A Community Rebuilds Homes Lost to Conflict

Over more than a decade of armed conflict, thousands of families in northeast Nigeria have seen their homes destroyed. That’s why we’re working with communities to rebuild them, together.


Bulama Modu in Bama. Credit: Umar Sadiq, ICRC

In northeast Nigeria, armed conflict impacts all aspects of life.

More than a decade of clashes has resulted in more than two million people being displaced.

“There are a lot of people like me, without homes,” says Bulama Modu in the northeast town of Bama. “Because of the conflict, our houses were burnt down and many of us fled.”

Bulama Modu and others in his community returned to find their homes damaged or destroyed.

Being forced to leave your home impacts other aspects of life – like the ability to hold a job. That can make it hard to save enough to repair or rebuild.

“People affected by the conflict here have lost their means of livelihood… the little they earn goes into feeding the family,” Bulama Modu tells us.

“As I speak now, many people live in makeshift or dilapidated shelters, or are cramped in one place.”

Everyone deserves to sleep with a roof over their head. That’s why we worked with the community in Bama on a project to provide housing to those who had lost their homes due to conflict.

Now, Bulama Modu has a home again. But, as he says, thousands of people remain without access to housing across northeast Nigeria. Despite the challenges, these are communities that haven’t given up.


Community members, NRCS volunteers and ICRC team members work together in Bama. Credit: Umar Sadiq, ICRC

In Bama, consultations and co-design lead to the creation of this pilot project that brought on people from the community as partners – and has resulted in the construction of close to 100 homes.

This included training in new skills and employing Bama’s contractors, masons and carpenters in a bid to help generate jobs and boost the local economy.



Kadai is from Bama’s Ngomari community. A house for him and his family has been built. But Kadai also has the technical skills to help others in his community rebuild their homes.

“I am a bricklayer by profession,” he says. “This project has created jobs for me, my children and others in the community.”

Kadai, a bricklayer in Bama. Credit: Umar Sadiq, ICRC

For a town that is still lacking safe and sustainable access to farmland and water points, the project has helped communities identify and work towards solutions that reduce exposure to risks.


Construction begins as part of the permanent shelter project in Bama. Credit: Umar Sadiq.

Falmata Umara is another Bama resident. Her home had been burnt to the ground.

“So we built a temporary shelter made of roofing sheets and moved in,” she says.

Life in a temporary shelter was not easy. The permanent shelter project in Bama has helped change that.

“Now that we have a room, we are happy,” she says.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *