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Boko Haram: Resettling victims without master plan is dangerous -TOPREC tells FG

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The Town Planners Registration Council of Nigeria(TOPREC) on Thursday alerted the Federal Government of Nigeria over the resettlement of the victims of Boko Haram insurgency, warning that any resettlement efforts without a guiding master plan is risky.

This was contained in a press statement signed by the President of the organisation, Prof. Layi Egunjobi and made available to DAILY POST.

TOPREC expressed concerned over what it termed a “fatally compromised social structures”of the affected towns of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa and environs, which required a robust master plan as a prelude to resettlement, purposely to achieve a desired goal of total rehabilitation.

The statement suggested a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) mechanism as part of the planning for resettlement for the IDPs, to quickly address the inherent psychological trauma many have gone through in their camps.

” The on-going resettlement projects in the states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe are essentially top-down without the involvement of the affected communities and the participation of professionals such as Town Planners and allied professionals. These, among others, are the factors responsible for the mounting humanitarian crises in the IDP Camps in particular and in the resettlement areas.

” Sadly, the situation is so bad that children are dying of malnutrition while other social vices such as s3x for food by desperate women, have become rampant in the IDP camps.

“We are equally concerned about the actions of the Federal and the affected States Governments which indicate that they appear to have embarked on large scale resettlement of the IDPs in their original towns and villages. The absence of planning has deprived the exercise of the opportunity of creating more liveable, resilient, integrated, connected and socially inclusive neighbourhoods.

“The preparation of a detailed Master Plan for the Redevelopment of the affected areas, ahead of the actual resettlement, will facilitate the generation of critical data on all aspects of the socioeconomic life of the affected people ahead of the actual resettlement.

“The Master Plan will also contain detailed proposals on the Physical Redevelopment plan for the socio-economic revival of the affected towns and villages; Reintegration Programme for men/insurgents; Redevelopment and economic stimulation Plans for the affected towns and villages; among others.”, the statement reads.

It further explained that planning must include pilot projects for economic empowerment for women and youth in the affected regions, and programme for raising awareness on the redevelopment needs of the affected region among Nigerians and International Community.

According to the statement, Capacity Development Programme, with focus on spatial analysis and project definition, for the technical and professional staff (Town Planners, Architect, Engineers etc.) in the public sector of the affected states are also fundamental, to understand the needs and demands for plan formulation and implementation.

“You may wish to know that due to the socio-economic, spatial, psychological, cultural as well as technological dimensions of the rehabilitation project, TOPREC had at its disposal assemblage of a variety of professionals and experts to lead in collaboration to address the multidisciplinary issue.

“As Town Planners, history has shown that the success of a resettlement exercise is hinged on the extent to which the affected people are directly involved in its planning, execution an imbibing in them a sense of ownership of the project.

“It is also tends to facilitate a much faster healing process for the members of such communities. We are also convinced this bottom-up and stakeholder driven process should be predicated on the preparation of a comprehensive Master Plan, which will serve as bases for implementation, monitoring and evaluation of progress”.


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