Maiduguri is the largest city in north east Nigeria and the capital of Borno State, which suffers from endemic poverty, and capacity and legitimacy gaps in terms of its governance. The state has been severely affected by the Boko Haram insurgency and the resulting insecurity has led to economic stagnation in Maiduguri. The city has borne the largest burden of support to those displaced by the conflict. The population influx has exacerbated vulnerabilities that existed in the city before the security and displacement crisis, including weak capacities of local governments, poor service provision and high youth unemployment. The Boko Haram insurgency appears to be attempting to fill this gap in governance and service delivery. By exploiting high levels of youth unemployment Boko Haram is strengthening its grip around Maiduguri and perpetuating instability.
Maiduguri also faces severe environmental challenges as it is located in the Lake Chad region, where the effects of climate change increasingly manifesting through drought and desertification. Limited access to water and poor water quality is a serious issue in Maiduguri’s vulnerable neighborhoods. A paucity of drains and clogging leads to annual flooding in the wet season. As the population of Maiduguri has grown, many poor households have been forced to take housing in flood-prone areas along drainages due to increased rent prices in other parts of the city.