Nigeria: “If there is peace we would like to go home”

MSF is providing food aid to families in Maiduguri who receive little or no support from other organisations. Many of these people live in the Muna area on the outskirts of the city, where there are eight informal camps with populations ranging from 500 to 6,000 people. 
Two of the settlements that now benefit from food distribution by MSF are Muna Primary and Muna Gulumba. Both camps have a population of around 500 people.  People living in Muna Primary receive cash-based support from the World Food Programme (WFP). Muna Gulumba does not get any form of support from the government or other NGOs, aside from that which is provided by MSF. MSF started distributing food in these camps in November. 
So far, each family has received 25 kg of millet, 5 kg of beans and 5 litres of palm oil – enough to last for two weeks – as well as eight bars of soap. 
The testimony from Mallaam Haruna
“It was a Monday morning when our village in Gambaru, Ngala, was attacked. People came and started shooting everywhere. We woke to the sound of gunfire.
We hid in our houses. At night, when the place was quiet and the people with the guns were sleeping, we fled. I could not find two of my children so we had to leave without them. We were so scared. We thought that the people with guns would attack us. 
We trekked for four days to get to Maiduguri. We didn’t think that we would make it here alive. When I met one of my children on the road, I was so happy. I thought I’d never see them again.
On the journey we stopped at small villages to ask people for food. They were packing their belongings to leave, but they still gave us something to eat. We carried a small kettle and filled it up every time that we passed a water source. We slept on the side of the road or under a tree. There was a group of about 20 of us walking together, and even more people behind us.
We have been here now for two years. Our main problem is food and how we will get it. Usually we eat once a day, but sometimes we give the food we have to the children and we go hungry. We’ve only had one distribution of food since we arrived. 
It’s hard for us to stay healthy here. My grandson has been sick for the past two weeks. This is the fourth time that he’s been ill since we arrived. He has a fever and his temperature is rising. Sometimes he can’t eat. I have a cough and, once I start coughing, I can’t stop for a couple of minutes. 
It isn’t easy to sleep here. We get scared that the camp will be attacked and it gets very cold at night. If there is peace we would like to go home. We know that all our possessions have been taken from our house, but we hope that at least the building will still be there.”