- United Nations regional humanitarian co-ordinator, Toby Lanzer has rated the growing humanitarian crisis in Borno as being at level with that of war-torn regions across the world
- BBC reports that Bama is one of the worst hit areas and the once-bustling community is now a ghost-town where people die daily from lack of food
- The town has not farmed for three years and the military has closed down markets in bid to starve out Boko Haram members
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has quoted the United Nations (UN) as saying that the devastation and sufferings in the north-eastern state of Borno is now at the same level of that of war-torn regions across the world.
According to the BBC, UN's regional humanitarian co-ordinator, Toby Lanzer gave the sad rating during a visit to Bama, the largest Borno town to come under the siege of the Islamist militant sect, Boko Haram.
"Having worked in Darfur, Chechnya, and South Sudan, this is about as bad as it gets," Lanzer was quoted as saying.
The BBC, which also carried out its own assessment of the devastating wrought in Bama, noted that the once-bustling ‘commercial hub’ which was home to about 250,000 people, is now a ghost town.
“The largest town that Boko Haram ever controlled still lies in ruins, frozen in time nearly 18 months after Nigeria's military recaptured it from the Islamist militants.
“Bama's streets are deserted and those people who are still in the area are camped out in the grounds of a hospital guarded by the army and in dire need of humanitarian aid.
“Hundreds of buildings are burnt-out shells with no roofs. Downed power cables are strewn on the streets. The bush is reclaiming many of the abandoned home,” BBC reported on Friday, August 26.
It also noted that the few people who are around are starving to death because of a strategically effective but harmful tactic employed by the military.
READ ALSO: Fast all in one -- UC Browser
“And in order to provide security and also as part of a strategy to starve out Boko Haram, the Nigerian army has closed all markets. But it is a tactic that has led to chronic food shortages,” BBC reported.
It also noted that while the military took the town back from Boko Haram insurgents in March 2015 after seven months; life is still far away from returning to normal.
“Apart from the occasional military patrol, it is like a ghost town,” the British news agency wrote. “For the third year running, most farmers here have been unable to plant crops because of landmines in the field and insurgent attacks.”
A farmer, Bulama Mohammed told BBC that people are dying of hunger in his camp in Maiduguri, Borno’s capital city.
"Life is terrible here," the 39-year-old was quoted as saying. "I know four people who have died of hunger this week. One of them was a young bride who just got married."
Meanwhile, United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has said if timely aid is not provided, 49,000 children will lose their lives as it once again warned of a worsening humanitarian crisis in Nigeria.
UNICEF said of the half a million children estimated to be at risk, 49,000 in the north-eastern Borno state alone may be left to die if they do not receive timely help.
Nearly half a million children around Lake Chad face "severe acute malnutrition" due to drought and a seven-year insurgency by Islamist militant group Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria, UNICEF said on Thursday, August 25.