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Children among casualties as fire guts IDP camp in Borno

At least three persons have been confirmed dead in a fire outbreak that occurred at an internally displaced persons (IDPs) camp in the Muna Alamdari area of Borno state.

Mohammed Barkindo, director-general (DG) of Borno state Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), confirmed the incident and the casualty figures to TheCable.

He said two children and an adult were the victims.

Barkindo said Babagana Zulum,  governor of Borno, has directed an emergency intervention to the camp and provision of food items to the IDPs.

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“Right now, we are distributing relief items to them because they have lost everything in the fire,” he said.

“So we are distributing bread, rice, and other food items to enable them to break their fast. The governor directed me to distribute the food items to them.

A witness who spoke with TheCable said the fire outbreak occurred at about 10:40 a.m. on Tuesday.

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The source said the fire destroyed the entire camp, adding that there is currently a shortage of water at the facility.

“Yes, there was a fire outbreak at the IDP, I just came from the place now and I’ll be going back there again. The camp was completely burnt down,” the source said.

“We have sent one of our drivers to take water to the camp because there was no water. I only saw one dead body.

“I didn’t see the other one but I’m going back there now, if there is any information, I will let you know. The incident happened at about 1:40 to 10:45 this morning.”

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When contacted, Nahum Kenneth, Borno police spokesperson, said about 1,200 tents and 12 classrooms were destroyed in the fire.

“Fire incident at Muna KUMBURI IDP camp, it happened around 10am today 12/3/2024. About 1200 tents were burnt to ashes, and 4 blocks of 12 class room which were occupied by IDP were also burnt, Kenneth said.

“We recorded 2 casualties Mallam Modu Bukura 5yrs and Aisha Babagana 4YRS lost their lives, combined force of Police, fire service and SEMA controlled and quenched the fire.”

He added that investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of the fire.

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Over the years, several IDP camps in Borno have recorded fire incidences which resulted in casualties and destruction of the sites.

In April 2020, 14 persons lost their lives following a fire outbreak at the IDP camp in Ngala LGA of Borno.

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Another fire incident occurred at an IDP camp in the customs area of Maiduguri, Borno’s capital, in February 2021. Three persons died, while over 3,000 were displaced.

In November 2022, many IDPs were rendered homeless after a fire outbreak at a camp in Mafa LGA of Borno.

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