A dusty, dry and conflict-affected area in the Far North region of Cameroon has been turned into a “land of hope” according to a mentor for people displaced by the activities of terrorists in the West African country.
For this special edition of our Lid Is On podcast, Daniel Dickinson travelled to the north-east of Cameroon to meet two survivors of terrorism who are trying to rebuild their lives following the unspeakable acts committed against them and their families.
Youssouf Mbodou Mbami is the chief of the Canton of Bol and presides over a large swathe of Lake Chad, an area where many young people have been recruited or forced to join terrorist groups, such as Boko Haram.
Tens of thousands of drought-resistant trees are being planted with the support of the UN in the Lake Chad region to restore vegetation cover around the lake, help farmers adapt to climate change, and support women's economic initiatives.
It is not impossible to address the challenges of the Lake Chad region if local people can find ways to make a sustainable living, said Bineta Diop, AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, adding that the linkage between poverty and radicalization was “obvious”. Daniel Dickinson asked her how big the development challenges were in the area.
It is critical to shore up areas of Africa’s Lake Chad Basin freed from the grip of Boko Haram, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General told the Security Council on Thursday, as she also called for efforts to rebuild the lives of women and girls that have suffered at the hands of the terrorist group.
United Nations officials today underscored the need for sustained international support for the humanitarian response in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region, where millions are in need of emergency assistance.