More and more Nigerians are returning home to rebuild their lives after escaping violence between Boko Haram insurgents and government soldiers in a conflict that has driven at least 2 million people from their homes during an eight-year insurgency.
Amina Ida and her children are back home in Michika, a town in Nigeria’s northern Adama state to rebuild their lives after living in neighbouring Cameroon for about two years.
Amina and her family are part of the millions of people who fled conflict in the Lake Chad region that uprooted more than two million people from their homes at the height of conflict in 2015.
Our area was the most affected in Michika by the crisis, all the houses around here were destroyed.
“Our area was the most affected in Michika by the crisis, all the houses around here were destroyed,” she said.
In recent months, many have returned home, only to find their houses and their businesses in ruins.
Zika Dlama and his family also lost their property after the militant group bombed homes.
“This is my room, this is my brother’s room, and this is my wife’s room. This is my sister’s room, and my father’s wife’s room, before it was burnt down. All of them,” Dlama added.
ICRC field officer Ikani Daniel Idoko, has been training farmers on how to cultivate their fields using improved farm methods and increase food stocks.
The ICRC has distributed seeds and fertilizer to over 75,000 people, including Dlama, so that they could start growing food again.
“There were really down to nothing, and the assistance has gone a long way to help them with their livelihood activities. Their farms are doing well and life is getting back to normal.”
According to the United Nations data, more than 7.2 million people across Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad now need food aid.
The four countries’ aid response plans for 2017 have been 57 percent funded. The United Nations said it needs $2.24 billion to fund assistance programs in the region. Hundreds of thousands of people who desperately need food assistance still remain in camps for the displaced.
While the number of children aged under five suffering from severe malnutrition in the region has risen by two-thirds since last September.