Muna Fire: How We Slept In Open Space Despite Harmattan



On Wednesday night, more than 6,000 internally displaced persons slept in the open space at Muna IDP camp, Maiduguri, following a fire that razed down about 1,050 of their houses and claimed the lives of two children, The PUNCH reports.


Fire at Muna camp is a yearly occurrence that happens at the onset of the Harmattan and touches many houses across the about 7000-capacity camp.

The camp, which originally used to be populated mainly by IDPs from Mafa, Matte, Dikwa, and Gamboru-Ngala Local Government Areas, is now also occupied by others from Nana and Gwoza as well as returnees who would not stay at their ancestral homes when they were relocated home following the closure of all official camps by Borno State Government.

The Wednesday fire, victims told The PUNCH, was caused by a flame that blew from a local cooking stove while a female IDP was cooking in one of mainly thatch houses.

By UN standards, every IDP household should have nine persons.

However, the majority of the households at the Muna camp have no fewer than 12 persons.

“Last night all of us slept in the open with the Harmattan wind blowing over us,” Abba Aji, the head of a 17-member family lamented to The PUNCH.

“We barely saved just a few items we could, but even the mats we slept on we borrowed from the town, otherwise we would have slept on bare ground,” Aji said.

“None of my family members has taken breakfast since morning, and this is past noon,” he disclosed while preparing to reconstruct his burnt thatched huts.

“What we need immediately now is food items,” Falmata Modu, a mother of three, appealed, saying, “My husband, three children, and I slept in the open space last night, but what we immediately need now is food and clothes.”

Borno State Emergency Management Agency rushed in relief items to the victims.

The items include 1,200 15kg bags of maize flour, 1,200 mattresses, 1,200 and 1,200 buckets.


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