Boko Haram has destroyed $5.2 billion worth of property in just one state in Nigeria

Newsweek, August 9, 2017.

The human cost of Boko Haram’s bloody insurgency in Nigeria and surrounding countries has been enormous. Tens of thousands have been killed by the Islamist militants, while more than 2 million people have been forced from their homes.

The insurgency has also had a massive economic cost, particularly in Borno State, in northeast Nigeria, the epicenter of Boko Haram’s war.

Boko Haram has destroyed properties worth more than 1.9 trillion naira ($5.2 billion) during its eight-year insurgency, a Borno State government official announced on Tuesday, Nigeria’s Premium Times reported.

The militants have razed almost 1 million properties, including more than 986,000 residential homes; 5,335 classrooms; and over 200 health facilities and hospitals, according to Yerima Saleh, the permanent secretary of the state ministry of reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement.

More than 1,600 water facilities; 726 power stations and transformers; and 800 public services structures, including police stations and prisons, have also been destroyed, he said.

“The quantum of destruction caused by insurgents is monumental, resulting in serious humanitarian crisis,” said Saleh. “The destruction has rendered 22 out of the 27 local government council areas uninhabitable.”

Saleh said that the state government had so far constructed around 25,000 homes in communities liberated from Boko Haram, but that sustained support was necessary from the federal government and humanitarian organizations.

Governors from 18 states in northern Nigeria pledged a total of 360 million naira ($986,000) toward the reconstruction effort. The U.N.’s humanitarian office has received less than half of the $1.1 billion it needs to assist the 5.2 million people suffering from food shortages in northeast Nigeria…