Rebuilding Ngarannam is a stabilization program in Northeast Nigeria that builds a new living space – which includes around 500 houses – for communities attacked and displaced by Boko Haram. Conceived and led by Mohamed Yahya, UNDP Nigeria Resident Representative, and supported by the Nigerian government, the urban plan and infrastructure will include housing and basic services such as a school and healthcare facility, set to be completed in the summer of 2022. Nigerian Consultant and Architect Tosin Oshninowo designed the plan and held consultations within the community by visiting and interviewing the residents living in the area before devising a settlement town that reflects and speaks to their culture. The ongoing project has set forth to construct approximately 500 residential units, a marketplace, health clinic, community center, primary school, teachers’ quarters, a police outpost and residence, as well as water facilities which will be solar-powered.
The project, which runs under the Nigeria Regional Stabilization Facility, supports displaced communities that want to return home. The teams and organizations backing it up see the need to provide peace, security, and access to basic services to the affected and that failure to address these rapidly raises the probability of a return to armed conflict. The project targets communities that remain vulnerable to continued infiltration and attacks and seeks to improve their safety and security by delivering stable infrastructure, basic services, and access to livelihood opportunities. The program offers short-term, visible, and quick-impact development and peace-building interventions in areas affected by conflict around Lake Chad and enables refugees to return and lay the ground for longer-term development interventions.
images by Tolulope Sanusi, Tosin Oshninowo, and UNDP
The vision for the ‘Homes for Ngarannam’ was to design a settlement town more closely related to the Kanuri/Islamic culture than the existing stabilization programs that have been executed by UNDP and Borno State Government in the State. The project considers the community’s preference of color in addition to the adaptation of the Zaure, a traditional reception room that mirrors the Kanuri/Islamic culture in separating public and private areas in the home. The Nigerian Government and the UNDP believes in a human-centered design where interventions suit the residents’ culture, environmental, and climate needs. The teams found it necessary to build structures and use materials that are appropriate, conscious, and respectful to the way of life that existed before the conflict.
The approach for Ngarannam is to re-establish the community and create a secure environment for the free return of the former community members. Before the insurgency, the former residents of the Ngarannam community had a flourishing cultural diversity considering that the society was a mixed presence of Fulani, Kanuri, Shuwa, and Gamargu members. The displacement has disrupted the functionality of their cultural systems, and the teams behind the project made it their priority to involve them in the design proposal. The master plan’s design aims to regulate growth that will enable residents of Ngarnannam to rebuild and return to the semblance of their normal lives. Aside from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Nigerian Government has also drawn support from donors such as the European Union, Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and the Netherlands, which have been delivering activities through its Regional Stabilization Facility (RSF).
‘Rebuilding Ngarannam’ in Nigeria builds 500 homes for citizens displaced by Boko Haram
The ongoing conflict in the Lake Chad Region has affected Nigeria and its neighboring countries Cameroon, Niger, and Chad. One of the places affected in the northeast is a small community called Ngarranam in Mafa Local Government Area, Borno State. The community was destroyed and displaced following attacks by the insurgent group Boko Haram, which led to extensive destruction of their community in 2015. Their shelter, livelihood, social system, and local leadership structures were also affected because of the attacks. The Nigerian government identified Ngaranam as an ideal case for township expansion, making the community a priority when it comes to rebuilding their lives in their peaceful, protected state.
Currently, Ngarannam is deserted as their displacement is prolonged. It has become challenging to keep their standard of living in displaced locations with the protracted displacement in Mafa town also straining the current infrastructure and limiting livelihood opportunities. Expanding the township that provides services and livelihood will enable citizens to join in the engagement with the local government in designing and benefitting from public services provision, all while living in a safe space where their cultures and communities can flourish again.
view of the house
‘Rebuilding Ngarannam’ in Nigeria is an on-going project
the vision of the program is to create a settlement whose culture reflects that of the residents
the project seeks to construct a marketplace, health clinic, and community center.
the project will also construct a primary school, teachers’ quarters, a police outpost and residence, and water facilities.
name: Rebuilding Ngarannam
architect: Tosin Oshninowo
led by: Mohamed Yahya
supported by: Nigerian Government, United Development Programme, the European Union
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