Boko Haram: Borno to provide free education to 23,000 displaced orphans

The Borno Government says it will offer nursery and primary school scholarships to 23,000 orphans taking refuge in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the state.

Ahmed Satomi, the Chairman, State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, disclosed this on Sunday in Maiduguri in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.

Mr. Satomi said the gesture was aimed at catering for the education of the vulnerable children who did not have anybody to sponsor their education.

He said the orphans, who were unaccompanied children found in various Boko Haram liberated towns, would be engaged in meaningful activities that would make them forget their traumatic experience.

The SEMA official explained that the agency, in collaboration with other Non-Governmental Organisations, NGOs, was doing everything possible to cater for the welfare of the orphaned children.

“The children are all Boko Haram victims; some of their parents were killed while some of them had fled without any traces.

“We are doing what we can through our Child Protection Centre that offers training, counselling and other psychosocial support for the children.

“The Ministry for Women Affairs is helping us a lot in this regard.

“We also have NGOs like Save the Children, UNICEF, Red Cross, UNDP and WHO which are working round the clock to provide good healthcare services and other supports,” he said.

Mr. Satomi said SEMA had separate kitchen for children where good foods were prepared and served to them. He expressed the hope that the living parents of the unaccompanied children would soon be identified.

“With the recent mop-up exercise by the military and the liberation of IDPs from Cameroon, Dikwa, Gwoza and Bama, we are sure that some of the parents of these children would be identified,” he said.

Also, in Adamawa, Haruna Furo, the Secretary, Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency, said on Sunday that about 90 per cent of IDPS in the various camps in the state had returned home.

Mr. Furo, who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Yola, said the affected persons were from seven local government areas of the state.

“Following recapturing of the areas and return of normalcy, about 90 per cent of the displaced persons in the camps have left.

“The displaced persons that remain in the camps are those whose villages are at the fringes of Sambisa, who felt it is still not safe to go back home,” Mr. Furo said.

Also an official of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, in the state, Sa’ad Bello, said that the displaced persons that remained at the camps were those recently evacuated from Cameroon.

“With the return of peace in parts of the North East, many displaced persons have left the camps on their own; we assisted some of them with food and transport to go back home,” Mr. Bello said.

He said not more than 10,000 of the 30,000 affected persons were still at the camps, adding that most of them were from Borno.

Mr. Bello said some of the displaced persons were, however, staying with their relations and friends.

He said that NEMA in collaboration with the state government and other international organisations, have been working to put some basic things, such as hospitals and schools in place for the returnees.

“We are providing the returnees with little support, while resettlement and rehabilitation of the affected villages will be handled by the Presidential Committee,” Mr. Bello said.

The Adamawa House of Assembly had passed a bill establishing the State Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency.

The agency, to be funded by the state government, would reconstruct damaged facilities and residential houses in Madagali, Michika, Mubi North, Mubi South, Maiha, Hong and Gombi.

The bill, sponsored by Hassan Barguma (APC-Hong) is aimed at alleviating the suffering of the affected communities.


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