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Two children die and a man badly burnt as fire rips through Muna internally displaced persons’ camp

16 November 2023
Reading time: 2 minutes

Ward of the Muna IDP camp in Maiduguri says at least 1,300 tents and thatch dwellings went up in flames, livestock killed and property worth thousands of naira destroyed.

Two children – a three-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy – died in a blazing fire that ripped through the Muna internally displaced persons’ camp in Maiduguri, Borno State, on Wednesday, November 15.

A 40-year-old man was badly burnt and rushed to hospital to receive immediate treatment.

At least 1,300 houses were burnt to ashes. The fire – described as an inferno by residents of the camp – killed livestock, mainly goats and sheep, and destroyed property and belongings worth thousands of naira.
Bulama Masa, the ward head and secretary of the camp, told RNI that the fire started at about 6am and lasted for more than an hour before it was brought under control and put out by Borno State fire service personnel, who had rushed to the scene in 10 fire trucks.

The camp hosts thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who fled from their towns and villages in several districts of Borno State in northeastern Nigeria during the 14-year insurgency.
Masa confirmed that two children died in the fire and that a 40-year-old man was badly burnt and was receiving treatment in hospital.

He said in this year alone there had been 13 outbreaks of fire in the Muna camp.

“The fires are mostly caused by children who start a fire to cook something when their parents are not around. The children cannot control the fire and soon it engulfs parts of the camp. Most of the houses are tents or dwellings made from thatch so they burn fast and a fire can rip through the camp in minutes.”

Masa said Barkindo Muhammad, the director-general of Borno State’s Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), and his team worked with the fire fighters and members of the civilian joint task force – as well as a few “good Samaritans” – to extinguish the blaze.
SEMA had already started to assess the damage and was trying to provide humanitarian support to the for victims by providing food and other essential items, he said.


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