Plan International with the support from European Union (EU) has launched the Lake Chad Basin Stability Map under the Youth Leading Stabilisation Efforts in the Lake Chad Basin of Cameroun, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.
The project is expected to boost the participation of young people in peace building efforts and as well close the data gap affecting the humanitarian response in the region.
The Country Director, Plan International Nigeria, Mr Charles Usie , at the launch in Abuja said the programme was a document and tool that would be activated to bring about development for the country.
According to him, Nigeria has continue to battle with the Boko Haram insurgency, local youth-led organisations are also having to find ways of mitigating this threat.
“It is a document and a tool, that can be used to bring about development for any nation for any people anywhere in the world. In this instance, young people are holding on to opinions and issues based on facts.
” They generate this fact, populate it a d put it out for the public to engage, question and interrogate, and on the basis of this fact they can use it to engage government, this is quite unique.
” In that way when we are speaking to the government, the belief is that over time young people will be able to use these facts to influence government in such a way that the budget in those localities will be used judiciously, will be used in empowering ways to bring more prosperity for more young people,” he said.
Also, the Regional Project Manager of the EU Project, Lisa Angulo, said the map was an online map, where the youths of this project have collected different facilities in their own communities.
“ The Lake Chad Basin Stability Map, under “Youth Leading the Stabilization Effort in the Lake Chad Basin is an EU-funded project that contributes to young people’s effective participation in peace-building efforts.
” So they have mapped different facilities like health centres , education centres, centres for youth participation, and they have been uploaded on the online map where you can zoom into the late Chad basin and see every infrastructure that already exists.
“The needs in the communities are not specific, there is a need for government to always include youths in decision making.”
Angulo, called on every actor to think about those affected by the project and include them in decision making process
Also, a representative of the Kaleri youths group, Alima Muhammed said the project had been impactful and had changed the mindset of the youths to become agents of change.
Muhammed said the group had many activities implemented in the community which had improved the involvement of youths and reduced drug abuse, gender-based violence, and conflicts