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Famine is forcing internally displaced persons to leave Maiduguri camp in droves

9 August 2022
Reading time: 4 minutes

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are leaving Tauseye camp in Maiduguri in droves because they fear dying of starvation.

Tauseye, an unofficial IDP camp in Zajeri behind the Texaco area of Maiduguri in Borno State, is home mostly to people from Mafa, Marte and the Konduga local government areas who say they are leaving the camp because of its dire living conditions, including no food or clean water and no social services.

The residents told RNI that they had been living in the camp for almost three years without humanitarian aid from the government or non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Hassan Modu said: “The reason we are fleeing and leaving this camp is because of the poor living conditions and lack of social services. We don’t have food and water and there are no healthcare services. We have spent about three years here and it is a constant struggle to get food and water. And, if we do get some, there is not enough for everyone in the camp. We forwarded our complaints, problems and challenges to the government but, up till now, there has been no response.

“Before, this camp was teeming with people but now the numbers have fallen drastically because residents cannot not live without food and water.”

Modu said that a while back there had also been a major windstorm that ripped through the camp, destroying tents and thatch houses. “That, on top of the constant hunger, was just too much for most of the people in the camp. Now, many of us are leaving and we hope to find shelter in neighbouring communities. Some people are still here because they don’t know where else to go. Others have left and they are living in thatch houses built by farmers on their lands in the nearby forest.”

He said he did not have much hope that the government and humanitarian agencies would come to their aid.

Fatima Abdullahi, a women leader of Tauseye, said: “We have been living here for more than three years now and we have never received any humanitarian aid, such as food, water, healthcare and other social services either from the government or NGOs. The only assistance we got was from the United Nations Children’s Fund’s water, sanitation and hygiene [WASH] programme, which took on the responsibility of building toilets inside camp. But not one NGO or the government has given us even one spoon of rice. That’s why we are leaving the camp. If we continue to stay here without food and water, hunger will kill us.

“Our living conditions are severely difficult. We are always hungry and always trying to find something to eat. Our children just roam the streets without getting any education. The constant stress has affected me psychologically. I find myself talking to myself.”

Abdullahi said her husband had been abducted by the Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’way Wa’l-Jihād (JAS), better known as Boko Haram, four years ago. He was still being held captive.

“We are in a difficult situation. Some people are even selling plywood and roof materials attached to their tents and thatch houses just to get some money to buy food and to eat something to stop this overwhelming hunger. Most people with a shelter over their heads would not think about leaving in the rainy season but hunger is driving us out.

“This camp will soon be empty if the government and NGOs don’t step in to help us. Otherwise, we have to leave, even though we don’t know where we are going. If we stay here, we will all just starve to death.”


About the author

Mbodou Hassane Moussa

Journaliste de formation et de profession. Passionné par l'écriture, le digital et les médias sociaux, ces derniers n'ont aucun secret pour lui. Il a embrassé très tôt l'univers des médias et de la Communication. Titulaire d'une Licence en journalisme et d'un Master en Management des projets, Mbodou Hassan Moussa est éditeur Web du journal en ligne Toumaï Web Médias. Aujourd'hui, il est devenu Webmaster à la Radio Ndarason internationale et collabore à la réalisation du journal en langue française et dialecte Kanembou.