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Borno State shuts down its displacement camp

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By Nicole

The closure of the camp has pushed people into deeper suffering.

According to a report released today by Human Rights Watch, the government of Borno State in Nigeria’s decision to close its camps for those displaced by the Boko Haram conflict has worsened the suffering and impoverishment of over 200,000 people. The removal of those people has violated their rights to housing, food, and livelihoods because the government has not offered them suitable alternatives. The 59-page paper, titled “‘Those Who Returned Are Suffering’: Impact of Camp Shutdowns on People Displaced by the Boko Haram Conflict in Nigeria,” details how the closures have affected the food assistance provided to internally displaced people and forced many to leave the camps.

To protect their safety and wellbeing, the authorities have not offered sufficient information or viable alternatives. As a result, many who have been relocated are finding it difficult to meet their most basic needs, such as finding food and a place to live. Anietie Ewang, Nigeria researcher at Human Rights Watch and author of the report, claimed that the Borno State government is harming hundreds of thousands of displaced people who are already living in precarious conditions in order to further a dubious government development agenda to wean people off humanitarian aid. The government is aggravating the misery of and increasing the vulnerability of its citizens by evicting them from camps without offering them viable alternatives for help.

Authorities compelled over 140,000 people to evacuate.

Authorities in Borno State forced more than 140,000 people to leave eight camps in the state’s capital, Maiduguri, between May 2021 and August 2022. Two further camps, Muna Badawi and 400 Housing Estate (Gubio) Camp, which together housed roughly 74,000 people, are also scheduled to close this year. Human Rights Watch interviewed 22 internally displaced persons between April and September 2022, including 8 in either the Dalori or Gubio camps and 14 who had fled the Bakassi camp, which was closed in November 2021.

Those who left the Bakassi camp looked for refuge in Maiduguri or in their hometown of Bama. Human Rights Watch also spoke with camp supervisors, representatives of foreign aid organizations, and United Nations staff members in charge of organizing aid in Borno State. After Borno State Governor Babagana Umaru Zulum declared in October 2021 that all camps in Maiduguri will close by December 2021, food assistance to the camps quickly came to an end. Even though a few stayed open after that time, organizations like the UN World Food Program were unable to offer assistance because its 2022 plans could not be scaled up because of the planned closures and budget shortages.

The BSEMA provided some food, but it was never enough.

Despite limited ad hoc food distribution offered by the Borno State Emergency Management Authority, supplies have been infrequent and insufficient to meet needs. Many folks admitted that they had to skip meals or go for days without any filling or healthy food. In the camp in Maiduguri, a 29-year-old father of four said, they could eat protein, such as fish, but in Bama, they couldn’t afford that kind of food. His kids aren’t as healthy as they should be. Now, they are weak and fragile. In order to survive, many children have turned to beg on the streets, despite the risks of sexual assault, trafficking, kidnapping, and auto accidents.

Additionally, many affected by camp closures live in less favourable conditions than they did in the camps. Many people had previously resided in the camps in single rooms of houses constructed on the grounds before they were used as camp sites or in tarpaulin tents set up by humanitarian organizations. Human Rights Watch observed poor-quality buildings outside the camps that offered little protection from the weather. The improvised thatch cottages in Maiduguri and Bama relied on pit latrines that were separate from their residences because they had no access to sanitation amenities. Authorities in Borno State claim to have repaired homes that had been damaged during the fight with Boko Haram in areas where they had urged displaced families to return, like Bama. However, many who went back there claimed that their homes had not been repaired.

Human Rights Watch urged the UN to respond more actively and effectively.

The authorities added that the closures of the camps were required as part of their development program in order to keep people out of humanitarian aid and help them strengthen their resilience so they could help the state flourish. Instead of waiting for a worse situation to develop, Human Rights Watch encouraged the UN, particularly its officials in Nigeria, to act more quickly and decisively to protect and lessen the suffering done to displaced people in Borno State. Authorities in Borno State should postpone closing the remaining camps until sufficient planning and sincere talks with the camp residents and other important parties are made.


