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IDP Diaries: “We Have No Space, No Toilet Facilities”

40-year-old Ngwari Buwarram has been displaced for over six years. The Mafa indigene has moved from camp to camp and is currently living without proper access to water and toilet facilities. She shares her story here.

We came to this place during the rainy season and it was tough then. It is still tough now. Before we came here, we spent two weeks at the school in Muna Garage Displacement Camp but the students could not study because of our presence. So, they asked us to find somewhere else to stay, then we moved here despite the rains. We really want a space of our own.

In the five months that we have been here, the people would come to us from time to time indicating that they want their land. The land belongs to many people and they come almost daily. If we can get somewhere better, we will leave this place. The governor did not call Mafa, our place, among those places people can return to.

If he says we should go back, we will go but it has to be safe. If we don’t go back, the government should find a place for us to stay. We don’t have food or water. Some of our men used to go to the bush to get something before but now that there is Boko Haram in the bush, they cannot go.

(Students watching as IDPs take over their school/HumAngle Illustrations)

Before all these started, we were farming – planting millet, guinea corn and rearing our livestock. We were using tap water, then Boko Haram came and seized our livestock and burnt our farm produce. When soldiers came, they killed our boys and burnt our houses. They chased us out of our village.

First, we came to Maiduguri and stayed at Muna Daalti. We were there for four years, almost five. When we got there, aid organisations gave us food for two years. Then they left us when they didn’t have money so we were left with nothing.

Soon, there were too many bomb attacks by Boko Haram and sometimes they came into houses in the night and looted properties. They also burgled shops, and they would come to seize the little we had to eat. They were worrying us too much so we had to leave.

We are hungry here, but we also don’t have space or food. The government should build places for us to stay or we can build it ourselves. It will be good if we get water and toilets too.

(Additional reporting by Fatima Bukar and Yakura Kumshe) 

Note: IDP Diaries is a first-person account by the subject themselves. The account has been translated for reading by HumAngle.

This is a multiple-part series; click here to read other IDP Diaries.

This report is a partnership between HumAngle Media and Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) under the ‘Accountability Journalism & Investigative Reporting for Deepening Democracy and Development’ project.

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Anita Eboigbe

Anita Eboigbe is a journalist and data analyst with nearly a decade of media and communications experience in Nigeria. She has expertise in human interest reporting, data reporting, interactive content development and media business management. Anita has written for several national and international publications with a focus on communication for development. She holds an honours degree in Mass Communication and several certifications in data analysis and data journalism.

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