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USAID, Donor Agencies To Partner Borno Return 2.2m IDPs

By Ibrahim-Gwamna Mshelizza
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Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state has said that the International Community and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); have responded by “actively involved” in the massive rebuilding and rehabilitations of 25 communities destroyed by Boko Haram with the training of engineers in U.S, before the over 2.2 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) return to their respective communities by May 29, 2016.

Shettima spoke in an interview with newsmen at the Government House, Maiduguri; on the massive re-construction and rebuilding of destroyed communities in Kaga council area of the state.

He said the U.S, Brithish and Norwegian governments, are actively involved in providing various humanitarian assistances and shelter for

the displaced persons in camps they return to in their communities.

His words: “So far we are anticipating a lot of positive responses from the International Community. You’re around when the British Foreign Minister, David Miliband was here last Monday. The USAID is one agency we have to pay tribute to.

They are actively involved, even last Tuesday we visited those affected communities in Kaga council area with three of their officials.”

Shettima also added: “They are also sponsoring 10 of our graduate engineers to know the nitty gritty of ‘pivot irrigation system’ at Arkansas, U.S. This will go a long way in enhancing the capacity of our people. The U.S government is actively assisting us. And hope it is our firm belief and hope that the international community is favorably disposed towards coming to our aid.

On completion of housing units, he said: “For Kaga council, Benisheikh, Tamsu-Kauwa, Makinta-Kururi, our deadline is January 31, 2016. We want all those reconstruction and rehabilitation projects to be completed and commissioned.

“For Bama, Askira/Uba, and liberated communities; where pending uniform circumstance, because we are internal optimists. We have gone through the worst of phases. Our target is by May 29, 2016, we will strive to make sure that a substantial number of our people return to their homes in anticipation of next rainy season.

“All we want is for the peace to prevail. Once peace is restored, we are going to deploy all our resources to fully rehabilitate and resettled the over 2.2 million IDPs, who are in camps and living with their relations in Maiduguri and other cities and towns of the country.”

Shettima, who was visibly excited on meeting IDPs’ return deadline also said: “Already we have 600 block-molding machines in the Maiduguri Central Stores. We deployed only 50, but we want to deploy all of these machines to all the affected Boko Haram communities.

“You can call me a lunatic, but I have that belief; we can make things happen. That is my gut’s feelings and dispositions. We are in the course of making history in this part of the world called

Borno state in the Northeast of Nigeria.”
He said ,Rwanda in East Africa; had similar experiences, like so many other countries on managing humanitarian crises of displaced persons.

This is why I say that I do not want to cultivate the culture of establishing IDPs camps longer than necessary.

He said the Rwandan camps, were established since 1992 with a population of more than 300,000, warning that the proliferation of IDPs camps could lead to increases in societal vices of prostitution, drug addiction and other criminalities.

He however noted that the state government will not force any displaced person to return to his or her community.

“Apart from Abadam and Mobbar council areas; all the 25 Local Government Headquarters are largely safe,” assured the governor .

Ends.