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jdpumping
jdpumping
1 year ago

Why are they closing the displaced camps when no lasting solutions has been found to the problem on ground the people are still suffering and now hunger,lack of shelter and good health care is really the order of the day for the displayed ones.

Christiana
Christiana
1 year ago

Many displaced people are struggling to meet even the most fundamental of their needs, such as food and shelter.

Bola12
Bola12
1 year ago

By evicting citizens from camps without offering alternatives, the government increases their unhappiness and vulnerability.

Abusi
Abusi
1 year ago

Why did Borno shut down their displacement camps?
Where will the indigent people now go to. More suffering for them and increment in crime rate again. These people are already suffering enough, they should cater for them.

Ultra0711
Ultra0711
1 year ago

This is actually an unfair treatment to the people who lost their homes to the consequences of insecurity plaguing the country. They have breached their human right considering the fact that government are supposed to take the responsibility of providing them with shelter and provisions for their daily live.

Haykaylyon26
Haykaylyon26
1 year ago

Why displacement of the camp it will be people suffer a lot more since the solution as not been taken care off. People will suffer now lack of food and shelter they will b homeless and am they will not be safe from dangers
Solution should have been before displacement of the camp

Iyanu12345ogg
Iyanu12345ogg
1 year ago

I see no reason for the closure of camps.people are already suffering enough, they should cater for them. Pls lasting solutions be found.

Adeolastan
Adeolastan
1 year ago

This is a very sad news because federal government has been claiming of spending Billions of Naira on these people without much or no results.This can’t happen in a country where the government cherish her citizens.

DimOla
DimOla
1 year ago

The state government of Borno has failed completely. Why will you push the people out of the IDP camp without providing what they will need to continue with life rather you’re exposing them to Boko Haram recruitment and terror.

SarahDiv
SarahDiv
1 year ago

Honestly this is not the right time for the state government of Borno to shut down IDP camps since you’re not making any provision for them yet.

Godsewill Ifeanyi
Godsewill Ifeanyi
1 year ago

Due to the government’s failure to provide adequate alternatives, those people’s right to shelter, food, and economic security has been violated by the decision to relocate them.

Adesanyaj72
Adesanyaj72
1 year ago

By evicting its inhabitants from makeshift camps without providing them with realistic alternatives for assistance, the government is making the lives of its citizens even more miserable and is making them more vulnerable.

Chibuzor
Chibuzor
1 year ago

In spite of the minimal ad hoc food distribution that has been made available by the Borno State Emergency Management Authority, supplies have been sporadic and inadequate to satisfy the requirements of the situation.

Hassan Isa
Hassan Isa
1 year ago

They are now in a delicate and feeble state. In spite of the dangers of being sexually assaulted, trafficked, kidnapped, and involved in automobile accidents, many youngsters have little choice but to beg on the streets in order to sustain themselves.

Nwachukwu Kingsley
Nwachukwu Kingsley
1 year ago

The government will continue to tell lies, as as the one where they say they have fixed up all the houses in Bama that were damaged by Boko Haram so the evacuees may move back in. Many people who returned, though, said their houses still weren’t safe to live in.

Kazeem1
Kazeem1
1 year ago

Borno State officials should delay shutting the remaining camps until they have conducted adequate planning and have honest conversations with camp occupants and other key parties.

Taiwoo
Taiwoo
1 year ago

The people who have lost their houses as a result of the widespread insecurity in the country are being treated unfairly. Since it is the government’s duty to ensure that its citizens have access to adequate housing and food, this group is in violation of its citizens’ human rights.

theApr
theApr
1 year ago

Shutting these camps would be really unfair. These victims have really suffered, they practically have nothing to fall back to. They were put in thks condition because if the government’s failure to protect it’s people. If no reasonable alternative have been put in place, shutting down shouldn’t be an option.

Remi1
Remi1
1 year ago

Victims of camp closures would live in less favourable conditions than they did in the camp. They’ve clearly lost in all, all they have have been displaced. The government of Borno State should delay closing the remaining camps until adequate planning and honest discussions with the camp residents have been done.