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Local Authority Detains Women For Protesting Food Rationing In Borno

Starvation intensifies in Baga, Northern Borno, Northeast Nigeria, as women protesting sexist food sharing formula get detained.

The local authority in charge of food distribution to the vulnerable has detained at least two women for protesting against neglect and hunger in the fishing town of Baga, close to the shores of Lake Chad in Northern Borno in Northeast Nigeria.

Baga town in Kukawa Local Government Area in Borno State was once a trading hub for grains, smoked and dried fish. But access to land and water in the town is now difficult due to restrictions and threats from the terror group Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).

HumAngle learnt that the women were arrested after complaining to authorities about the formula for distributing relief materials sent by the State Government.

Sources said officials were going to distribute the relief materials to only male residents but a group of women concerned about the arrangement complained that there were women whose husbands have been killed by Boko Haram, detained by the military, or deceased.

The women who protested were subsequently arrested and kept in a cell on the orders of the authority in charge of Kukawa.

The humanitarian crisis in Baga has become severe with some residents turning to grass to feed themselves. The absence of humanitarian operations and safe logistics routes to Baga and the environs in Kukawa, have resulted in a lack of food supplies and compounded the suffering of the residents.

Last week, the Resettlement Committee set up by the Government of Borno visited Kauwa, Baga, and Doron Baga.

In Doron Baga, the committee accessed houses, schools, hospitals, and water points itemised for repair as part of the process of preparing the town for the return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their homes. In Baga, relief materials were handed over.

Unfortunately, the team was ambushed along Maiduguri-Gajiram-Monguno road at Jigalta village of Guzamala Local Government Area.

In 2020, the Borno State Government reconstructed and rehabilitated some public buildings, residential houses, schools, healthcare facilities, markets, and water facilities to pave the way for the relocation of displaced persons back to Baga in September of the same year.

The return was initially expected to improve resilience and ease difficulties associated with living in camps.

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Education from the University of Abuja.

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