross as a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO) will continue to support IDPs with food and non-food items as well as ensure that they have a healthy living while in the camps.