Borno governor wants federal govt to build homes, not camps, for IDPs

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Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has called on the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons to channel its intervention toward providing permanent resettlement homes for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Governor Zulum said concentrating humanitarian interventions on IDP camps does not help the recovery and resettlement programmes of the government.

He said significant interventions from major humanitarian outfits like the refugee commission should address the problems of displacement in a more permanent and sustainable manner.

The decade-long Boko Haram insurgency has caused the displacement of nearly 2 million persons.

The governor said rebuilding permanent home would enhance the return of IDPs to their reclaimed communities.

Speaking while hosting a delegation of top officials from the Refugee Commission, led by its chief executive, Lado Mohammed, and a representative of Qatar Foundation, Governor Zulum said there is a need to move the phase of intervention from palliative measures to something sustainable.

Mr Zulum said the state will continue to provide and “coordinate donor humanitarian interventions for the welfare of displaced persons.”

“We are happy with all your interventions, ” he said. “However, we will request that you do not focus on IDP camps but rather on stabilisation for the IDPs and by that, I mean contributing in the construction of resettlement houses which can be allocated to households as their permanent places to live and we then provide them with means of livelihoods to sustain themselves.

“As a government, we are moving from the phase of enhancing IDP camps to resettlement. By resettlement, I do not mean having to go and build houses elsewhere, the houses could be near the IDP camps, we will provide the land.”

Governor Zulum said his government has established an agency “for the coordination of all humanitarian donors and development activities in the state.”

He explained that the purpose of streamlining activities of donor outfits coming to the state was geared towards preventing duplications of interventions for displaced communities.

He added that coordinating the influx of intervention “gives a clear policy direction for the state government who will be taking lead in determining its priorities”.

Mr Mohammed, a Federal Commissioner in charge of the Refugee Commission, said the Qatar Foundation was “interested in building a resettlement camp in Borno state”; hence, he said it requested for land which Governor Zulum granted.

The federal commissioner also disclosed that his commission had “trained a number of displaced persons on vocational skills and established some businesses for them.”


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