By Ndahi Marama
The European Union (EU) and Mercy Corps have handed over 325 solar-powered houses to Borno state government.
The houses which are sited in Bama Local Government (LG), are to restore hope and safety of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) returnees whose shelter had been destroyed in an over a decade Boko Haram insurgency. Mercy Corps’ housing programme is part of MAIDA’s 36-month project funded and launched by the EU in December, 2017.
While handing over the houses Thursday through a virtual address at Bama, the Mercy Corps’ Country Director, Ndubisi Anyawu, said that the partnership was to achieve sustainability and to breed resilience and overcome challenges of shelter in insurgency affected communities.
“This is a collaborative approach we take to also achieve our sustainable programmatic bonds of partnership with Nigeria.”
Anyawu, who was represented by Mercy Corps’ team leader, Raiz Khan, said that the community leaders of Bama, were engaged in the design of the 325 houses.
He added that local vendors also played roles in sourcing building materials and labour for the construction of houses in Bama. According to him, their sourcing of building materials was to create an enormous impact of IDP returnees in the community.
While thanking Governor Babagana Zulum, he said: “Mexico is going beyond emergency response and survival to achieve sustainable approach through resilience,” noting that with the completion of 650 houses in Gwoza and Bama, the traumas of living in camps could gradually faded; as the IDP returnees pick up their lives.
Zulum, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (MRRR), Engr. Abba Yusuf, said that; “This permanent shelters are for the most vulnerable IDP returnees and host communities of Bama. “I commend the EU and Mercy Corps for coming to our aid through one of the most critical infrastructures needed to accommodate the IDP returnees.”
He, therefore, called on EU and other development partners to key into the Borno state 25-year development plan and the decade long strategic transformation agenda.
According to him, the development plan is the road map and vision for a better Borno state.