Entering New Communities

She remembers running, her heart pounding. She vaguely remembers falling and then drifting in and out of consciousness. When she came to, her worst fears came to life. Her brother had been killed by the insurgents. She could still hear the gunshots. It got so bad that every time she heard something loud, she would hear her heart pounding, her palms would get shaky, she would suddenly be out of breath and she would be very terrified. This had continued even after leaving the North-East of Nigeria.

Another woman described how she saw people falling as they run away from their homes, amid a torrent of gunfire. As they were running, they jumped over dead bodies. Once they got to a relatively safe location, she could not stop shaking and could not hold on to anything. Others described scenes where children died as they could not keep up with the running or were not fed for days due to lack of food. Sometimes there was food but no way to cook it. 

These are just a few experiences shared by Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the new communities that the BasicNeeds team is entering. After wrapping up from Mpape and Mararaba communities, the team is moving to Guruku (Mararaba) and Waru (Apo) communities. August 15th and 16th marked community consultations in the two communities. The consultation was aimed at giving the stakeholders a general overview of the project as well as getting an idea of what their expectations from Gede are. The attendants were introduced to the BN model and how it can be of help to them. 

Both communities expressed a need for empowerment as they have been away from their homes for a long time and having something to do will keep their minds busy. Furthermore, they acknowledged that they need assistance as some of their members have been adversely affected by the insurgency in the north. The trauma has led some of them to substance abuse, while others usually seem lost in thought, talk to themselves, wander around aimlessly and often cannot get a goodnight’s sleep. 

The community consultation gave both Gede and the new stakeholders an idea of what to expect going forward. Please check out website regularly for updates from the field.