Sadly, Africa is the home of the most conflict and violence. 80.4% of all conflict-based displacement occurs in Africa. Nigeria is at the forefront when it comes to the impact of terror. The Global Peace Index has rated Nigeria as one of the most terrorised country in Africa and the third most terrorised in the world. Violence is fast spreading across the country. North-Eastern Nigeria remains the epicentre.

The Penumbra Foundation in conjunction with the African Contemporary Institute of Design and Ruban Office have been working on resilience strategies for inhabitants of areas in close proximity to conflict zones. After two years of research and ethnographic embedment, a program of accelerating socio-economic development in a vulnerable northern Nigerian community has been orchestrated. Through a study of time, culture and everyday practices, a set of interventions are devised alongside the people of the community.

The process involves the building of a Masjid, a School and Communal ‘nucleus’ for fetching water that will provide a synergy of education, faith and economic development all at the same time.  The Masjid has a female and male center, each accentuating the everyday praying and learning activities of the community’s demography. The ablution areas are fragmented spaces in allusion of the violent past (of the community) but reconstituted in a discourse of memory, memory in the ways that the people have chosen.  Various economically empowering strategies have been designed into the very building process of the project.

The project is therefore much more than the physical infrastructure as it tends to create a more sustainable economy even if the physical infrastructure seizes to exist. The site is strategically chosen based on socio-spatial appraisals to provide the most suitable physical and social access to the most people in contextual need. The spaces are orchestrated as a circular economy system. The process of the project itself will begin to usher in socio-economic change for the people. Construction has started and is set to be concluded in the first quarter of 2023. Circular economy strategies built into the project and its process of construction have reduced the cost of construction by 40%. Running cost is also expected to be cut by 80% upon actual use.