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Resettled houses in Borno State’s Konduga district are a ‘total disgrace’

21 September 2023
Reading time: 4 minutes

IDPs say although they have complained to local authorities, no one in the Konduga district has responded, so they continue to live in filth and squalor in homes that are falling apart.

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) say the houses in Dalori where they have been resettled by the Borno State government are a “disgrace” – the roofs leak, the ceilings are caving in and the toilets are broken and filthy, with many completely unusable.

Dalori is in the Konduga Local Government Area. Most of its inhabitants fled years ago to avoid the persistent and deadly attacks by insurgents. And most went to live in official IDP camps in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.

But, in October 2021, state governor Babagana Zulum announced that all official IDP camps in the city would be shut down by the end of December that year.

His reasoning was that the recent improvement in the security situation in the state meant it was safe for IDPs to return and resettle in their ancestral homes.

The IDPs were given food, clothes and money to start businesses in their former hometowns. The government promised that discarded and dilapidated houses would be renovated or new homes constructed. Basic infrastructure would be provided and there would be schools and clinics. They would be able to live safely back in their ancestral villages and hometowns.

As has been reported by RNI, the government did not live up to its promises and in many cases resettled IDPs were angry and disappointed.
The inhabitants of Dalori are among the many upset and unhappy resettled IDPs.

They say the homes built for them are a disgrace. Just about all of them have roofs that leak, ceilings that are caving in and filthy toilets that are broken and which fill up and overflow on to the floors, worsening living conditions.

RNI spoke to some of them. They all agreed that the houses were not only poorly constructed or in a bad shape, but they were also “a total disgrace”.
Now, in the rainy season, the houses did not even offer them shelter because of all the leaking roofs. They said this was particularly hard on women and children.

Yakura Mohammed, a resettled woman in Dalori, told RNI that the house where she has been living for about a year was a complete mess because of shoddy construction.

“The roof of the house leaks every time it rains. And, during the wet season, that’s almost all the time. We can’t sit or lie down because everything is wet. So we just stand and wait until the rainfall ends.”

Jalo Mohammed said the government needed to do something about the condition of the houses in Dalori.

“The construction of the houses is extremely poor. And the toilets are unhygienic because they fill up and then spill over on to the floors. We have complained to the local authorities and community leaders several times but we get no response from them and no feedback.”

Fanna Alhaji said her home was also in a “disgusting” condition and that she and her children really suffered, especially when it rained.
“The toilets attached to the house have broken apart because the construction was substandard. It’s really unhealthy and I am always concerned that my children and I will get sick because it is so dirty. We have not been able to use the toilets for about three months now. They are filthy. We can’t carry on living like this. The government and local authorities need to do something urgently. But we have not seen or heard from them.”
Falmata Mohammed has been living with her young children in her house in Dalori for a year and three months.
“Even when we moved in we could see it had been badly constructed. We continue to stay here because we do not have anywhere else to go. We have tried our best to stop the roof from leaking and to fix the toilets.
“But we have run out of money and can’t do anything more to try to repair the house. All of us are in the same position. We have leaking roofs and, in some houses, even the structure of the roofs has caved in. The ceilings are no more. It’s not simply uncomfortable, it’s more than that. It’s unhealthy, especially the toilets. We worry our children will get sick and then what do we do? In some ways living here is worse than it was when we lived in the IDP camp in Maiduguri.”
Local authorities were not available to comment.


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