IOM in Nigeria has provided essential household items, which include blankets, mats, soap, buckets, basins, plates, cups and cooking pots to about 22,500 people (an estimated 3,000 households) in the recently accessible town of Bama in Bama Local Government Area (LGA).
Bama LGA is located east of Borno State, at the border with Cameroon. Bama town is two hours away from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, and it is 8km away from the notorious Sambisa forest, a Boko Haram stronghold.
The essential household items distribution is being accompanied by a food delivery by the Dangote Foundation and other actors supported by the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), under the leadership of Kashim Shettima, the Governor of Borno State.
The distribution was kicked off by Governor Shettima, assisted by a representative from the Dangote Foundation and the IOM Head of Sub Office. Besides the essential household materials, each family also received food packages from the Dangote Foundation and IOM.
The internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Bama town are mostly women, children and the elderly from the town and nearby villages. The crammed camp where they are staying is located in a hospital compound. Most of the town of Bama is heavily damaged and IDPs lost their houses, most of their belongings and livelihoods. For the moment there is no permanent presence of civilian authorities in the area.
The road to Bama was recently opened and most of the villages along the road are destroyed and deserted. Signs of heavy fighting – shelled buildings and burned vehicles – are visible all along the way.
Emma Khakula, IOM Head of Sub-Office in Maiduguri said: “This is a lifesaving operation as people in Bama are desperate for assistance. If we don’t reach out to them in Bama, they will make their way to Maiduguri in search of support. If security allows it, we must assist them where they are, close to their homes and agricultural lands and prevent further multiple displacements and restore their lives as soon as possible.”
According to the latest round of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)/IOM displacement tracking there are 2,155,618 people displaced in Nigeria of which 1,427,999 are in Borno State alone.
IOM is appealing for USD 15 million in 2016 to continue to provide critical emergency and transitional assistance to conflict-affected people in Nigeria.