In an effort to provide quality life for the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, currently taking refuge at public schools in Borno State, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, and United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, are partnering the Borno State government to build shelter for 2,500 families in the state capital.
IDPs occupying public schools in Maiduguri are expected to be moved into the 2,500 planned buildings when completed in the next two weeks to enable students return to the classrooms for the first time in over a year.
Earlier, the state government had announced plans of reopening the schools for classes immediately the IDPs are relocated to a new camp.
According to the UNHCR field/protection officer in Borno state, Mohammed Tejan-Cole, the new camp with toilets, boreholes and health facility centres will be built to absorb over 20, 000 IDPs that will be relocated from the various public school camps within Maiduguri.
“In the first phase, 1, 250 shelter units are to be built by local engineers on ground, while the remaining 1, 250 are to be completed during the second phase of massive relocation of the displaced persons currently living in some of the secondary and primary schools in Maiduguri”.
The UNICEF representative in the state, Franck Ndaie, said that water and health care facilities will be provided at the extended new Bakasi camp to ensure the IDPs do not contract any waterborne diseases.
According to him, “UNICEF is to build 150 toilets, sinking of boreholes, and the provision of health care centres, including the security of IDPs. Each block of the family shelter units, will also have 28 classrooms, so that children of IDPs return to school this month”.
The Borno state Commissioner of Education, Musa Inuwa Kubo, said the state government is focused on ensuring the displaced persons are relocated from public schools to camps, so that the schools are re-opened this month.
Kubo lauded UNICEF, UNHCR and other partners, including international donor agencies for efforts made on relocation of displaced persons from public schools to the new camps.
He urged corporate organisations and well to do individuals, including philanthropists, to emulate UNHCR and UNICEF in rendering humanitarian services in “kind or cash to the state government”.