Zulum Revisits Recovered New Marte, To Revive Irrigation Farming

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… Orders Rebuilding of 500 Housing Units, Schools

MAIDUGURI, North-East, Nigeria – Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, on Monday revisited New Marte, a former stronghold of Boko Haram by the shores of Lake Chad, to explore how major irrigation farming activities by the Chad Basin Development Authority (CBDA) could be restored July 2020.

In December 2019, Zulum was the first civilian to visit the ’no-go-area’ in more than five years, after insurgents attacked the agro community forcing residents to flee, while the CBDA was shutdown in an area, said to have over 67,000 hectares of fertile land for large scale irrigation.

New Marte is located in Marte Local Government Area of Borno and the entire LGA had come under the control of insurgents, until the Nigeria military recaptured it and has now given the ahead for civilians’ reoccupation.

Zulum, in company of CBDA’s Managing Director, Engineer Abba Bukar, state’s Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Commissioner for Higher Education, and that of Local Governments and Emirates Affairs flew from Maiduguri onboard a military helicopter.

During the unscheduled visit, Zulum assessed varieties of vandalized irrigation equipment, a power house, workshop and buildings used by the CBDA in active days where it engaged thousands of families.

“I am here with the MD of CBDA, Engr. Abba Bukar in New Marte, insha’Allah we will partner with them to resuscitate Marte’s irrigation centre. This will provide means of livelihood,” Zulum said.

The Borno helmsman during the visit directed the Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Re-settlement to commence reconstruction of 500 houses, which served as staff quarters for technicians and other staff of CBDA. The ministry is to also rebuild schools and other public facilities.

Zulum, said in a request to the CBDA, that when rebuilt, the 500 houses will provide temporary shelters to displaced persons willing to return to New Marte, even though their communities in different parts of larger Marte LGA will also be rebuilt for permanent occupation.

“Insha’Allah, we will rehabilitate the CBDA quarters, comprising of 500 housing units, the returning IDPs will be resettled there, pending the completion of work in permanent resettlements,” he added.

He said that the State Government will support returnees with economic packages, which will enable households to directly build their destroyed homes, while operating temporarily from CBDA’s quarters.

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