Borno commends livelihood support, social cohesion programmes in communities

Borno State Government on Thursday commended efforts of Action Against Hunger, an international organisation, in the implementation of its livelihood support, social cohesion programme in its communities.

The Commissioner for Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement, Engr. Mustapha Gubio, said this at the RESILAC National Grant Closing workshop in Abuja.

Action Against Hunger is implementing the Lake Chad Inclusive Economic and Social Recovery (The RESILAC project) with funding from the French Development Agency and European Union.

He said the intervention had impacted on the lives of 1,100 beneficiaries in livelihood support and over 3,500 beneficiaries in social cohesion programmes.

“For one local government, we are talking about 1,100 for livelihood support, but if you talk about social cohesion, we have over 3,500, that is bringing people together from diverse background for social cohesion, that is bringing people together from diverse background, religions and even the repentant Boko Haram members and the rest that are currently being integrated into their communities.

“For this one, we have tangible things that you can see, you can go to the communities and you will see young women fishing, tailoring, baking, ram fattening, cow fattening, I remember those in the poultry gets around 100 birds, and they get feeds up to maturity before selling the birds.’’

The commissioner was represented by his Technical Advisor, Mr Bitrus Mshelia.

He said the RESILAC project had had seen livelihood activities in lake chad territories, who had been mostly impacted by the security crisis and effect of climate change.

Gubio said communities have taken ownership of the projects, saying this would promote sustainability of all achievements.

Babagoni Shettima, Economic and Social Recovery Coordinator, Action Against Hunger, said since project had strengthened human capital and social cohesion, by improving the social cohesion of the population.

This, he noted was through support for development and psychosocial support for the victims of armed groups, adding that they also supported agricultural micro-entrepreneurship and apprenticeships.

Shettima said since project inception in 2018, a total of 52,000​ persons benefited in Jere, Monguno and Kukawa LGAs.

“38,463 persons benefitted in social cohesion activities, while 3,966 persons benefitted in our mental health psychosocial support.

“They were given the skills to withstand shock and trauma whenever it occurred, we have also rehabilitated water points and repaired nine boreholes.’’

He listed challenges of insecurity, which led to the withdrawal of its workers in Monguno and Kukawa LGAs, adding that the decision of the State Government to return IDPs to their ancestral homes also limited their efforts.

Mr Temitayo Omole, Programme Manager, Social Sector and Human Development, EU Delegation to Nigeria, said there was need for additional support to bring resilience to the lake chad region.

Omole, while commending the support of Borno Government, said there was need for renewed commitment from all partners in improving the lives of the population.

He urged all participants to bring out learnings and recommendations that would help future programme planning and implementation.

Mr Xavier Muron, Country Director, French Development Agency, said implementing projects in hostile environments called for smart approaches.

He said huge achievements from the RESILAC project was impressive, hinting that an extension may be done soon.

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