Recovering dignified living conditions after fleeing home
The items received helped the family build a small shed outside their shelter where children can play during the day, protected from the sun, ACTED Nigeria, 2018
It has been one and a half year since Falmata and her family have been living in Camp B, Mafa with thousands of other displaced people. The enduring conflict in Northeastern Nigeria unexpectedly forced her, her husband, and their three boys and two girls to leave their family house in a village of Mafa LGA. “One day, we had been farming our land all day, away from the village. When we came back, it was completely empty,” remembers Falmata. “The military had evacuated the whole village, and most people had left in the trucks provided but we were left on our own.”. She and her husband decided to leave and try to reunite with their family members and neighbors. “We had to leave, we did not want to stay by ourselves as we were afraid of belligerents,” says Falmata.
It was already nighttime when the family left by foot, taking only the few items that they could carry along with their children, in the hope to be reunited with their community in a safer place. “The children were surprised, they were asking why we had to leave our home but I explained it was for safety,” says Falmata. The following night they arrived in Mafa camp where some of their family and neighbours had been displaced. Together with them and many other families, they lived in the school building in Camp B until an accidental fire destroyed it at the beginning of March 2018.
Following the fire, the family received an emergency shelter kit provided by ShelterBox and distributed by ACTED which contained items such as timber, rope, nails and pieces of tarpaulins. With the help of their neighbours, the tools provided as part of the kit, and the guidance provided by ACTED’s teams, they were able to build a shelter for the family. “We especially appreciate the tarpaulins which help protecting us from the sun during the day, and make the shelter stronger, we have put it over the roof,” explains Falmata. “We also used some of the wood to make a small extension outside where we can stay in the shade during the day,” she shows. “This is very good for the children as before they had no space to play inside, and they were staying under the sun too much,” observes her husband. Both appreciate the privacy and safe space the shelter provides for their family: “There were too many families living in the building, it is more comfortable to be able to live in our own shelter and it feels safer”. Falmata and her husband are also reassured that the tarpaulins will help protect their shelter during the upcoming rainy season. However, they hope to find a more permanent solution to ensure their family is eventually living in a safe place and environment.