By Victoria Ojeme
The UN Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director, Samuel Bwalya, says the agency would, this month, deliver houses, a school and a health centre to Ngwom, Borno State after the havoc wreaked on the settlement by insurgents.
Bwalya said Ngwom, an agrarian community in Mafa Local Government Area, fell victim to violent attacks by Boko Haram in 2014
He said that the UNDP had completed and would deliver 292 permanent houses out of the 300 proposed for the community, a primary school and a clinic.
According to him, the agency had also completed 288 market stalls, a 20-storey shopping centre and two water boreholes which would be delivered to the community.
He said the UNDP piloted a comprehensive community stabilisation programme in Ngwom.
“Our intervention was aimed at four inter-related areas of livelihoods, security, basic services, and emerging local governance”, the UNDP chief said.
“Using Ngwom as pilot community for the programme, we have built 292 permanent houses out of proposed 300, one health clinic, 288 market stalls, a primary school, 20-storey shopping centre, and two water boreholes”.
In September 2014, he said, the settlement fell victim to violent attacks by Boko Haram. The insurgents attacked the small settlement twice between 2014 and 2016 leaving behind unimaginable destruction of lives and property.
“It is estimated that about 100 people were killed during these attacks and the community was destroyed,”he said.
“Many public buildings, including the only primary school that served the community, the only healthcare clinic, market stalls, motor park (bus station) and public toilets with equipment were significantly destroyed.
“The once-vibrant and prosperous community was reduced to a waste land and people forced to relocate to nearby areas in search of safety, security and livelihoods”.
According to him, UNDP is meeting urgent early recovery needs while addressing the underlying causes of the crisis. Prolonged development deficit in the region exposed millions to different kinds of vulnerabilities.
“UNDP is working towards ensuring that necessary early recovery needs are met through vocational skills training, livelihood support, rehabilitation of public infrastructure, these efforts are providing catalytic ingredients for communities to thrive again”.