Thousands of Nigerians Displaced by Conflict Find Safe Shelter in New Camp

Image: Families relocating to the new site at Mohammed Goni International Stadium originate from Kukawa and Monguno Local Government Areas. Photo: Jorge Galindo/IOM

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria: Following an attack on her village in late December, Hajja arrived on foot in Maiduguri, Borno State in North-east Nigeria where she found shelter with her family in Teachers Village camp.

In October 2018, this camp housed 8,600 individuals. Six months later, it is 300 per cent over capacity with more than 30,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) crowded in the congested camp meant to house 10,000.

On Saturday morning (02/03), buses drove Hajja and hundreds of other IDPs to a new camp in Mohammed Goni International Stadium. Over the coming two weeks, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is leading relocating efforts – moving and securing new shelters for more than 10,000 IDPs to the safer, less congested site.

“A recent upsurge in displacement has prompted IOM to scale up its shelter and camp coordination and camp management (CCCM) activities – providing shelter to newly-arrived IDPs in Maiduguri and ensuring their protection and dignity,” said Robert Odhiambo, Coordinator for CCCM, Shelter and NFI Sector.

Activities began on Friday (01/03) when IOM staff conducted registration of IDPs. The Organization is working with the Borno State government and partners to relocate 200 households every two days for eight days.

“This type of support is but a speck in the overall response to the crisis. There’s over 1.8 million people still displaced and the situation remains dire,” Odhiambo added.

This multi-agency relocation effort focuses on people who recently fled hostilities in Kukawa and Monguno Local Government Areas. Beneficiaries have been selected by partners in coordination with the benefitting communities as well as the state emergency management agency (SEMA).

Teachers Village camp was set up in January 2014 in the capital of Borno State and was originally intended as accommodation for state teachers, hence the name. Yet this camp was never used for its original purpose and became home to thousands fleeing conflict the following year.

Today, more than 80 per cent of the population in the camp are women and children. All are in dire need of humanitarian assistance including food, shelter and protection services.

The new site was identified as an alternative location to decongest Teachers Village. By 18 February, 750 shelters and 26 blocks of latrines had been constructed.

On their way to their new homes on Saturday, IDPs cheered as they boarded the buses. Upon arrival, the new residents attended a welcome address and briefing before being screened by IOM staff who referred those with specific vulnerabilities to the appropriate agency for services.

IOM co-leads the Shelter/Non-Food item and CCCM-Displacement Management Systems sectors for the humanitarian response in North-east Nigeria. Now in its tenth year, the ongoing conflict in the region continues to force thousands into displacement, overstretching existing resources in camps such as Teachers Village.

IOM Nigeria is requesting USD 66 million to provide multi-sectoral assistance to 2.9 million crisis-affected individuals in acute need of protection and life-saving assistance across the North-east.

Source: APO Group

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