Nigeria

Nigeria

They survived Boko Haram, now returnees are fighting hunger

Post date Tuesday, 4 July, 2017 - 16:22

Adamawa, Nigeria (CNN)In September 2014, Boko Haram attacked Bdagu -- a village in Adamawa state, northern Nigeria.

Jafiya Nuhu, a 52-year-old commercial farmer, hid under maize cobs in his farm with his wife and two children as the insurgents raided their neighbors, looting and torching houses.His family and a few others were lucky to escape unhurt.
"It all happened so fast," Nuhu recounts. While the attack occurred on a Sunday morning, his family stayed hidden till late in the night and ran through the bushes till they arrived in a village, five kilometers away from Michika.
They found safety in the embrace of sympathetic villagers. "They offered us food," he says, admitting that he struggled to fend for his family, having been cut away from his source of livelihood.
Today, Nuhu and his family have returned to his community but he has not farmed since.
According to the International Organization for Migration's Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Round XV February-March 2017 report, Adamawa State has had the highest number of returnees with the total of 655,122, followed by Borno and Yobe.
The report shows that about 1,151,427 internally displaced persons returned home in March with over 10% (122, 507) returned to Michika.
These days, Nuhu hews firewood and earns a meager N500 ($1.50) daily from wood sales -- selling about five packs at N100 each (30 cents) -- to support his family.
"The last time I farmed in Bdagu was 2014, and after Boko Haram attack I have not gone back to farming," he says. "I tried [but] they chased me from my farm."
Many other farmers from the settlement have similar tales to Nuhu's -- unable to farm and earn a livelihood since the aftermath of the September 2014 capture of their community by the insurgents.
Internally Displaced People (IDPs) are gradually returning to their respective communities, many of which remain bullet-ridden ruins and unsafe for farming.
The timing of the return coincides with the worst economic crisis experienced by Nigeria in over two decades.
The local currency naira has fallen significantly against the dollar as the recession bites hard.

 

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