ON Monday this week, DAILY TRUST led with quotations from a Post Insurgency Recovery and Peace Building Assessment Report, presented by the Borno State Government to the World Bank, based on the effect of the Boko Haram insurgency in Borno, in the last seven years. It was a frightening report, which showed that Borno State lost 20,000 citizens and suffered property damaged worth $5.9billion (N1.9Trillion in today’s parallel market exchange rate).
The sum in question represents an “estimate of the value of public and private property damaged by the insurgents’ war in the state’s 27 local government areas”, as quoted by the newspaper. Of the 3, 232, 308 private houses in Borno, 956, 453, or 30% were destroyed by the insurgency, with Mobbar local government being worst hit, where 101, 085 0f 150, 585 private houses were destroyed. The report also noted that 5, 335 classrooms and other school buildings were destroyed, with Bama suffering the most, losing 519 classrooms and other school buildings. Schools were destroyed in 24 of the 27 local government areas.
In the same vein, Boko Haram destroyed 201 health centres, mostly primary health clinics, dispensaries and some General Hospitals. 1,630 water sources were also destroyed, such as motorised boreholes, solar powered boreholes and piped water schemes. 665 municipal buildings comprising ministry and LGA buildings; prisons; police stations and electricity offices were similarly vandalized.
Others included 726 distribution substations of 11 KV/415V and distribution lines in the 27 LGAs of Borno. Parks, game reserves, grazing reserves, green wall projects, orchards, ponds, river basins and lakes were also either poisoned or bombed, in addition to 470, 000 livestock that were either killed or stolen. While 20, 000 people were killed, majority of the two million internally displaced people, or those who took refuge in Niger, Chad and Cameroun, are mainly from Borno state. These are colossal figures of deaths, destruction and dislocations in communities that were very underdeveloped, even in the best of times. It is pursuit to a post insurgency development and rehabilitation as well as a peace building process, that this report has been prepared and presented to the World Bank and other development agencies, by the Borno state.
Long road to peace
The truth is that there is a very long road ahead, between the defeat of the insurgency, peace consolidation and the work that must be carried out to rehabilitate and reconstruct Borno in particular and the Northeast in general. There are issues in education and healthcare; water and sanitation; the rehabilitation of municipal buildings and the reconstruction of the thousands of private houses of people, as well as the re-planning and re-building of communities, villages and towns.
This is a process that must go together with the re-commencement of livelihood in agriculture; livestock; fishery; trading and in regeneration of community life in hundreds of locations that will be de-mined; while security must be restored as well as the provision of post-traumatic therapy for people, especially children, that will be re-integrated into communities, where schools must functions and teachers return to provide education. Surely, the Boko Haram insurgency has cost Borno and its people a lot! Nigeria and the world need to accelerate the reconstruction of these communities!