IOM Facilitates Land Distribution for Displaced People in Kabo, Central African Republic
GENEVA, Switzerland, August 5, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ --Local authorities in Kabo, Central African Republic (CAR) conducted a land distribution ceremony on 2nd August to grant 193 household plots to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and their families who fled the PK12 neighborhood in Bangui earlier this year.
Community leaders drew numbers to randomly assign the 25 x 25 meter plots to PK12 households in need of land on which to build new homes.
Kabo Mayor Abdel Atif named the area “The Peace Village” and formally welcomed the PK12 community to make Kabo their new home.
“This land distribution cements the inclusion of the PK12 community in Kabo. I am very moved to oversee this important ceremony. We now begin to build the new houses in solidarity,” said Mayor Atif.
Most of the IDPs have been temporarily living in long communal tents designed for 80 persons each: eight in Kabo and 18 in Moyen-Sido constructed by the NGO Solidarité in cooperation with IOM. Others have been living with host families.
Kabo is a mixed community of some 16,000 Christians and Muslims who live together, standing in stark contrast to other areas of CAR, where conflict between armed groups has separated communities along religious lines.
The PK12 community is a Muslim and ethnic minority population that had come under attack in the capital, Bangui. The entire community relocated from PK12 to Kabo and Moyen Sido in northern CAR (and to Bambari). IOM provided transport for the original movements, in collaboration with other humanitarian partners.
In June, in time for rainy season planting, 124 farming plots of 50 square meters were distributed to all PK12 households in Kabo expressing an interest in farming. IOM hired local workers to clear and demarcate the plots.
Another land donation ceremony will take place in Moyen Sido on 19th August to donate 338 farming plots and 460 household plots to PK12 community members. In Moyen-Sido, IOM worked with the NGO Solidarités and local authorities to have the Moyen-Sido plots demarcated and land cleared.
Since the April relocation of the PK12 community the number of displaced people in each of the two “Peace Village” sites have increased, from 272 to 728 in Kabo and from 987 to 1,624 in Moyen-Sido.
Many of the recent new arrivals (mostly of Peuhl ethnicity) in Kabo and Moyen Sido have come from the villages of Bokambaye, Malla and Bouca. The majority are women and children. Further displacement of IDPs towards Kabo has been seen due to violence in Bambari and Batangafo.
Later this year additional land plots will be distributed to IDPs living in the Peace Village sites in both Kabo and Moyen Sido who did not come from the PK12 community, but arrived at a later date from other locations.
The household plot distribution in Kabo and Moyen Sido will lead into a second phase of the relocation effort – an “IDP self‐construction housing project”.
Approximately 300 IDP and host-community youths will be trained by 30 master masons and carpenters to help the IDPs build new houses.
IOM will provide building materials and supplies. The project will improve living conditions for the IDPs, and is designed to build social cohesion, facilitate socio-economic reintegration for IDPs and host communities, and provide temporary employment for young people.
IOM helps IDPs in Kabo and Moyen Sido through the coordination of humanitarian assistance, protection, shelter provision and distribution of non-food relief items.
The project is being carried out by IOM in collaboration with the Central African Transitional Government, and with the support of the European Union Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) and the Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF).
Displaced persons in Kabo and Moyen Sido receive emergency assistance through the combined efforts of IOM, InterSOS, UNICEF, Solidarity International, MSF-Spain, ICRC and WFP.
According to the UN, there are currently approximately 527,000 IDPs in CAR. This includes 102,000 people in Bangui at 40 displacement sites.