Life is gradually bouncing back to normal at the boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria, notably in the Far North region seriously hit by insecurity from the Nigerian based Islamist activist group, Boko Haram.
Schools have resumed even though not all. Commercial activities are fast gaining ground, according to authorities of the Emi-Immigration. Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the busiest days with goods traversing the border towns of Fotokol in Cameroon and Gambaru in Nigeria, all separated by the El Beid Bridge. In effect, Fotokol, one of the most affected towns is said to be witnessing a gradual return of its inhabitants following the decision of the administration to reopen the boundary and calling on teachers and other administrators who had been forced to quit the town to return to their jobs.
The decision of the administration was certainly taken against the backdrop of the significant reduction in the number of attacks in the area from the terrorist group and the numerous victories registered by the defence forces in the fight. The drop in such attacks rekindled lots of hope ushering in the need for the life to return to normal at the border. Considering the fact that the area had been instilled with fear, the administration needs to take a number of measures to make life more attractive to returning workers and inhabitants.
Those who braved the odds to come back, need some basic social amenities. They need to have ready access to water, electricity and good health facilities. What else would one expect from a teacher who complains of living in an area where there are no good lodging facilities? Some of the infrastructures destroyed during Boko Haram attacks have neither been revamped nor replaced. Children continue to study in the open air.
Now that trade is regaining steam, it is important to do the things that are necessary for its enhancement. The Far North Region which was known to be one of the major revenue sources from the customs department had seen its performance drop to disturbing level. The customs posts in some areas had virtually closed down. The security component of building back the region is guaranteed which is really good. However, the provision of social infrastructure will make life more attractive in the area.
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