Relief materials and Maiduguri IDPs


The outbreak of insurgency has displaced and shattered many households in the Northeast Nigeria. It has rendered some residents homeless and jobless but not hopeless. This is more rampant in Borno state.

Over the years, a lot of cases have been recorded as a result of the displacement such as malnutrition, gender based violence, crimes and development problems, among others. The means of livelihood being the cogent aspect has become a difficult task, thereby, making them strive for survival each day. 
In the course of making ends meet, some of the Internally Displaced Persons (IPDs) are opportune to have access to palliatives from the relevant authorities. These palliatives are mostly donated by the government, non-governmental organisations and some philanthropists across the nation and overseas.
However, instead of using it as relief materials, the IDPs turned it into a fast growing business transaction. The IDPs sell them out once they received food items and other means of livelihood that are distributed to them. Although, most of them claim to have reasons for selling the palliatives.
An interview with the buyers of the items indicates that most of them have made it part of them to sale the goods and they have specific customers for this transaction. Abba Anas (not real name) stated that “they sell out the relief materials to us because they don’t have firewood, charcoal, ingredients, money to make their hair and money for upkeep”.
Bulama Goni (not real name) stated that “IPDs sale whatever is given to them because no ingredients, they sell the items out because they need money for upkeep and other necessary activities such as attending wedding, no maggi, naming ceremony and they sit idle”.
This act comes with a lot of dangers which are obvious to the society especially that many of the IDPs are crippled to malnutrition, lack of sanitary materials and medication as they sell out everything at their disposal without a second thought. 
It is also obvious that a child who is poorly fed will ever be helpless, irresistible to hunger, coupled with poor growth, brain malfunction or impairment among others.
A report from United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) of February 11, 2020, shows the rise in malnutrition over time. It indicates that 1,115 children have died from acute malnutrition in Borno state between January and December 2019 (retrieved from on 21/06/2020).
Similarly, The Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) data shows that 30911 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition are admitted in the centre for treatment (retrieved from on 21/06/2020). 
Aside this, a hungry child can venture into misconduct such as robbery and can be susceptible to recruitment on the hands of insurgents once he/she sees that they can dispose anything they have access to meet their immediate need.
A recent encounter with some IDP’s at Monday market indicates that, the mattress which was distributed to some camps were also sold out at the rate of N5000 or N5500 by many IDPs. 
However, instead of ending this improper transaction by wisely utilizing the relief materials they get, they kept on booming it despite the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid 19) pandemic which has paused activities. 
One alarming aspect is that Covid-19 is said to attack weak immune than healthy ones faster. Hence, a starved immune is said to be a weaker one. This misconduct if not properly managed can toils the development of a nation. The misconduct could be linked to lack of proper knowledge, orientation, non-challant attitude and other pressing needs for upkeep. As the insurgency is in its eleventh year, I urged the relevant authorities to curb the menace.
Zainab Yetunde Adams,Maiduguri, Borno state

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