By Abdulkareem Haruna
The Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) had on Thursday deployed 450kg of grains to the Gubio IDP camp in response to disturbing reports that the camp has been abandoned without regular food support for about six months.
The food items comprised 400 50kg bags maize, 50 bags of beans, 50 cartons of cooking oil and 30 cartons of seasoning cubes.
Gubio IDP camp, which was opened in 2015, is one of the oldest in Borno state. The camp which used to be populated by over 6000 households, now has a total of 4,419 households.
Gubio IDP camp had been neglected since June of 2021 when the Borno state government declared the move to shut down all IDP camps within the state capital and ordered the stoppage of all humanitarian aid support in the camps.
The World Food Programme (WFP) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) who used to provide all the support palliative to the IDPs in the Gubio camp had seized working there due to the directive of the Borno state government.
In that regard, the Gubio IDP camp continued to exist without any form of organised food aid to date.
The SEMA, in it’s traditional role in the area of hunger management was to provide condiments in all the camps where other NGOs were to provide food or cash-for-food vouchers.
The Director-General of SEMA, Yabawa Kolo, said her agency had to go beyond its agreed role of condiment provision to supply food to the Gubio camp to reduce the hardship faced by the IDPs.
“We observed that for some reasons that were beyond their control, the supply chain for food was cut off in this camp,” said Mrs Kolo.
“We have also received and read reports about the plights of the IDPs in the Gubio camp, that was why we at SEMA decided to add food grains to our usual distribution, even though giving out items like grains is not part of the agreement SEMA had with other humanitarian agencies working in the camp.
Some of the IDPs who expressed joy that the food support finally came after nearly a year of waiting, had however worried that the quantum of food may not be enough giving their large number of about 4,419 households.
Responding to the issue of insufficiency of the food supplied to the camp, the DG explained that “usually when there are cases of high demand, they streamline the distribution pattern to target the most vulnerable groups in camp.
“The vulnerability screening prioritizes child-headed households with separated and unaccompanied children, female-headed households, the aged, the sick and persons with disabilities,” she said.
Chairman of the IDPs in Gubio camp, Malam Umar thanked the DG for bringing smiles to their faces.
Gubio camp is situated about 16 kilometres outside Maiduguri town. It was officially established in May 2015 to receive Nigerian refugees returning from the Niger Republic through the Gaidam border following attacks from the Boko Haram terrorists.