Resilience to Violent Extremism: The Rural Livelihood Coping Strategies in the Lake Chad Basin


Year: 2016 HiCN Working Paper No. 237

This paper is an analysis of the effects of violent extremism and the rural livelihoods strategies for coping with threats from Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin. Since 2009, the Lake Chad Basin has witnessed increasing insurgency activities from the Boko Haram militants, leading to the destruction of lives, livelihoods, and displacements. However, studies have shown that while violent conflict has destructive impacts on lives and livelihoods–more people survive than perish. People threatened by violence from the extremist group cannot afford to wait for help; they adopt strategies to survive and protect their livelihoods. This study explores these mechanisms through review and analysis of the literature and current research in the Lake Chad Basin. The paper argues, the violence from Boko Haram has both direct and indirect effects on households whose primary sources of livelihoods are dependent on the resources from the basin. In response, the affected households adopt both positive and adverse strategies to mitigate immediate and long- term threats from the militant groups. The study contributes to a more nuanced understanding of rural resilience to violent extremism in the Lake Chad Basin.

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