By Akanimo Sampson
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), a United Nations agency in Nigeria is urgently shopping for $66 million to enable them provide multi-sectoral assistance to 2.9 million crisis-affected individuals in acute need of protection and life-saving assistance across the war-torn North-East region.
Following last December’s attack on her village, Hajja arrived on foot in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, in the bleeding North-East axis of Nigeria where she found shelter with her family in Teachers Village camp.
Last October, this camp housed 8,600 individuals. Six months later, it is 300 per cent over capacity with more than 30,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) crowded in the congested camp meant to house 10,000.
This past Saturday morning, buses drove Hajja and hundreds of other IDPs to a new camp in Mohammed Goni International Stadium. Over the coming two weeks, IOM is leading relocating efforts – moving and securing new shelters for more than 10,000 IDPs to the safer, less congested site.
A recent upsurge in displacement has prompted the UN agency on migration to scale up their shelter and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) activities, providing shelter to newly-arrived IDPs in Maiduguri and ensuring their protection and dignity. said
Coordinator for CCCM, Shelter and NFI Sector, Robert Odhiambo, who made this known said activities began the previous Friday when IOM staff conducted registration of IDPs.
The organisation is working with the Borno State Government and partners to relocate 200 households every two days for eight days.
Adding, Odhiambo said, ‘’this type of support is but a speck in the overall response to the crisis. There is over 1.8 million people still displaced and the situation remains dire.’’
This multi-agency relocation effort is focusing on people who recently fled hostilities in Kukawa and Monguno Local Government Areas. Beneficiaries have been selected by partners in coordination with the benefitting communities as well as the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
The Teachers Village camp was however, set up in January 2014 in the state capital and was originally intended as accommodation for state teachers, hence the name. Yet this camp was never used for its original purpose and became home to thousands fleeing conflict the following year.
Today, more than 80 per cent of the population in the camp, are women and children. All are in dire need of humanitarian assistance including food, shelter and protection services.
The new site was identified as an alternative location to decongest the Teachers Village. By last February 18, 750 shelters and 26 blocks of latrines had been constructed.
On their way to their new homes on Saturday, March 2, IDPs cheered as they boarded the buses. Upon arrival, the new residents attended a welcome address and briefing before being screened by IOM staff who referred those with specific vulnerabilities to the appropriate agency for services.
IOM co-leads the Shelter/Non-Food item and CCCM-Displacement Management Systems sectors for the humanitarian response in North-East. Now in its tenth year, the ongoing Boko Haram conflict in the region continues to force thousands into displacement, overstretching existing resources in camps such as the Teachers Village.