In a renewed effort towards the rehabilitation of people most affected by insurgency, the Energy of Commission of Nigeria (ECN) in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have executed solar projects in Hong Local council of Adamawa State.
Over 13,065 people in 12 communities benefited from the project, which utilises solar energy resources for electricity generation to meet the need for water supply, street lightings, improved health care services, lighting and mobile phone charging devices.
The projects impacted on the livelihoods of people in villages like Fa’a Gaya, Gaya Silkami, Garaha Mijili, Dilwachira, Gashala Mamud, Mutuku, Shashua, Garaha Lari, Garaha Banga, Kubutaf, Pella and Kwakwa, who have started rebuilding their once ravaged communities.
An elated member of a benefitting community, Mr. Phanuel Mohammed told The Guardian that there were tremendous increase in number of patients coming for treatment in the clinic after the projects were commissioned.
“Our vaccines and drugs are now preserved and people would no more go to council headquarters for medical attention.” He enthused.Commenting on the project, a youth leader, Mr. Solomon Stephen expressed happiness over the provision of water and street-lights in most of the affected communities, which were hitherto deserted.
According to him, in the history of the villages, they have not benefitted from any developmental projects, “except ECN/UNDP Solar empowered projects.
He therefore urged governments, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and corporate organizations to emulate the gesture and try as much as possible to replicate the some of these amenities in other villages ravaged by insurgency.”
Speaking on behalf of womenfolk, Nachafiya Mallam described the potable solar lanterns with handset charging device as very good, saying they would also need solar grinding machines and mosquito net.
For the administrator, Kulinyi Development Area, Mr. Davidson Jeruro, the commissioning of the amenities had led to the return of about 75 percent of the displaced people.
He maintained that prior to Solar projects in Kwakwa community, only 50 percent of the people displaced by insurgents returned home.Usaini Isa, a Village head of Shashua also expressed appreciation for the efforts of ECN/UNDP in making the project a reality.
Speaking to The Guardian on the project, Adamawa State Commissioner of Water Resources, Mr. Julius Kadala said seven local councils in the state were affected by the Boko Haram insurgence.
He said: “we are working on some projects right now and this would ensure that peace returns to the communities. We are still studying the situation. We are also embarked on rehabilitation of the displaced people.”
He observed, a lot is needed to be done in order to attract those outside to return to the village, adding, schools and health centres are critical projects, and government is working toward encouraging internally displaced people to come home.
On his part, a Director in ECN, Okon Ekpenyong, said baseline study was carried out before embarking on the projects in the 12 benefitting villages.
He said the invasion of many communities by insurgents in North East led to poor access to clean energy in the most affected areas, hence the need for such amenities, like potable water supply and health care services for people who have started returning home.
Ekpenyong said the solar projects were initiated to improve access to clean and renewable energy conversion devices like open-to-sun drying method, dry-wood or kerosene lanterns and traditional three- stone woodstove for cooking, lighting and heating energy needs.
“We are trying to build local capacity in the project management and systems maintenance for the sustainability of the solar projects in the affected communities,” he added.