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.

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

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

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

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

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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.