Maiduguri, Nigeria Bakasi Camp
Aisha holding her one month old daughter-Ya’fanna.
Aisha is a 30 year old mother of five. Her last born child is Ya´fanna, who is one month old. Ya´fanna was born in the Bakasi displaced persons camp that is located in the outskirts of Maiduguri, a bustling city that is the capital of Borno state in North East Nigeria. Aisha together with her husband and children have been living in their one room space at the camp since 2015 when they had to flee from their home.
Aisha’s husband Alhaji is 46 years old. He used to be a livestock trader in their hometown of Guzamala which is close to 90 km away from Maiduguri. On one Sunday afternoon, the neighbouring town of Mangano was attacked by the insurgents and the rumours of an impending attack on their village quickly reached Aisha and her family. Her husband made the quick decision to move his family from the area, fearing for his then pregnant wife and young children.
They left immediately and did not have time to carry any of their belongings. The only possession they had was her husband’s motorcycle that was soon became cumbersome due to the dessert terrain. They soon abandoned the motorcycle and travelled by foot for about 40 km to Ngenzai. From there, they spent the little money they had to rent a car to transport them to Maiduguri.
When they got to Maiduguri, they were lucky to be accommodated by a local trader who gave them a place to sleep. After two months, she told them of Bakasi camp and that assistance was being provided to displaced people who went to the camp. She asked them to move as she could no longer host Aisha and her family in her home.
At the Bakasi camp, they receive food, water and shelter. But this is not enough for Aisha and her family. The family has to occupy a single room in a house shared by many other internally displaced families. The food rations given to them are not enough to satisfy their needs and they wish that this could be improved. They only have mats and blankets scattered in the room.
Aisha and her husband wish for peace to return in their home town so that they can go back home he and can resume their business. Their want their children to go to school and hope they will take care of them in their old age. For the moment, they would like assistance in receiving food, clothing and adequate shelter for their family.
Photo: NRC/Ingrid Prestetun