The Federal Government has distributed food and other relief materials to 9,600 victims of fire disaster at the Muna Albadawi Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Maiduguri.
The News Diary Nigeria (NDNG) recalls that a fire incident razed about 1,813 shelters at the IDP’s camp on May 23, leaving thousands without shelter.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouq, distributed the items on Tuesday during a visit to the camp in Maiduguri.
Umar-Farouq was accompanied by AVM Muhammadu Muhammad, the Director-General Of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The minister said she was in the state to commiserate with the people and the state government over the unfortunate incident.
Umar-Farouq recalled that similar incident occurred in Gamborun Ngala IDPs camp two months ago where about 14 lives were lost and properties destroyed.
She said that the relief items deployed by the ministry through NEMA was designed to ameliorate the sufferings of the affected victims.
“Our prayers and condolences go to all those who lost their loved ones and property in the disaster.
“May Almighty Allah comfort them at this difficult moment.
“I wish to extend the condolences of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Government of Borno Dtate.
“I am gratified to note that NEMA is already rendering technical support and relief for those affected. We have deployed our relief items in terms of food and non-food items to the affected victims.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and we will be providing every support required as investigation continues in the course of the incident.
“In view of the human and material toll this fire incident took on our lives, the Ministry in consultation with relevant agencies and stakeholders are evolving new strategies for an all-hazard approach that would prioritise fire prevention and mitigation,” she said.
According to her, the ministry has activated an immediate long term plan to kickstart the process of early recovery, which would include sustainable homegrown models for rehabilitation recovery and constructions.
“We are working in partnership with the Borno Government to kickstart 10,000 mass housing projects which have been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari this year.
“I commend the officials of NEMA and the state Management Agency for their timely response and the immediate activation of the crisis response protocol under the leadership of the newly appointed Director-General of NEMA,” she said.
In his remarks, Gov. Babagana Zulum, recalled that the Gamborun Ngala fire incident two months ago destroyed more than 1,500 houses, noting that the Muna Albadawi’s incident is equally devastating.
Zulum said: “The only solution to the incessant fire outbreak is to ensure that more permanent houses are built with a view to resettling back people to their localities.
“The major reason is that houses are made of corn stocks, coupled with the windy nature of this area; it is very easy whenever there is an outbreak, the entire area would be completely affected.
“Therefore, as you have rightly pointed out, the issue of medium and long term sustainable solution is the only way out.”
The governor commended the federal government for the support it was rendering in uplifting the standard of living of the displaced persons in the state at crucial times of needs.
Malama Uwani Ali, one of the survivors, lauded the government over the support, describing at as “life-saving”.
Ali, who is a mother of nine, said she lost everything to the inferno.
She expressed gratitude for the mattress, buckets, clothing and food items donated to her.
Mrs Aisha Ladan, another victim, said the support has brought succour to her as well as her dignity.
“We have lost everything.
“We slept outside in the rain, but the support would enable us to build our homes and fend for our children,” she said.