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Community Diary

IDP WOMEN BEATING THE ODDS

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Internally Displaced Women (IDP)

Living conditions in the Internally Displaced Camp (IDP) in Adamawa State for many is wrought with so many challenges, from inadequate food rations to poor sanitation facilities. The insurgency in the North- East has taken a toll on the socio-economic activities of the people in the area. Many people have fled their homes for fear of their safety because of the series of attacks suffered in the hands of Boko Haram. Their villages have been pillaged and countless number of women raped. About 13,000 lives have been lost to the insurgency including women and children who have been the most vulnerable group.

However, the Nigerian military seems to be winning the war against the terrorist sect.  For many years, the terrorist group has terrorized the people of the North East, but the Army have reduced their capacity to wreck havoc and curtailed their sinister attacks.

Victims of the terrorist attacks have been taken to the IDP camp for safety from Boko Haram. Villages, such as Madagali, Gulak, Chibok, Gworza etc have been seriously affected by the dastard acts of Boko Haram. It reminds one of the popular Chibok girls story where over 200 school girls were kidnapped by the group, though some of them were recently released by Boko Haram in exchange for some of their fighters by the government.

Yola tower.

The situation has left behind socio-economic and psychological impacts on the inhabitants of the area because of inadequate supply of food and medical support services by Government and aid agencies in the IDP camp leaving many children to suffer hunger, malnutrition and depression. There has been several reports of hunger related deaths coming from the camp as a result of the shortage of food. Many of the inhabitants have been forced to go to other areas, such as Jimeta in Yola the State capital of Adamawa State in search of food.

The IDP’s are faced with shortages in food, water, health and sanitation services. There is need for more socio-economic support for the IDP population.

Eco-friendly art works produced by IDP women

Naijavoxpop correspondent who visited Yola gathered that women from the IDP camps were turning around their stories of pain and sorrow by engaging in self help projects. Their skillfully crafted products are being displayed in major centres in Yola such as the American University of Nigerian Hotel for visitors to see and buy. Our correspondent learnt that the proceeds from these art works are sent back to the women at the camps, which would enable them meet their basic needs. A visitor at the American University Hotel said that “this is very innovative”.  A chat with one of the women opened our eyes to what the women were doing to help themselves. “We have to involve ourselves in this project in order to bridge the support we were getting at the camp from government which is not enough to meet the needs of our children at the camp”.

The women empowerment project supported by the American University of Nigeria, Yola have been able to make community women wealth creators through the Yola ecosentials waste to wealth programme. It entails, the crafting from recycled grocery bags that would otherwise smolder in the street-side dumps, shortening lives with chemicals smoke. Community women make outstanding art collections from collected bags which are spun into plastic yarn to make colourful pieces, such as floor mats, bags, key holders, etc.

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