Fire Guts IDP Camp In Maiduguri

Muna IDP camp, one of the largest unofficial camps in Borno state, has been badly burned in a fire that rendered many residents homeless.

About 200 thatched huts that house internally displaced persons (IDPs) were, on Monday, Feb. 6, razed in another fire outbreak at Muna Alamdari IDP camp in Maiduguri, Northeast Nigeria.

Local security sources at the camp said the fire started at about 11 a.m. when many of the camp’s residents were away in search of food in the neighbouring farms. 

HumAngle was at the camp shortly after the incident was reported and sighted firefighting vehicles still helping to put out the blaze. 

Most of the homes affected by the fire were completely destroyed, leaving the victims with nothing except the clothes they had on. 

Though no life has so far been reported lost, survivors said the incident has made already strained conditions worse. Some said they lost their documents, including permanent voter cards (PVCs), to the disaster. 

A burnt section of Muna IDP Camp on Monday, Feb.6. Photo credit: Abdukareem/HumAngle 

Yaana Amodu, a nursing mother, said she was at the clinic for her child’s routine immunisation when she got the sad news that her home was burnt. 

“I have lost everything because nothing was spared in the fire. I left everything in the house,” she said. 

Another IDP, who was seen scavenging through the ashes of her burnt hut, said she was hoping to find her PVC. 

“As you can see, everything was burnt, including our little food storage; but my most painful loss was the PVC because I spent more than three weeks going to look for it at the collection centre until three days ago. Now it has gone,” she said with utter frustration. 

Muna IDP camp is one of the largest non-official camps in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital. There have been several other fire outbreaks in the camp before the latest one. The previous incident in Feb. 2022 led to the death of five people and gutted about 3000 homes.

Kashim Nura, one of the IDPs, confirmed that the Monday fire outbreak happened “exactly about a year after the last incident”. 

“Most of the fire incidents happen between February and March of every year,” he said. “For last year, it happened in February. For the year before last year, 2021, the camp was burnt in March.”

There has not been any official comment from the Borno state government at the time of filing this report. 

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Abdulkareem Haruna

Abdulkareem Haruna is a Nigerian journalist currently employed as the Editor for Lake Chad at HumAngle. For over a decade, he has demonstrated a passionate commitment to reporting on the Boko Haram conflict and the crisis in the Lake Chad region of northeastern Nigeria. He is a graduate of English Language and holds a Diploma in Mass Communications. Prior to his current role, he served as an assistant editor at both Premium Times and Leadership Newspaper.

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