Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Here’s What You Can Do About Internally Displaced Persons In Yola

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Since I heard Mubi and some surrounding towns had been taken over by insurgents (And later recaptured), I have been trying to find someone based in Adamawa who can help with management of relief materials or funds I and a few other friends wanted to send for internally displaced persons (IDPs). You don’t want to know how many phone calls I have had to make and how many people I spoke with while trying to do this.

While the rest of us live our daily lives, pursue our dreams and make future plans, the IDPs in the Northeast are living a nightmare. The most disheartening thing for me was knowing that Government efforts at managing displaced persons were non-existent as at when I started making enquiries and as we speak, totally inadequate.

I finally got a reliable source from a good friend of mine. Her name is Mallama Asmau. She represents IMWON – Initiative For Muslim Women of Nigeria. I called her this morning. She told me that there are about 4 camps in the state with the number of IDPs ranging from 300-1,000+. Some IDPs have also been moved into about 30 hastily completed government houses. These figures do not take into consideration those squatting with families, friends, relatives or strangers all across the state capital.

When I asked how she would manage funds I send across she explained how they (IMWON) work:
  • They (As a collective of women) visit the camps and speak with the IDPs and their handlers to determine what their most pressing need is. 
  • From her experience, these needs are either food, money, drugs, sleeping gear, utensils or all of the above. 
  • Armed with this info and based on funds available, they go to the market, buy the necessary items and distribute them directly to the IDPs.

For now, all funds are sent to Mallama Asmau’s account. She said they are in the process of getting a corporate one. She has given me permission to publish both her account number and phone number for those who might want to follow up. There’s a little snag though – we spoke in Hausa throughout. Even when I asked questions in English, she replied in Hausa. So, except you understand the language or have an interpreter, communication might be a challenge. For those who want to help, here:

Mallama Asmau
0803 080 3674

Asmau Aliyu
First Bank

God bless you as you give.
©Naomi Lucas
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P.s – I found out that the IDP camps in Maiduguri are very well run hence my focus on Yola.

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