Most of us have heard about the IDP camps in Nigeria. But do you know the problems that are facing internally displaced persons in Nigeria? It is time to learn more about the people who had to flee and leave their homes.
IDP camps in Nigeria
What is IDP? What is the meaning of IDP? It is known that IDP or internally displaced persons are people who were forced to leave their houses but are still in the borders of their country. According to the UNHCR worldwide population overview of 2015, there were about 38 million people who left the comfort of their houses due to natural disasters, war, armed conflict or violence. About 10 million of them are in Africa, and more than 1 million of them are in Nigeria.
Can you imagine that? A million people without a house to live in. And this was in 2015. The most recent research shows that there are over 4 million IDPs in Nigeria. Most of them are women and children. They often don’t have shelter, clothes, food or clean water.
What are the problems of internally displaced persons in Nigeria?
There is a fair amount of challenges that are facing the IDPs in Nigeria. We will cover the major problems:
Usually, there is nobody to protect the people in IDP camps. Therefore, a lot of women and girls are raped everyday (and they can easily get STDs). There is no police, no control - a lot of youths are smoking hard drugs or stealing. If nothing is done, this won’t be the problem of the IDP camps alone - criminals may cause harm to the society in the future.
Hunger and Starvation
People say that starving to death is one of the most horrible deaths. It is long and painful. A lot of IDP camps in Nigeria are facing this problem. But why? The answer is obvious - there is not enough money to buy food for everyone. Even with volunteers, it is not enough to feed all those thousands of internally displaced persons in Nigeria.
We know that you need to eat enough of fat, carbs, proteins, and vitamins every day. Even when people in IDP camps are not hungry, they mostly eat only one type of food, and usually, it’s Carbohydrate. It is easy to get sick when you are not eating well. It also affects your appearance - you lose weight, hair, teeth.
Diseases and STDs
Let’s be honest - when there is no money to buy food, there is also no money to buy protection. A fair amount of people in IDP camps suffers from all kinds of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), including syphilis, gonorrhea, and HIV.
There is also a lack of medical health facilities in IDP camps and a lot of people die from diseases.
We listed the major problems in IDP camps. However, there are other challenges - people don’t have clean water, warm shelters. There is also the lack of antenatal and postnatal care for pregnant women. Nobody deserves a life of IDP.
How to help?
You can help - find out about IDP camps in your country. Ask what they need. Gather your old but good and clean clothes, buy some food and go to the camps. It won't take a lot of time or effort, but it will mean a lot to those who are suffering.
The most important thing that we have to remember is that they are people like us. They had or still have a family, they had hot meals in the evening, they went to school, farm, markets. They were living as any of us lives now. And then, out of nowhere, something horrible happened, and their peaceful life was ruined in seconds.
They have lost a lot - their homes, jobs, some of them even lost their loved ones. They know firsthand what hunger and starvation are. Mothers and wives lost their husbands and children. Some children lost both of their parents. They lived through horrible things that you would never wish to experience. But you never know what your future will look like. It was said a million times before, and we will repeat it - appreciate what you have, take care of your loved ones.
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