IDPs Jubilate as IOM, South Korea Complete Water Boreholes in N’East

By Nkiru Emeka-Nwankpa, with Agency reports on April 21, 2019

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International Organization for Migration

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), in their thousands, are jubilatingas the giant United Nations humanitarian agency, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) handed over completed waterboreholes to Gwoza and Konduga communities in Borno State.

The projects were executed under the auspices of an initiative funded by the Republic of Korea to increase access to safe and dignifyingliving conditions in communities for returnee victims of insurgency.

The jubilation by thousands of the returnees and beneficiaries was triggered by their sudden realization that they had become free fromthe risks, rigours and pains of travelling tens of kilometers away to fetch water from open wells largely infested with dirt, debris and decomposed objects.

‘’We used to travel for more than 12 kilometres to fetch water from an unprotected well before the new borehole was re-opened’’, Bakin, one of the excited beneficiaries, said.

Agency reports quoted Dave Bercasio, Emergency Coordinator at IOM Nigeria, as saying: ‘’Our aim is to improve access to community infrastructure and basic services and to ensure that these rehabilitation activities are sustainable.

At the re-opening of the rehabilitated water facilities, the Republic of Korea’s envoy to NigeriaAmbassador Lee In-tae, said that his country donated $75 million to support women and girls in Borno State as well as tackle humanitarian needs in the region through the multi-lateral platforms provided by people-oriented organization such as the IOM and similar reputable agencies.

‘’The Korean Government will continue to strengthen efforts by providing support to vulnerable people, especially women and girls, continue capacity-building of government officials as well as promote education and health of Nigerian youths’’, he said.

An estimated 7.1million people affected by the conflict are in acute need of improved living standards, protection and life-saving assistance in the region, according to a Humanitarian Response Strategy for Nigeria 2019-2021.

The IOM-driven rehabilitation projects have incrementally improved access to clean water for 13,500 persons voluntarily returning to their communities of origin where drilling, installation, maintenance and rehabilitation of boreholes are powered by solar energy.

IOM’s Nigeria Head of Sub-office, Dave Bercasio also noted that his agency was strategically engaging the beneficiaries by forming community-based water, sanitation and hygiene committeescomprising local elders, women, men and youths. 

They are to be specially tasked to conduct regular water quality monitoring activities, provide maintenance of the boreholes and conduct sensitization activities to raise awareness about the rehabilitated facilities and how to use them.  

The UN agency has also completed an additional borehole in Damboa as well as the rehabilitation of a community market in Konduga and two primary schools in Mandarari and Pulka benefitting approximately 6,000 people.

According to him, the project approach is guided by the IOM Progressive Resolution of Displacement Situation (PRDS) framework, which started on November 1, 2018 for a seven-month duration period aimed at promoting pre-conditions for safe, dignified and voluntary return in identified areas of return.





Posted on April, 21 2019

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