Mercy Corps, the global humanitarian groups in collaboration with the European Union (EU) on Thursday, November 5, handed over 325 permanent shelters to returnee families in Gwoza community in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria.
Ndubisi Anyanwu, the Country Director of Mercy Corps Nigeria, explained in a statement obtained by HumAngle that the donation was done in line with the ‘MAIDA’ Early Recovery Programme supporting the early recovery of about 200,000 returnees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and others affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the region.
Anyanwu stated that asides from Mercy Corps and the EU, the MAIDA Early Recovery Programme was also implemented by the International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED).
The shelters were part of efforts to ensure social protection to such families, who have now returned to rebuild their lives after many of their homes had been completely destroyed or damaged by violent attacks, he said.
The Country Director disclosed that Mercy Corps had identified 1,916 displaced families in need of urgent shelter in Gwoza after the organisation’s initial assessment of the community in November 2018.
“Through the construction of these shelters, the MAIDA program has played its part in trying to build a sustainable construction industry in Gwoza in the medium to long term,” Anyanwu said.
“In delivering this objective, we saw the community leadership taking a lead from even sourcing materials to design to modification.”
According to him, the economic impact was seen where materials were sourced locally, the social impact was seen where the artisans were engaged and empowered by taking part in the actual construction and by helping them put some kind of structure to their businesses.
He commended the Borno State Government through the Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (MRRR), that was instrumental in seeing that the community shelter design needs were met.
Giving more insights into the construction of the shelters, Anyanwu noted that the International Centre for Energy, Environment & Development (ICEED), a partner in the programme, provided solar home systems and electrical wiring/installations for the shelters.
“Mercy Corps Nigeria is going beyond emergency response and survival to a more sustainable approach through resilience,” he added.
“We would also like to sincerely thank the traditional rulers and the local government leaders and officials for their unalloyed support and collaboration; we thank them for accepting us and for working with us to create this success story.”
Montse Pantaleoni, the Team Lead of Health, Nutrition and Resilience of the EU Delegation also said that the EU had given more than 500 million euros to the Humanitarian, Development and Peace Nexus in Borno State.
“With the crisis entering its 12th year, the European Union is leading efforts to support the needs of the people affected by this protracted conflict and its impacts in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states,” Pantaleoni said.
“The EU recognises the need to go beyond life saving humanitarian assistance and start early recovery activities where possible, and to strengthen the resilience of the most vulnerable.”
Gwoza is a Local Government Area in Borno State. Its headquarters are in the town of Gwoza, a border town about 135 kilometres South-East of Maiduguri.
The local government area is known as a notorious hideout for the Boko Haram insurgents, who arrived in the area in 2009 from Maiduguri.