Posted by News Express | 17 July 2016 | 2,599 times
A new group, Network for the Sustainable Development and Empowerment in Borno South (NSDE) has emerged, with avowed determination to champion Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Reintegration and Resettlement while stressing the position of reconciliation in Southern Borno which has been ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency.
A statement issued by its coordinator, Brig. Gen. DB Shaljaba (rtd) indicates that the new group is non-partisan, non-religious, non ethnic and not a profit making NGO. It was purposely set up by the sons and daughters of Southern Borno consisting of the Nine Local Government Areas that make up the Southern Borno Senatorial District (Askira/Uba, Bayo, Biu, Chibok, Damboa, Gwoza, Hawul, KwayaKusar and Shani).
The key areas the group will be focusing on include: Security, Education Intervention, Healthcare Support/Intervention; Water Supply and Food, Shelter, Empowerment, Humanitarian and other developmental services to improve the quality of life of the people of the area.
According to the coordinator, as the battle against Boko Haram intensifies the time has come to pay attention to some core issues which will shape the post insurgency era. In a recent letter to the elders and stakeholders from Southern Borno, the group observed some of the issues as follows:
“In all the post insurgency development plans and mapping of master plan for Rehabilitation, Rebuilding, Resettlement, Reintegration (RRRR) and Reconciliation (R) (which are in any case given less attention as at present), our entire region has not been given the due consideration it deserves. Worse still, many of our areas have not been captured in the four (reports) authorised by Multinational Development Partners, which has now been submitted to the presidency and which will serve as the basis for the Buhari plan for the North East (BPNE)
Secondly, “Most of the humanitarian assistance coming into Borno are not reaching the affected areas of Southern Borno, especially the IDPs in Biu, Gombe, Damboa, Chibok, and Askira Uba as well as other several informal (host community camps), as we all know that majority of our people are not in IDPs camp administered by government. Aside a few camps hosting Gwoza and Damboa IDPs, the Camp in Biu is almost unknown to many as far as humanitarian relief is concerned.
Thirdly, the group noted that “Over 35 settlements across the nation profiled to be hosting Gwoza IDPs, very little attention has been given by the state and Federal Government to the entire camps outside Maiduguri town.
The NSDE also noted that despite the numerous NGOs, CSOs, CBOs, FBOs, and multinationals operating within the state, efforts made so far to assist affected people of Borno South have not been anything to write home about. The statement said all interventions so far end up in Maiduguri while the Borno South people live in squalor and trauma of the insurgency.
Worthy of note, is the effort made by ICRC in Damboa, which evacuated about 53 persons for treatment to Gombe state for malnutrition related sicknesses after losing about 60 people due to the same complications of malnutrition. The Network, appreciate such effort and call on similar organisations to partner and assist in mitigating such catastrophic humanitarian challenges.
It is this evident neglect of Boko Haram insurgency victims in Southern Born that the group seeks to address. It noted that majority of the people are trying to rebuild their lives with no assistance from any organisation, government or from concerned citizens in the Diaspora. This sorry situation, NSDE said, makes the clarion call imperative for independent reassessment and action to correct such anomalies.
Stating the background to the emergence of the group, General Shaljaba said “We therefore, called for meetings where we deliberated amongst all the Southern Borno people present and came up with the idea to have an NGO registered and network of concerned citizens under this platform. This is to trigger the much needed advocacy for our region and our people to key into the post conflict rebuilding programmes and also benefit from the current humanitarian supports ongoing.
(a) We have so far recorded the following successes: Identified our critical political stakeholders to support and be part of the movement and to key into our demand and leave up their duty as political leaders from the zone.
(b) Got approval and registered the Network for Sustainable Development and Empowerments in Borno South (NSDE Borno South) as an NGO.
(c) Formed committees to champion various areas of interest
(d) Activated a media and advocacy group to make our needs known and call for action from our members and solicit partnership with NGOs and development partners to assist our people.
(f) We have documented all the damages to lives and properties in the nine (9) local government areas that make up the region. Such data is obtained to ease the process of the required intervention.
(g) Provision of humanitarian assistance outreach to few Local Government Areas based on what was available to assist, especially widows and aged ones in the zone.
The statement said: “Now we are set to scale up our engagements to trigger and deliver on our aims and objectives, thus: the call for all of us to support this organisation to succeed with what we have mapped out to support our distraught and traumatised people.
“We want to embark on self help programmes targeting education, health care services, security and empowerment to showcase what we can do before we secure grants and other partnerships needed for humanitarian assistance.”
Addressing stakeholders from the zone, General Shaljaba said: “With this letter we therefore notify you that soon, your attention will be called upon for donations, in cash and kind for our next outreach to our region.”
He appealed to everyone to “consider this to be a duty call for all sons and daughters of Southern Borno to make this organisation succeed in its stride to make life once more meaningful and worth living to all our citizens that have survived and wish to go back home.
•Photo shows a part of Borno ravaged by the Boko Haram war.
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