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Nigéria © Sébastien Duijndam pour Action contre la Faim

Testimony

Nigeria

« Our village is nothing than ashes »

“My husband was a farmer and he used to transport goods as a second activity. One day, he was fetching firewood in the bush when insurgents attacked him to steal his car. He succeed to escape to run back to our home, but he was vomiting blood. We decided to flee right away. We reach one village first then we moved again. Once we arrived in this camp, we sought medical assistance to a nearby hospital. He was admitted but he died within few days,” explains Saide.

She lives in Fariya camp, an informal settlement that hosts internal displaced Nigerians who fled the violence in the Northeastern parts of Nigeria. Since nine years, the conflict between the Nigerian government and local insurgency is tearing apart the region. Nearly 27 000 people has been killed and more than two millions have been displaced in the states of Adawama, Yobe and Borno, the latest hosting 80% of them.

"The insurgents used to attack communities early on the morning. Those who can run, do"
Nigéria
Saide
Nigeria

“The insurgents used to attack communities early on the morning. Those who can run, do. However, elderly people could not move so they stayed and were slaughtered. At that time, it was difficult to get food and water.” Recalls Saide.

“Since my husband died, there is nobody to take care of me and my family. One year ago, a man approached me to ask if I wanted to become his wife. I could not stand the loneliness, the situation was too difficult, so I agreed but he is only coming back home to sleep and do not earn any income to feed us.” The means to survive are scarce and the population rely on the relief that organizations provide. Our team identified Saide and her family as an extremely vulnerable household; she joined a cash transfer program as well as the Porridge Mums group.

Nigéria © Sébastien Duijndam pour Action contre la Faim

Nigéria

© Sébastien Duijndam pour Action contre la Faim

Nigéria © Sébastien Duijndam pour Action contre la Faim

Nigéria

© Sébastien Duijndam pour Action contre la Faim

1/2

Like 6000 families, she receives 18 000 naira monthly to help her cope with the harsh conditions in order to improve her food access. Out of this amount, half is delivered in cash and the other half is credited on electronic vouchers usable at specific shops.

As malnutrition results of not only poor food access but also incomplete knowledge about nutrition, health and care practices, our team developed the Porridge mums groups. These groups of fifteen-ish women gather every day to cook nutritious recipe such as Tom Brown (see the recipe below) for them and their children between 6 months and five years old. As they do so, they exchange with our team about nutrition, good care practices and hygiene. As a group, they receive a monthly amount of money to shop together the food items and support various costs. Money is divided between cash for water, firewood and transportation costs and electronic vouchers to buy the food items to specific vendors. The mothers elect a secretary and a treasurer within the group who are in charge of the accountability and bookkeeping.

Porridge mums gave me a sense of belonging. I can relate on my comrades. We have been through similar painful situations. We visit each other often for chatting or simply sitting and listening to the radio together.”

“I do not know if we will be able to go back. Our village is ashes. Some people here, they go back to our previous places, they sneak into the bushes to get information about the situation. As soon as they see some insurgents, they come back. That is how I know about my home. We will not return until it is safe.”

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