3 dead many injured as repeated fire incidents raze IDP camp in Borno

Firefighters battling to save the situation at Muna Elbadawi IDP camp amidst raging inferno on Sunday. Photo Credit: BOSEMA/TheHumanitarianTimes

At least three persons have been confirmed dead and several others injured in two days of fire outbreak at a camp for internally displaced persons (IDP) in Maiduguri, Borno state, officials confirmed.

The incident of fire in IDP camps built with corrugated iron sheets and plastic sheets have become an annual event even as officials blame each occurrence on dangerous cooking habits of the inmates.

Muna El-Badawi IDP came went up in flames again on Sunday afternoon barely two days after an earlier outbreak was reported Thursday, November 4, 2021.

In the latest inferno, of which no one could exactly trace its cause, officials said three persons lost their lives while several others got injured.

The State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) had earlier reported two lost of lives and some clinically injured as a result is the fire disaster in Muna Camp.

Inmates at Muna Elbadawi IDP camp struggle to save personal effects amidst raging inferno on Sunday. Photo Credit: BOSEMA/TheHumanitarianTimes

An update that was later given by the sister National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said that three lives were lost in the fire that left many injured and hospitalized.

“The fire out break occurred in three consecutive days, initially began on Thursday 5th November with reoccurrence due to nature of temporary shelters to today Sunday 7th November 2021,” he said.

“Lives of three people were lost and properties destroyed.

“The injured were administered with first aid and serious cases referred to the State Specialist Hospital Maiduguri Borno state.

“The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained as search and rescues operations are still ongoing involving various stakeholders which include NEMA, BOSEMA, Red Cross and the Fire Service.”

Executive Director of Borno SEMA, Yabawa Kolo, said the three days of fire had destroyed 275 households.

“Earlier on Friday 5th of November, 2021 and Saturday being 6th of November, 2021 pockets of fire outbreaks were also recorded.

The State and Federal Fire Service were called and they responded. But the disaster claimed two (2) lives unfortunately and one person sustained a high degree burn and is admitted into the State Specialist Hospital.

Since 2018, Muna El-Badawi IDP Camp has been consistent with incidents of fire out break that usually lead to loss of lives.

In June last year when another fire incident occurred, at least 1600 households were affected. A joint effort by government and nongovernmental organisations suggested the use of corrugated iron sheets in place of thatch and tarpaulin to mitigate recurrence.

Despite the suggested way out, the fire still occurred and gutted even the corrugated sheets.

Thousands of IDPs have been rendered homeless and left in a state of confusion. The state government plans to close all camps in the next 53 days. It is not certain if the government would be erecting new tents or shanties for the affected IDPs who are due to vacate the camps in the next seven weeks.

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