Photo Essay: A Village Weathers Boko Haram

Three years after Boko Haram insurgents overran and burned down a northeast Nigerian town, residents have rebuilt their area into a destination for IDPs fleeing the extremist organization’s violence.

Navanti researchers visited Damboa in August to conduct research into food security issues. They found newly constructed shops and a busy market, but also learned that the surrounding area remains threatened by Boko Haram attacks.


Some economic activity has returned to Damboa. The bus station functions as a marketplace.


The Nigerian government has helped spur economic growth. It has constructed shops for residents and maintains security in Damboa.


The roads around Damboa remain dangerous, and residents travel with military escorts.


People care about rehabilitating their town. A center in Damboa offers volunteer opportunities for youth.


Overcrowding is a pressing issue for Damboa residents. Time will tell if the Nigerian government is able to secure the surrounding area from Boko Haram militants, allowing IDPs to go home and returning a sense of normalcy to the town.