A three-year-old child was burnt to death while 620 makeshift houses were destroyed when fire gutted the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp, called Customs House, on the outskirts of Maiduguri, Borno State. The fire outbreak, which started about 8.30am, burnt parts of the camp and was put out by the combined efforts of the IDPs, security agents and officials of the Federal and state fire services. A witness at the camp, Alu Dikwa, said the three-year-old child was asleep when the fire started. Dikwa also said that two old women sustained injuries during the inferno.
He said: “Four hours later, another fire broke out in another part of camp, which destroyed many of the makeshift tents. The Camp Manager of Customs House, Usman Mohammed, said the cause of the fire was not yet known. Mohammed, however, said investigation had commenced to find out the actual cause of the fire.
He added that the affected IDPs were from Dikwa Local Government Area and were currently in dire need of assistance. Also, the Acting Zonal Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ishaya Chinoko, told journalists that emergency response had been dispatched and initial needs assessment conducted. He added that relief would soon be provided for the victims. The Customs House camp has a total of 14,250 IDPs from three local government areas of Dikwa, Mafa and Bama.