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Fire destroys IDP camps in Borno

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On Monday, an inferno destroyed parts of a camp in Nganzai Local Government Area of Borno State.

A source at the National Emergency Management Agency said details about the fire at Nganzai are sketchy because the town is difficult to travel to due to the constant threat of Boko Haram attack on the highway leading to the area.

The second incident occurred at the highly populated Customs IDP camp in Maiduguri on Wednesday.

The incident which started at about 6am, according to some displaced persons at the camp, destroyed over 600 shelters and led to the death of a child with two old women injured.

It was gathered that the fire could have started from the firewood cooking of one of the women living in one of the huts in the camp.

The incident led to an inferno which consumed over 600 shelters, taking over an hour to put out.

One of the IDPs who spoke to journalists, said, “The fire outbreak consumed parts of the camp and was put out by the combined efforts of the IDPs, security agents and officials of the federal and state fire service.”

Surprisingly enough, when everyone thought the doom was over, a fire broke out in another part of the same camp (Customs IDP camp) about four hours later, destroying many of the makeshift tents.

Speaking on the incidents, the spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency in the North-East, Mallam AbdulKadir Ibrahim said a team has been dispatched to assess the damage at the Maiduguri camp.

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He said, “It is sad that after a series of lectures organized for the IDPs on how to handle fire and to cook, they keep making mistakes that continue to cause infernos.

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“Two days ago, there was an inferno at Nganzai camp and just today (Wednesday) there is this one at the Customs IDP camp.”

Ibrahim added, “We (NEMA) are left with no other choice but to continue to enlighten the displaced persons on how to handle fire and cook.”

When contacted by journalists, the Acting Zonal Coordinator, NEMA, Ishaya Chinoko, disclosed that emergency response had been dispatched and initial needs assessment conducted.

He promised that relief would soon be provided to the affected victims.

Customs IDP camps are one of the largest within Maiduguri, the Borno State capital with a total of 14,250 displaced persons from three local government areas of Dikwa, Mafa and Bama.

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