For Borno IDPs, the only means of meeting up with several basic needs of life in the camps is selling essential items especially non-food goods donated to them by governments or donor agencies. The money realised is used to solve other more pressing problems.
This task is basically undertaken by the IDPs through the under-aged children who hawk the donated items which are not of immediate use to the family to generate income to buy other necessary items.
The teenagers who are between 10 and 14 years of age are mostly victims of the resurgence of Boko Haram attacks in the northern part of Borno State especially in Baga, a fishing community that terrorists and the military battled to control until troops pushed them out.
Majority of them children have been living with their parents in the Teachers Village IDPs’ camp where the entire families depend on handouts from donor agencies and governments for survival.
Twelve-year-old Hauwawu Abubakar, an IDP from Baga who fled the town with her parents when Boko Haram terrorists invaded the town four years ago, is among under-aged IDPs hawking a variety of household items to improve her household feeding in the camp.
Miss Abubakar told correspondent that she lives in Teachers Village IDPs’ camp with her parents and other seven children, hawks household items such as toiletries and rechargeable Lampson the streets of Maiduguri, the state capital
According to her, she gets the items from other IDPs who give them out cheaper prices and sells them at a profit margin to assist her family.
She said the profit from her sales contribute much to the daily feeding of her family members in the camp, adding that what is given to them by the government cannot meet their basic needs.
Hauwawu said, “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 by supporting the family daily feedings through the profit I make from selling these items.”
Another IDP from the same camp, Sadiya Ali, who also hawks for her family survival, said her parents fled from Baga four years ago during the resurgence of Boko Haram attacks.
Sadiya, who fares very well in the hawking business despite her age, said IDPs usually sell non-food items donated to them to buy food for their families.
On her part, Aisha Mohammed, another IDP who displayed her wares on a tray, said, through the sales she makes, some of her family needs are met.
Aisha, however, said she wants an end to insurgency so that her parents can go back to Baga to start normal life before the advent of Boko Haram.
She said when they were in Baga, her parents who were into farming adequately catered for the family, adding that since they found themselves in the camp, the parents have nowhere to work or farm, but depended on food and non-food items distributed to them.
“When we were in Baga, my parents used to cater well for us, but now, the reverse is the case. It is when I collect these items and sell that I make money to supplement the food that is shared to us in the camp.
“We are appealing to the government to as a matter of urgency to ensure the return of peace so that we can go back home and live our normal life,” Aisha said.