BY FRANCIS OKOYE, Maiduguri
Some teenagers in the internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps in Borno State have turned to street hawking as solution to inadequate feeding pattern in their camps.
This is done by the IDPs through the hawking of donated nonfood items in camps, which are not of immediate use to their families, and generate income to buy necessary items especially, food that is scarce.
The teenagers who are between 10 and 14 years of age are mostly victims of resurgence of Boko Haram attacks in northern part of Borno State especially, Baga, a fishing community that the terrorists and the military battled to control before the troops pushed the terrorists back.
Majority of them said they have been living with their parents in the Teachers Village IDPs camp in Maiduguri, where the entire families depended on handouts from donor agencies and governments for survival.
Hauwawu Abubakar, 12, an IDP from Baga who fled the town with her parents when Boko Haram terrorists invaded Baga four years ago, is among the underage IDPs hawking variety of household items to improve household feeding in their camp.
Hauwawu who told our correspondent that she is living in Teachers Village IDPs camp with her parents and other seven children, hawks varieties of household items such as toilet soaps, rechargeable lamps among others along streets of Maiduguri.
According to her, she usually collects the items from the IDPs in the camp at a given amount and sells them with profit on the streets.
According to Hauwawu, the profit she makes from the sales contribute to daily feeding of her family members in the camp, adding that what is given to them by government and donor agencies cannot cater for all their needs in camp.
“My parents fled with us from Baga four years ago when Boko Haram terrorists attacked our town. We are eight in the family and I used to help my parents in support of daily feedings through the profit I makes from selling of these items,” she said.
Similarly, another IDP from the Teachers Village IDPs camp, Sadiya Ali, who is in the same business of hawking for family survival , said her parents also fled from Baga four years ago during the resurgence of Boko Haram terrorists attacks in northern part of Borno State.
Sadiya who looks brilliant in handling the selling business despite her age, said IDPs in the camp usually gather non food items donated to them and sell the items to get required food for the family.
On her part, another IDP, Aisha Mohammed who magnificently displayed her wares on a tray said, through the sales she is making, her family needs are partially taken care of.
Aisha however, said that she would want an end to insurgency so that her parents can move back to Baga to start the life they are used to before the Boko Haram insurgency.
Aisha said when they were in Baga, the parents who are into farming do cater for the family, adding that since they found themselves in the camp, the parents had nowhere to work or farm, but depended on the food and nonfood items distributed to them which most times are far below the family’s needs.