In the past two days I visited, along with members of the EYN (Nigerian Church of the Brethren) Crisis team, two large pieces of land purchased by EYN for resettling families from northeastern Nigeria, displaced by the violence of Boko Haram.
At the Luvu Masaka area just north of the city of Abuja, the building of 70 small block houses is already underway. The hope is to have all the walls up, of those houses, in another 10 days, and then start on the roofs.
Families are currently crowed together in the homes of relatives or other church members and are eager to have even a small, simple house where they can settle temporarily or even for the long-term. Once homes are finished, plans are for building a school, and a clinic. A plot of land will be available for each family to raise food.
If once settled there, a family is able to earn money to build its own larger structure, there is enough land there for that. And if families decide to leave the “camp” or what will become a new small village, the house and land they used will be made available to another family needing housing. Even once the crisis stemming from the attacks of Boko Haram is resolved, the land and infrastructure will be there for families to move to in any future disaster.
At the second site, just north of the city of Jos, we walked around an open, somewhat hilly field, with brush and occasional trees. As with the Luvu Masaka Camp, plans here are also to clear parts of the land for small houses to be built, along with a school and clinic for the residents and people in the surrounding area.
The need and the tasks before them are great, yet with careful planning, hard work, and the help of others outside Nigeria. they are making progress.
(Pictures: First is the building at the Masaka Camp, and second is the open field north of Jos)
Peggy Faw Gish, 18 April, 2015