A total of 1,934,765 persons affected by the violent campaigns of Islamist terror group, Boko Haram live under excruciating conditions in six north eastern states having been chased away from their homes.
The displaced persons are currently living in formal camps, host communities and satellite camps in liberated communities of Borno, Yobe, Taraba, Gombe, Bauchi and Adamawa states.
The Yola Camp Coordinator, Saad Bello, disclosed this at the weekend while taking the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Samanthan Power, round the facilities at Malkohi IDP Camp in Yola, Adamawa State, on behalf of the Director General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani Sidi.
Borno State Governor Kashim Shetima had few days ago raised the alarm that there was imminent food crisis in the North East part of Nigeria, even as he disclosed that victims of Boko Haram insurgency in different safety camps across the state consume a huge 984 bags of rice daily.
According to Shetima’s disclosure, it will take a tidy N11 million daily to buy only rice, at an average price of between N10,000 and N11,000 a bag, while more money will be required for other food items including soup and water for the welfare of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
There are, however, several essential needs and logistics requirements for cooking and distribution of food items among the various IDPs, which also require huge sums of money daily.
The Governor lamented the financial strains of feeding the Boko Haram displaced victims in the various camps across the state, raising fears that the burden might overwhelm his government as several thousands more currently in Cameroon and Niger Republic are about being deported to Nigeria.
While emphasizing on the food crisis which he noted was the greatest challenge facing the state, Governor Shetima said the successes recorded by the Military over the Boko Haram insurgents had led to the exodus of IDPs from once trapped communities to the established emergency camps.
His words: “As we speak, we are battling with a crisis of feeding mass of people in Borno. The Military has succeeded in rescuing communities that were trapped due to presence of Boko Haram insurgents on certain routes.”
“This cheery rescue has led to mass exodus of Internally Displaced Persons from trapped communities to emergency camps we had to establish. In Borno today, about 1,800 bags of 50 kilograms of rice which constitutes three trailers of 600 bags each, is required daily to cater for internally displaced persons across the State and this does not include ingredients like tomatoes, vegetable oil, beans to balance carbohydrate, onions, salt and other elements.
“For our regular camps, a total of 984 bags of rice are consumed daily based on a Data Tracking Matrix of the International Organization on Migration working with the National Emergency Management Agency and the Borno State Emergency Management Agency.
“This figure of 978 bags is for the camps in Maiduguri and Jere, Dikwa, Bama and Damboa. For Maiduguri and Jere, 787 bags of rice are consumed daily for the 152,000 displaced persons in 17 camps and two relief points at Madinatu and Muna Garrage where distribution of food items are made to IDPs living outside camps in Maiduguri. For Dikwa which has 75,000 displaced persons, 101 bags are required daily.
“Bama requires 50 bags daily for 32,000 displaced persons while Damboa requires 40 bags daily”, reports Governor Shetima.
In the account of the Yola Camp coordinator, however, there are currently 32 formal camps in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States housing a total of 189,783 displaced persons; Borno has 19 camps with 150,858 IDPs; Yobe has 9 camps with 31,988 IDPs and Adamawa, 4 camps with 6,937 IDPs.
The Camp Coordinator added that there were 14 satellite camps in liberated communities, mainly in Borno State with 216,184 IDPs. The camps with the highest population are Ngala with 70,505; Dikwa 53,636; Bama 27,000 and Damboa/Sabon Gari 25,311.
Saad said host communities in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states have a total of 1,391,613 IDPs. Borno State has the highest with 1,158,362; Adamawa 125,689 and Yobe 107,562.
He said the Federal Government had through NEMA, which is the coordinating agency, and relevant line Ministries, Departments and Agencies been trying to meet the needs of the IDPs in the provision of food, nutrition, non-food items (NFIs), temporary shelter, medicament, psycho-social therapy, security and protection”.
He said as the government continued in the efforts to meet the needs of the IDPs, more supports were critically required for the IDPs across the three identified kinds of camps before they return back to their communities.
The critical areas where further support is needed are food, non-food items (including basic household needs), shelter, education, nutrition, protection, health and sexual reproductive health, and psycho-social helps.
The U.S. Ambassador to UN, Samanthan Power, who led a high level delegation from US to the Malkohi IDPs camp and host communities told them that they were there to determine what more could be done to defeat Boko Haram so that they can return back to their communities.
“I know how difficult these last years have been for you and on behalf of President Barack Obama, I express my sympathy and my condolences for all you have lost and our resolve to try to make things better together”, she said.